Frequently asked questions about the admission process
To allow us to holistically evaluate all students, Brown University's application process requires a number of different components. The process will include submitting forms with biographical information, writing personal essays, keeping track of deadlines, taking and submitting standardized testing should you choose to do so, and making sure that your school submits teacher recommendations and academic information. To help you stay organized and complete all steps in a timely manner, we provide a step-by-step Guide for Applying.
If you wish to apply Early Decision, you must submit your application by 11:59 pm (applicant's local time) on November 1. Our Regular Decision deadline is 11:59 pm (applicant's local time) on January 5.
All Brown undergraduate applications, with the exception of U.S. military veterans, are submitted online via the Common Application. The online system will guide you through the process of providing the supporting credentials appropriate to your status as a first-year or transfer applicant. U.S. military veterans should apply using the Veterans Application.
Contacting the Admission Office is neither a requirement nor an advantage in our admission process. We offer campus tours and other virtual and in-person resources to provide you with the information you need to make an informed college choice and we welcome calls and emails for the same reason. Please do not feel compelled to contact us to demonstrate your interest in Brown; simply having applied demonstrates that you are seriously interested in Brown. The number of times you call, email or visit us will not have an impact on your admission decision.
Brown's application fee is $75. You may use a credit card by following the instructions on the online Common Application or you may send a check payable to Brown University to the Office of College Admission. If the fee will present a financial hardship for you and your family, you may ask your guidance counselor to submit a Fee Waiver Request, which you will indicate under the “Payment” section of the Common Application.
As part of our commitment to make a Brown University education accessible to students from all income backgrounds, Brown is making automatic application fee waivers available to more students. Brown will automatically waive the application fee for any student who is enrolled in or eligible for the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch program (FRPL), as well as students who are enrolled in federal, state or local programs that aid students from low-income families (e.g. TRIO Programs). Additionally, Brown will automatically waive the application fee for any student who belongs to a Community Based Organization or College Access Organization that promotes educational opportunity for low-income students. Applicants to Brown who meet any of these requirements should select the "Brown Specific Fee Waiver" in the "Brown Questions" section of the Common Application. Brown will continue to honor fee waiver request forms from the College Board, NACAC, and school counselors.
The most important consideration in the admission process is your high school performance and preparedness. When it comes to assessing performance, we look beyond your grades to also consider how well you have mastered certain skills associated with learning. We review your teacher recommendations to get a sense of your curiosity, problem-solving abilities, openness to different points of view, ability to express yourself orally and in writing, work ethic, etc. To assess preparedness, we review the depth and breadth of the academic learning you have undertaken thus far. We want to know whether you have taken advantage of the courses available to you in your school, whether you have challenged yourself in advanced classes, and whether you have stretched yourself with outside-of-school educational opportunities.
Brown does not rank high schools. While we are aware of characteristics such as a high school's level of academic offerings and rigor, we concentrate our evaluation on how well a student has used the resources available at a particular high school. We do not start with the assumption that students from a certain school are better candidates than those from another school. We know that curricular offerings vary from school to school.
We review every applicant's file holistically and in context. We want to see what you have accomplished with the resources and opportunities available to you in high school, as well as evaluate your potential to thrive within the unique offerings of Brown University. Every component of the application conveys important information, but your accomplishments as a high school student will have the most influence on our admission decision. All decisions will be made collectively by the admission committee.
There are no minimums or cutoffs in Brown's application review process. We understand that because Brown tends to attract applicants who have done exceptionally well, there may be a misconception that only straight A students are admitted. The fact is that it does not make sense for us to focus solely on grades as there are other indications of academic and intellectual talent. We know that grades at one school are not awarded in the same way as they are at another school. The same applies to class rank. Everything else being equal, students with high grades often do stand out among our applicants, but we do not make our admissions decisions based on a grade average or class rank without also considering the many other factors that help us gauge an applicant's promise.
We believe that the first year is best experienced as a coherent whole, so first year students must begin their time at Brown in the fall semester.
There are no geographic minimums or quotas at Brown, nor are admission decisions made based on numbers from individual high schools. We view our applicants as individuals, and while a school or geographic area may help inform a student's context, it is not a factor that determines admission.
Brown faculty members are known for their excellence as both researchers and teachers. We invite you to connect with faculty members who work in the academic areas of greatest interest to you. Please use the Directory of Research and Researchers to search for those who may be best able to answer your questions.
Please keep in mind that Brown faculty members are fully engaged with their University work, including teaching and mentoring Brown students, so we urge you to respect their time. Please check departmental websites for their email addresses and for any instructions that they have listed as to how they prefer to be contacted.
While the Board of Admission works as a team, we also each have primary responsibilities for specific geographic areas. You can find the name and contact information for the admission representative assigned to work with your geographic area. For general questions about the admission process, we encourage you to email email@example.com. If your question is about student life, it may be best directed to current students at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look for intelligent, highly motivated students from all walks of life who may come from diverse backgrounds and cultural heritages, who represent different academic and extracurricular interests, and who bring a spectrum of ideologies to Brown.
While it may be interesting to describe a student population in terms of certain characteristics (the number of men and women, potential engineers, Oklahomans, students of color, international citizens, home schoolers and so on), there are no quotas of any kind.
Brown takes into account the natural affinity for the University that often emerges among family members of our graduates. In particular, we will note when an applicant has a parent who has graduated from Brown. While such a relationship may be a consideration when it comes to choosing among equally strong candidates, it does not ensure admission. Brown has a strong responsibility to create a new generation of successful college graduates.
For the SAT, Brown’s code number is 3094.
For the ACT, Brown’s code number is 3800.
We recognize that communities vary widely in what they can provide in their high schools, and consider students in the context from which they are applying. Our strongest applicants have taken full advantage of what is available to them in their own schools, and many motivated students find outside learning opportunities (e.g., local college courses, independent study) to supplement their high school curriculum, especially when they have exhausted available courses.
Brown's admission process is both holistic and contextual, considering the many different components that we ask applicants to submit. We do not use formulas or believe that any formula would accurately capture the academic ability and personal qualities we value most.
We do not consider information on criminal history during our initial round of admission application reviews. Only upon selecting a pool of admitted candidates do we learn whether you have reported a criminal history, at which point we will offer you an opportunity to explain the circumstances. With this approach, information on misdemeanor or felony convictions can inform, but not determine, admission decisions. This ensures that applicants are evaluated based on their academic profile, extracurricular pursuits and potential fit - not criminal history - and enables us to continue to review this potentially important information.
Once you are notified by email that admission decisions are available, you will view your admission decision by logging into your Brown Applicant Portal.