The Ivy Coach Daily

December 12, 2023

Brown Early Decision Deferral: What to Do Next

A brick building is featured beyond a lawn at Brown University.
Brown denies many more stuents than it defers each Early Decision cycle (photo credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel).

Was your child deferred in the Early Decision round by Brown University? If so, it’s undoubtedly not the outcome you and your child had hoped for when submitting an ED application back at the beginning of November. But your child’s deferral is also not the worst case scenario. After all, they could have been denied admission outright. Indeed, your child still has a chance of turning their Brown deferral into an offer of admission — but only if they play their cards right. So, how can your child optimize their odds of admission to Brown post-deferral? Let’s dive in!

Brown Early Decision Admission Rates Over 20 Years

First, it’s important to understand your child’s deferral in context. So, what percentage of Brown’s Early Decision applicants earn admission? Brown’s ED acceptance rate through the years is as follows:

Admissions CycleBrown Graduating ClassBrown’s Early Decision Admission Rate
2023-2024Class of 202814.38%
2022-2023Class of 202712.98%
2021-2022Class of 202614.6%
2020-2021Class of 202515.9%
2019-2020Class of 202417.5%
2018-2019Class of 202318.2%
2017-2018Class of 202221%
2016-2017Class of 202121.9%
2015-2016Class of 202022.1%
2014-2015Class of 201920%
2013-2014Class of 201818.9%
2012-2013Class of 201718.5%
2011-2012Class of 201619%
2010-2011Class of 201520.6%
2009-2010Class of 201419.9%
2008-2009Class of 201323.7%
2007-2008Class of 201222.7%
2006-2007Class of 201122.7%
2005-2006Class of 201022.8%
2004-2005Class of 200928%
2003-2004Class of 200828.3%
2002-2003Class of 200725.8%

Brown Early Decision Deferral Rates

Over the last three years, Brown has released its Early Decision deferral statistics. And while that number has been shrinking, it remains considerable. For the Classes of 2028, 2027, 2026, and 2025, those figures are as follows:

Admissions CycleBrown Graduating ClassBrown’s Early Decision Deferral Rate
2023-2024Class of 202816.8%
2022-2023Class of 202719%
2021-2022Class of 202625%
2020-2021Class of 202530%

Brown Early Decision Denial Rates

And while a deferral might seem like doom and gloom, sometimes it’ll cheer a student up to learn of a school’s Early Decision denial rate — and that’s especially the case for Brown, a school that denies many more students than it defers.

In fact, the school’s denial rate in the Early Decision round has been markedly increasing over the last few admissions cycles until leveling out for the Class of 2028. Those figures are as follows:

Admissions CycleBrown Graduating ClassBrown’s Early Decision Deferral Rate
2023-2024Class of 202867.6%
2022-2023Class of 202768%
2021-2022Class of 202660.25%
2020-2021Class of 202554.1%

5 Steps to Take After a Brown Deferral

After receiving the unwelcome news of the Brown deferral, below is your five-step game plan:

  1. Encourage your child to go do yoga or meditate. Before they do anything, they need to take a breath (but only for a day as they’ve got work to do!). If they want to optimize their case for admission to Brown in Regular Decision and not have this same kind of result at other schools in the Regular Decision round, they’re going to have to hear what we have to say and, for that, they need first to let out their emotions.
  2. Have a free consultation with Ivy Coach in which we walk you through our deferral package, which includes a PostMortem application review plus assistance with brainstorming and crafting your child’s compelling Letter of Continued Interest.
  3. Complete Ivy Coach’s PostMortem application review (both you and your child should be present for the session). Keep in mind, this session should be completed within only a couple of days of your child’s deferral for two reasons: (1) they need to fix the mistakes and ill-advised positioning that we identify over the remaining two weeks or so before Regular Decision deadlines and (2) they ideally want to get their Letter of Continued Interest submitted expediently to Brown so that Brown’s admissions committee doesn’t get the feeling they’ve got sour grapes.
  4. Submit a powerful Letter of Continued Interest that we at Ivy Coach brainstormed — by giving paragraph-by-paragraph direction — and revised so that it would be as powerful as possible. After a deferral, most students are inclined to brag and update a school on all they’ve achieved in the six or so weeks since they applied. But, of course, that’s an unlikely strategy to inspire an admissions officer to root for a student. It’s why Ivy Coach’s Letters of Continued Interest contain no brags or updates, and they’re always — you guessed it — weird.
  5. In the New Year, encourage your child to bring that Letter of Continued Interest to their school counselor so they can make an advocacy call on their behalf — armed with the fighting words included in the letter. What your child’s school counselor says on this call matters big time and the Letter of Continued Interest can be great inspiration for them. Keep in mind, some school counselors — often at fancy schmancy schools — won’t make advocacy calls. But good school counselors will always make such calls. It’s literally their job.

Brown University Deferral FAQ

Is a Brown deferral meaningful?

Yes, unlike many of its peer institutions, Brown denies many more students than it defers in the Early Decision round. This past year, for the Class of 2028, the school denied over three-times as many students as it deferred. Is your child’s deferral not looking so shabby now?

Does Brown defer more candidates than it accepts?

Yes, Brown historically defers significantly more students than it accepts. This past Early Decision cycle, for the Class of 2028, Brown’s admission rate was 14.38% and the deferral rate was 16.8%. The year before, for the Class of 2027, the ED admission rate was 12.98% and the deferral rate was 19%. For the Class of 2026, the difference was more pronounced. The school accepted 14.6% of ED applicants and deferred 25%.

Does Brown defer more candidates than it rejects?

No, Brown rejects significantly more applicants than it defers. That’s not the case at all of America’s elite universities.

Should my child call their regional representative in Brown’s admissions office?

No, with the exception of your child’s Letter of Continued Interest, your child should not be making contact with Brown’s admissions office since such a move will only serve to annoy them. They do not wish to talk to deferred students. No one wants to speak to someone who didn’t get what they wanted. No one wants to chat with Augustus Gloop (that’s a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reference, FYI).

If my child’s high school counselor spoke to Brown after the deferral, do you think the reason they gave for the deferral is accurate?

No, we always want school counselors to make advocacy calls on a student’s behalf to Brown’s admissions committee. But if the admissions officer volunteers a rationale for why your child was deferred, it should be taken with six grains of salt. Why? Because they’ll never tell you the true reason why a student was deferred. It simply wouldn’t serve them to do so. Thus, the purpose of the call should not be to find out what went wrong but for the counselor instead to focus on what makes your child tick.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Brown Deferral

If Brown deferred your child’s case for admission to its Class of 2028, fill out Ivy Coach’s free consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to outline our post-deferral services, services which optimize your child’s chances of Regular Decision admission to Brown and the other schools to which they apply.

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