Undergraduate Admission

Diversity at Brown

Brown students bring an incredible array of perspectives to campus, embodying identities and ideas from across the country and around the world.

Brown’s community is united by its core values: cultivating an environment that supports free inquiry, committing to continuous reflection and growth, and seeking to elevate voices across campus through a culture of questioning and active participation. While our commitment to diversity is highlighted in our Building on Distinction strategic plan, Brown has always recognized that diversity strengthens every aspect of our institution, from the residential and extracurricular experience to the world-class research opportunities and the Open Curriculum. We continue to see this commitment as a core part of our future as a leading center for academic excellence.


of undergraduates are the first generation in their family to go to college


of undergraduates are from historically underrepresented groups


of the Class of 2027 received need-based financial aid


of demonstrated financial need is met with grants and scholarships (money that does not need to be paid back)


of demonstrated financial need is met with loans

Students engage with an array of community and academic centers at Brown. A few of these important spaces on campus are highlighted below:

  • The Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC) is a space for various communities of color at Brown. Students and organizations use the BCSC to connect, explore individual identities, develop leadership skills, and build community. The staff and students of the BCSC have a distinguished legacy of programming that includes the Resistance Tour, Minority Peer Counselors, the Third World Transition Program during pre-orientation and the Heritage Series, as well as many more events throughout the year. If you have questions, please contact our BCSC liaison, Daniel Mark.
  • The Undocumented, First-Generation College, and Low-Income (U-FLi) Student Center is a communal, learning, and advocacy center for members of the Brown community who identify with the undocumented, first-generation college and/or low-income student experiences. The U-FLi center places explicit value on the strengths, assets and knowledge that U-FLi students bring with them upon entering Brown. Specifically, the center amplifies collectivism, resistance, self-reliance and reflexivity through intersectional programming and strength-based advising in order to provide students with the navigational tools to thrive at Brown. Programs offered through the center include the FLi Scholars Program, Undocumented Student Program, Class Dissonance Series and Undocu-Series. If you have questions, please contact admission@brown.edu.

  • The Swearer Center for Public Service​​ connects students, faculty and community partners through community engagement, engaged scholarship and social innovation — three key perspectives that are the foundations of the center’s service work. Working with over 80 organizations, many of which are in the Greater Providence area, the Swearer Center considers both community needs and student interests to strengthen relationships that allow students to be thoughtful and intentional as they connect to the communities in and beyond Providence.

  • Brown University's Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative (NAISI) is a cross-disciplinary initiative focused on teaching, research and engagement to increase understanding of the cultural traditions, histories, political experiences, and contemporary experiences and knowledge of Native American and Indigenous peoples. In addition to faculty that span departments across the University, the staff at NAISI include students and a Tribal Community Member in Residence that shares their time and work with the NAISI community during their residence at Brown. NAISI operates as both an intellectual and community space that allows students to come together in a dynamic way during their time at Brown.

The Office Of College Admission appreciates the meaningful work that community-based organizations and college access professionals do to support students in going to and getting through college. In addition to partnering with individuals and organizations throughout the year, we also welcome group visits to campus. 

As you advise your students, please feel free to share the following resources:

  • Application Fee Waiver: 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 (for example, 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.
  • Book Pilot Expansion: The University will cover the cost of all required books and course materials for all students who receive University scholarship funds in their financial aid package. Students who are part of this program are able to use their student ID to purchase books at Brown Bookstore and the cost of these books will be covered.

We are proud to partner with QuestBridge, UStrive, the American Talent Initiative, College Horizons, LEDA, and more organizations that support students through the college process. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how we can work together, please reach out to our CBO liaison, Tiffiney George.

Brown’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) reflects the University’s commitment to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of University life. Most often, a reference to the DIAP is a reference to the institutional version of this document, but there are actually dozens of DIAPs at Brown – most departments, centers, and institutes across the university have created and maintain their own DIAP. The DIAP for the University as a whole was a community project that synthesized comments, ideas and suggestions from every corner of Brown’s community in two distinct phases. The DIAPs produced by individual departments and other University entities help to support the broader version by considering the specific challenges and opportunities experienced by those responsible for its implementation.

In March 2021, President Paxson convened a working group that sought to understand Brown’s history, relationship and commitments to the Native and Indigenous communities who stewarded the land where College Hill currently sits. Over a year of outreach, research and reflection led to the creation of Brown’s official land acknowledgement statement:

"Brown University is located in Providence, Rhode Island, on lands that are within the ancestral homelands of the Narragansett Indian Tribe. We acknowledge that beginning with colonization and continuing for centuries the Narragansett Indian Tribe have been dispossessed of most of their ancestral lands in Rhode Island by the actions of individuals and institutions. We acknowledge our responsibility to understand and respond to those actions. The Narragansett Indian Tribe, whose ancestors stewarded these lands with great care, continues as a sovereign nation today. We commit to working together to honor our past and build our future with truth."

This statement is meant to offer a starting point for meaningful engagement with Brown’s history and the five commitments made in May 2022 to create a foundation for strengthening relationships with the local Indigenous communities. 

Community Voices

"The Brown Center for Students of Color is one of those unique places where you are welcomed with open arms for being yourself. This Center is literally a second home, and the professional and student teams are a second family for many students of color. From the day students of color walk in through the Van Wickle Gates as first year students until the moment they proceed out through those gates as graduating seniors, and beyond, students of color will always have a home at the Brown Center for Students of Color."

Frank Garcia-Ornelas Assistant Director of the Brown Center for Students of Color
Frank Garcia-Ornelas, Assistant Director of the Brown Center for Students of Color

As an international student, I came to Brown hoping to be immersed in diversity - of people, of thoughts, of everything. Brown certainly did not disappoint. Meeting people from so many different backgrounds has helped me develop a more holistic view of the world around me, including its problems and its beauty. At the same time, it's opened my eyes to how other people see and experience this world.

The diversity in extracurricular activities here at Brown was crucial to me finding a place in the communications industry. Through my work with TEDxBrownU as Head of Marketing and now Co-President, I've gained more knowledge and skills in PR/marketing and leadership. All of these things have paved my path to where I am now, as a fellow at a top PR agency worldwide.

Ingrid Huang Class of 2022
Ingrid Huang

My experience at Brown as a first generation, international student has been really spectacular and amazing. With home being thousands of miles in Kiambu, Kenya, Brown has really been a home away from home for me! Thanks to organizations such as U-FLi (Undocumented, first generation, low income student centre) to the Black Student Union and Afrisa, the challenge of being in an entirely new space was eased by the love and support that you get from many students and student-led groups that contain students experiencing the same sort of feelings and challenges. Brown's essence is "You are never alone" and this motto is reverberated throughout the institution.

Dennis Kinyua Class of 2023
Dennis K.

Reaffirming the Essential Role of Diversity and Inclusion at Brown