The Ivy Coach Daily

April 30, 2024

How to Get Into Brown University

Metcalf Hall, Andrews Hall, and Miller Hall are featured at Brown University.
Brown University surged in the 2024 US News & World Report rankings (photo credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel)

Brown University is one of the foremost institutions of higher learning in the world. Ranking as the 9th best national university in the 2024 US News & World Report annual college ranking, Brown has maintained a legacy of academic renown that stretches all the way back to 1764. In the Ivy League family, to paraphrase Conan O’Brien, Brown is the cool, alternative sibling to its straight-laced counterparts, but  it should certainly not be underestimated! Brown has one of the oldest liberal arts programs in the U.S., a famous open curriculum that fosters intellectual exploration, and a legacy of producing many of the greatest minds in each generation.

What Is Brown University?

Situated in the heart of Providence’s historic College Hill neighborhood, Brown’s campus houses a student body consisting of 3,557 full-time male undergraduates and 3,663 full-time female undergraduates, for a total undergraduate population of 7,220.

How to Get Into Brown University

Brown University Admissions Requirements

There is no surefire way to get into Brown. Even perfect grades and test scores do not assure admission. Still, it is helpful to understand the average academic profile of an admitted student to gauge how competitive any given application will be.

Brown GPA Requirements

There is technically no minimum GPA requirement to apply to Brown. As their undergraduate admission office puts it, “we review every applicant’s file holistically and in context.” Nonetheless, Brown is looking to admit students who took the most rigorous high school curriculum available to them.

Does Brown Look at Class Rank?

According to Brown’s undergraduate admissions office, 95% of current Brown students graduated in the top 10% of their class. While the Brown 2023-24 Common Data Set does not include a breakdown of specific high school GPA statistics among current Brown students, it is safe to assume that most received or came very close to receiving a 4.0. 

Does this mean a 4.0 is necessary for admission? Not necessarily, but strong academic performance in high school is integral to a competitive application.

Brown SAT/ACT Score Requirements

Brown recently reinstated testing requirements for their upcoming application cycle. The SAT or ACT is now required.

Amongst members of the Brown Class of 2027, 54% submitted SAT scores and 22% submitted ACT scores.

Mid 50% Range1,510 — 1,56034 — 35

Does Brown Superscore Students’ SAT or ACT scores?

superscore, or “Score Choice,” combines the highest section scores from each individual test sitting for admissions evaluation. Brown superscores both the SAT and the ACT.

However, submitting multiple test administrations is a gamble, because it shows Brown that you had to work harder than many to achieve your scores. It’s not ideal. Students should submit more than one score report only for the purposes of superscoring.

What High School Courses Does Brown Require?

Brown’s undergraduate admission office recommends the following high school curriculum, which they advise should have a breadth and rigor that mimics their famed Open Curriculum:

Brown also encourages the study of music, art, and other electives in addition to the coursework recommended above.”

Of course, it would be unwise to take only three years of science, history, or foreign language classes. All highly selective colleges across America, Brown or otherwise, expect applicants to excel in their core subjects for all four years of high school (and when it comes to foreign language, it is ideal to begin in eighth grade).

What Extracurriculars Does Brown Look For in Applicants?

Despite colloquial knowledge to the contrary, Brown is not looking for applicants with well-rounded resumes. Brown is looking for applicants who have excelled in all areas academically, but this admissions philosophy does not extend to extracurricular commitments.

Rather, Brown seeks to create incoming classes composed of students “who represent different academic and extracurricular interests.” Admissions committees at highly selective colleges across America prize students who are experts in their chosen field, whether those students are famed for their linguistics research, gold-medal skiing, or cutting-edge artistry. A depth of passion should shine through on the application.

Brown Application Requirements

Brown applicants must complete The Common Application, including Brown-specific supplemental essays within the Brown supplement, a counselor recommendation, two teacher recommendations, and an optional “video introduction.”

Let’s focus on how each individual component should be completed for the best shot of admission.

Who to Ask For Letters of Recommendation

Applicants to Brown should ask two teachers for recommendations, ideally two junior year teachers in core subjects, i.e. science, social studies, mathematics, a foreign language, or English. This is in addition to the letter of recommendation from a school counselor. 

Does Brown Require an Alumni Interview?

While Brown does not conduct alumni interviews, they recently piloted a two-minute video introduction component. Brown writes:

“The video introduction gives you an opportunity to tell us more about yourself, in your voice, beyond the information you provided in your application. Sharing a two-minute personal video is a helpful way to show us who you are and why you are interested in attending Brown.”

Prompts for the video introduction include:

The video introduction is an important component of the application, and we at Ivy Coach would not recommend students approach it just as they would an essay — with great thought (and never anything fancy!).

What are Brown’s Supplemental Essay Topics?

As part of the Brown supplement, applicants to Brown are asked to complete a series of “Brown University Specific Questions.” These questions form one of the most important components of the application.  

The Brown supplemental essay questions are as follows:

Brown University Application Deadlines

Brown has two admissions rounds: Early Decision and Regular Decision.

Admission through the Early Decision round is binding. Those applications are due on November 1st of each year. Regular Decision is nonbinding, and those applications are due on January 3rd of each year.

Brown Acceptance Rate and Statistics

The admissions process at Brown is incredibly competitive. Acceptance rates have dwindled to record lows in recent years, mimicking broader trends across the Ivy League. 51,316 students applied for admission to the Brown Class of 2027, and 5.0% were accepted. 

Brown Tuition Costs

In the 2023-24 academic year, the full cost of attendance at Brown was $88,948 for undergraduates. Costs are broken down as follows:

How Ivy Coach Helps Students Get Into Brown

100% of Ivy Coach’s package clients earned admission in Brown’s Early Decision round over the past five years, higher than any other school (though tied with several others). We understand Brown’s quirky admissions ethos, and we set ambitious students up with the best possible chance for admission.

If you’re interested in Ivy Coach’s assistance in optimizing your child’s case for admission to Brown, fill out our complimentary consultation form, and we’ll be in touch.

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