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The Ultimate Guide to Acing the Brown University Supplemental Essays 2021/22

09 NOV 2021

The Brown University Supplemental Essay questions allow you to talk about your interests and aspirations so admissions officers can get to know you better and see if you’re a good fit for their school. These questions also give you an outlet to explain why you believe a Brown education will help further your passions and interests.

How to Stand Out in Your Brown University Supplemental Essays for 2021

While writing these essays, ask yourself if each sentence offers unique insight that’s original to you. Admission officers don’t want to read cookie-cutter answers that anyone could have written. The strongest essays prominently feature personal reflections and don’t linger on accomplishments. Only mention your achievements if you can directly relate them to Brown. Write about how these achievements will help you contribute to the Brown community, and how an education from Brown will help you develop your existing skills and thrive in your future career.

How Crimson Can Help You Get Into Brown University

Crimson takes a personal approach when it comes to helping students with their supplemental essays. Advisors get to know their students by talking with them about their dreams, aspirations, goals, and any aspect of their story that’s unique.

Crimson student Rohan recently got into Brown University. See how Crimson helped him with his extracurriculars, test prep, essay writing, and more!

How Crimson Student Rohan Got Into Brown University

Crimson Education’s expert admission strategists can help you with your supplemental essays by narrowing down your essay ideas and word choices, helping you craft the perfect essay response. Get your essay reviewed today!

What are the Brown University Essay Prompts for 21/22?

Prompt 1

Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you, and how you might use the Open Curriculum to pursue them while also embracing topics with which you are unfamiliar. (200-250 words)

Prompt 2

Brown’s culture fosters a community in which students challenge the ideas of others and have their ideas challenged in return, promoting a deeper and clearer understanding of the complex issues confronting society. This active engagement in dialogue is as present outside the classroom as it is in academic spaces. Tell us about a time you were challenged by a perspective that differed from your own. How did you respond? (200-250 words)

Prompt 3

Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and major discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy. (200-250 words)

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How to Answer Prompt 1

Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to freely explore their interests while diving deeper into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you, and how you might use the Open Curriculum to pursue them while also embracing topics with which you are unfamiliar. (200-250 words)

This first essay combines two classic admissions questions: “Tell us about your interests” and “Why Brown?” The primary goal of this essay is to show genuine passion or intellectual curiosity in your areas of interest and how Brown will help you pursue these interests. Clarity and concision are critical for this essay.

Talk about your experiences

For the first part, talk about the experiences that drew you to your current interests.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Did they evolve because you were looking for ways to help or challenge people, or were they strictly personal endeavors?
  • Did a particularly inspiring book, teacher, or experience first get you interested in a certain subject?
  • How has your passion for this subject grown or developed over time?

It’s perfectly fine to be undecided. Instead, describe specific areas of interest you may pursue.

The focus should be on the reasons why you find a subject so compelling rather than why you’re so amazing at it. Keep your tone humble and self-aware. If you choose to talk about a particular skill you find rewarding or challenging, don’t be afraid to talk about your struggles. Admissions officers find stories and personal experiences interesting. Stories also help them see another angle of your personality and character.

Talk about how Brown will further your interests

Now that you have engaged the admission committee with your interests, explain why Brown’s Open Curriculum will help you further your interests. One of the most unique aspects of Brown is that students can choose their own course of study in place of general requirements.

A Brown student might be a biomedical engineer who has taken every Ancient Egyptian archeology course, a comparative literature student who originally intended to study applied math, or a neuroscientist double-concentrating in philosophy. Brown wants to know how you’ll use this flexibility to explore your interests in a way that might not be possible elsewhere.

A solid response to this question integrates gathered knowledge about Brown’s specific offerings into a personal narrative based on your stated interest. Your research and personal insight demonstrate how Brown’s unique opportunities represent an obvious next step in your development.

Utilize Brown’s website as much as possible to brainstorm specific ways the Open Curriculum will help you further your interests. You can even search Researchers @ Brown to connect your interests with the specific interests of professors.

My Brown Supplemental Essay

How to Answer Prompt 2

Brown’s culture fosters a community in which students challenge the ideas of others and have their ideas challenged in return, promoting a deeper and clearer understanding of the complex issues confronting society. This active engagement in dialogue is as present outside the classroom as it is in academic spaces. Tell us about a time you were challenged by a perspective that differed from your own. How did you respond? (200-250 words)

While the first essay helped Brown admissions learn more about you and how you will benefit from attending Brown, the second essay discusses how Brown will benefit from having you on campus. Admissions teams strive to create diverse classes that come from various backgrounds, but they also seek students who can work together to better the community.

Think about moments in your life that challenged you. Take particular note of:

  • the specific time and place in which this situation occurred
  • your reaction to the challenge.

The way you react to the challenge shows your thought process and analysis of the opposing point of view.

A complex and nuanced topic that’s not too polarizing is a good choice for your essay. Since you only have a set amount of words, your humility and sensitivity should be paramount. Additionally, conclude your essay by noting how you will bring the skills you learned from this experience into the Brown community.

How to Answer Prompt 3

Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and major discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy. (200-250 words)

This prompt gives you several options, including “small, mundane, or spectacular.” Choose something that brings you genuine joy. Your response shouldn’t simply be a play-by-play of your position in a chosen sport or activity. Instead, focus on a specific place in time or memory that stands out. Be clear, detailed, and original.

Think deeply about your life, your family, and your surroundings. If you are having trouble identifying a unique topic, start with the five senses.

  • What do you look at that makes you happy?
  • Does a particular smell evoke happiness?
  • Have you ever touched something that made you smile?

Remember that witnessing the joy of others is also an option, like being a “gift giver” who revels in presenting loved ones with a surprise.

Your focus reveals a lot about you, so think about how you want to be perceived. You can write about a personal experience or how you shared your joy with someone else. Maybe you witnessed something new, or you find joy in your everyday life.

The essay can be humorous or serious, light or dark. You might even describe something seemingly small and beautiful only to you. Whatever you choose, make sure you are humble and that your joy is not at the expense of another person.

Final Thoughts

Through their open curriculum, Brown University encourages independent thought and academic exploration. They want to see those qualities in their students. Showcase how you’ve explored outside the box and your unique interpretations of the world around you. You’ll catch the attention of Brown admissions with thoughtful answers and a unique perspective.

Need help with your supplemental essays? Crimson Education is the world’s leading university admission consulting company. Our expert admission strategist can help you narrow down your ideas and word choice to help you craft the perfect essay prompt response. Get your essay reviewed today!

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