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With a highly competitive admissions process, getting into Brown can seem difficult for many aspiring students. But with the right approach and a strong application, it’s possible to increase your chances of getting accepted into this renowned university. In this article, we’ll discuss some key tips and strategies that can help you navigate the admissions process and maximize your chances of getting into Brown.
The admissions process at Brown University is highly selective, and the majority of applicants are turned away each year, with only only those with exceptional academic achievements and well-rounded profiles granted admission. This means that it’s essential to carefully prepare your application and demonstrate your strengths and potential as a student.
Acceptance into Brown is quiet competitive. Like most Ivy League universities, Brown receives a large amount of applications and has especially low acceptance rates. The university accepted just 5.1% of applicants into the Class of 2027!
Brown's overall acceptance rate for the Class of 2026 was just 5%, an all-time low. With an average of just 6.18% over the last five years, Brown is one of the most competitive schools in the world. Brown was test-optional for the 2022-2023 application cycle, likely contributing to record-high application numbers and record-low acceptance rates.
|Total Applicants||Accepted Students||Acceptance Rate|
|Class of 2027||51,302||2,609||5.1%|
|Class of 2026||50,649||2,557||5.0%|
|Class of 2025||46,568||2,537||5.4%|
|Class of 2024||36,794||2,533||6.9%|
|Class of 2023||38,674||2,551||6.6%|
|Class of 2022||35,438||2,566||7.0%|
Since Brown offers a unique curriculum and a distinctive undergraduate experience, the university tends to attract students with unique views, experiences, and perspectives. Brown undergraduates thrive in the Open Curriculum model and believe schools can be both flexible and rigorous.
Brown is known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education. To get into brown, you’ll need to be intellectually curious, open-minded, and eager to explore new ideas and perspectives.
Demonstrate your intellectual curiosity, highlight any research projects, independent studies, or intellectual pursuits that you have pursued outside of the classroom. Show how you have taken the initiative to explore your interests and push the boundaries of your academic pursuits.
While Brown values intellectual curiosity, it also places a strong emphasis on academic excellence. The university is looking for students who have demonstrated a strong academic record, particularly in challenging courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes.
Besides that, Brown values students who have excelled in areas that align with their intended major or academic interests. Make sure to showcase your academic achievements, and highlight any unique or challenging academic experiences that you have had.
Brown values students who are committed to making a positive impact in their communities. The university is looking for students who have demonstrated a willingness to engage with others and make a difference through service, activism, or leadership.
To showcase your community engagement, highlight any extracurricular activities or volunteer experiences that you have had, particularly those that align with your intended major or academic interests.
Brown is a rigorous academic institution, and the university is looking for students who have demonstrated resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges.
To showcase your resilience and adaptability, highlight any obstacles you have faced in your academic or personal life and demonstrate how you overcame them. Show that you are able to learn from your experiences and adapt to new situations and challenges.
A Day in the Life: Brown University Student
The Brown admissions team doesn't look for students who fit specific criteria. They look for students with unique talents and accomplishments. They want to admit students with energy and curiosity, especially those with fresh perspectives on the world around them.
Brown only accepts The Common Application, and all students must apply through this application.
Students must include the following sections within the Common Application:
Brown doesn't specify a minimum GPA, but most accepted students rank at the top of their high school graduating class. While grades are only one part of the application, they are still important. Admissions officers want to see students take challenging courses that enhance their educational journey, and they also want to see students commit to their coursework and learning experiences.
In general, a Brown student's average high school GPA is about 4.1. To get this GPA, you’ll need nearly straight A's. You should also take AP or IB classes to show that you can challenge yourself beyond the average requirements. If you weren’t able get these grades, you should consider taking the SAT or ACT to help compensate for the grades.
The SAT and ACTs are still test-optional as of the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. The test-optional policy gets updated regularly, so check the website for updates.
Brown emphasizes that students who do not submit test scores will not be disadvantaged during the admissions process. The admissions team takes a holistic approach when reviewing applications, and they look at all parts of the application, including grades, academic rigor, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and essays. With that being said, submitting your test scores can help your application stand out.
While Brown doesn't have a minimum SAT requirements, a Brown student's average SAT score is about 1485.
Similarly, Brown doesn't specify an ACT minimum, but most applicants score between 33 and 35 on their ACT.
To apply to Brown, students must complete the personal essay found in the Common Application.
Brown also requires applicants to complete supplemental essay questions.
Here are Brown’s supplemental essay questions:
The Essay That Got Me Into Brown University
Passion and dedication reign at Brown. You'll likely fit into the Brown community if you're passionate about a particular subject or career area. When applying to Brown, your extracurriculars should align with your passion. If you join a club only because you want to add it to your extracurriculars list, Brown admissions will see right through that. Brown cares more about the quality of your involvement than the number of activities.
If you already know the career path you hope to take, try choosing extracurriculars that fit into that. For example, consider volunteering at an animal shelter if you want to become a veterinarian. Suppose you're interested in media. Consider interning at your local news station. If you connect your passions with your career path, Brown admissions will not only see your dedication to a particular activity, but they will also see your thoughtful approach to choosing extracurriculars in the areas you love.
Brown also likes to see you take leadership roles in your extracurriculars. You don't have to be the organization's president to show leadership. Leading an initiative or fundraiser for the group also shows leadership. If your high school or community doesn't offer a club or organization specific to your passions, start one! Taking the initiative is another form of leadership.
Simply put, fewer students apply early. Statistically speaking, if you apply early, you have a higher chance of acceptance. But, you should only apply early to Brown if it's your first-choice school, and you must commit to attending Brown if you're admitted.
Community is an essential aspect of life at Brown. Brown students have the freedom to define what community means to them and build their world around that community. Admissions officers want to see that you already have a strong interest in your community and are getting involved in the areas you love most. Use the extracurricular and essay sections of the application to talk about your involvement in the community and what community means to you.
Brown's Open Curriculum is unique to the school, and no other Ivy League offers anything like it. Show your excitement by learning about its history, unique opportunities, challenges, and how you hope to navigate the ambiguity of life at Brown. Talk to students and alumni about their experience with the Open Curriculum and how they benefitted from the freedom to build their own career paths. By researching the school and its unique qualities, you'll show admissions officers how much you love the school and how well you'll fit into the community.
How I Got Into Brown University
About 15% of Brown students come from abroad. If you're applying as an international student, you'll use the same application as US students and indicate your citizenship status according to the passport you plan to use when entering the US.
Although Brown doesn't require an English proficiency examination for admission, you must be able to understand English in the classroom, express your thoughts quickly and clearly in spoken and written English, and read English easily.
Brown recommends all international students take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo exams.
Brown University is a private Ivy League university based in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764, Brown is a leading research university known for its innovative educational philosophy and undergraduate Open Curriculum.
Established in 1764 with the granting of the Charter by the Rhode Island General Assembly, it was officially named Brown University in 1804 after the son of a merchant and the college co-founder Nicholas Brown, Sr.
Brown offers undergraduate students an Open Curriculum, enabling them to build a personalized and challenging degree centered around what they love. Students establish their own goals while exploring academic areas that interest them.
Brown doesn't offer majors. Instead, students choose from 80+ concentrations. They are required to take courses within their desired concentration but also have the freedom to select classes outside the concentration as well. All of the concentration paths lead to either a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree.
Brown's Open Curriculum allows students to develop a personalized curriculum, giving them the freedom to study what they know they already love while discovering new paths and journeys.
Brown undergraduates also have a unique grading system. Students can take a course for a letter grade (A, B, or C) or choose a Satisfactory (S)/No Credit scale. Professors don't record failing grades, and students do not receive grade point averages either.
This unique system allows students the freedom to take classes that might typically be outside their concentration ("academic risks") without the pressure to make a specific grade in the course.
Brown is full of curious, intellectual, and free spirits, and students are as diverse as the Open Curriculum. Students who attend Brown are accomplished and passionate about their interests and celebrate each other's interests. Brown students don't fit a mold. Instead, they prefer to follow their own paths and expand their perspectives.
The students who do best at Brown are self-directed and not overly concerned about competing with each other. They understand everyone is on an educational journey, and they respect each other's journeys.
If this sounds like you, then you should definitely apply to Brown. But remember, only a small percentage of applicants get into Brown. Don't be discouraged if you don't get accepted. Some of the world's most brilliant and talented students do not get into this Ivy League school. Consider another school in the Ivy League or one of the top schools in the University of California system.
Make sure you have a solid list of safety, target, and reach schools that fit your academic and career objectives.
If you want additional support and guidance on your journey to getting into a top Ivy League school, book a free consultation with our experienced college counselors who can provide you with personalized advice and support.
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