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How to get into Brown University?

Overview

Internationally, Brown is not well-known as some of its rivals such as Harvard or Yale. Moreover, Brown's acceptance rate is higher than that of other Ivy League universities. Some have viewed it as an easier or less prestigious option within the Ivy League. That is a mistake. Brown is a very prestigious university with a rich history and famous alumni. Based in America's smallest state - Rhode Island - Brown has a unique community of students and academics with its own distinct ultra-liberal culture. It was the first University in the United States to accept students regardless of religious affiliation, doing so since its founding under the name of Rhode Island College in 1764. Especially after its revolutionary "New Curriculum" came into effect in 1969, Brown has offered what is probably the most interdisciplinary undergraduate programme of any elite university. If you want the option to try a bit of everything at once, and still specialise in later years , then Brown is for you.

1) Work on Super-Curriculars

Brown has over 10 people applying for each place. Standing out is tough. How can you be picked? The majority of applicants are applying with the narrative of being a well-rounded person. That is, someone who is good at everything including academics, public service, and sport. This is a mistake. By pitching yourself as an all-rounder you effectively are saying to Brown that you are no different to tens of thousands of other applicants. While it is important to display wide competencies, the focus of your application should be on one or two Super-Curriculars. These are activities at which you are able to truly excel and can be competitive at a national or even international level.

2) Sit the SAT/ACT exams

Brown requires everyone to have completed the SAT Reasoning exam (or the ACT as an alternative). The score for the SAT to aim for is 750+ and the score for the ACT to aim for is 33+. Brown also requires each candidate to complete the SAT Subject Tests. Here, you pick 3 subjects out of a list of 20 or so and then sit 3 separate papers. If you start preparation two years before applying you can't get it wrong. A good free online tool is Khan Academy where anyone can practice the SAT for free.

3) Create a CommonApp profile

Majority of applications to Brown are submitted via a portal known as the CommonApp. You can find it here. The portal requires you to provide detailed background information such as your name, age, and school details. You will also need to produce a number of admission essays. The questions to these essays are released on 1st of August of the year when you submit your application. It is recommended to start drafting them in August so that you are ahead of everybody else and have more time to sort out other parts of your application.

World-famous Chinua Achebe taught at Brown University

4) Submit the App by 1st November

Brown has 2 application deadlines: Early Decision ( 1st November - restrictive) and Regular Decision (1st January). Hard data shows that applicants have an advantage applying in the Early Decision round. We therefore recommend that you apply by the 1st of November to ensure that your application gets the best possible chance of being picked by Brown's admissions officers. That said, remember that submitting a complete application during the Regular Round is much better than submitting a rushed application during the early round! Remember that if you are successful in the Early Decision round you must withdraw your applications from universities elsewhere and you are bound to join Brown.

5) Continue to provide updates

Once you have submitted your application, it is imperative that you continue to provide the Admissions' Office with regular substantial updates regarding your progression as a candidate. Given the sheer number of people applying to Brown University, the decision to admit a candidate is not always straightforward. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate that you are a candidate who continues to push themselves all the way up until the last day of the decision-making process. This way, you show that you are not someone who will just rest on their laurels. If they are down to two candidates for a place, they are more likely to award the offer to the person who has been providing updates (assuming that the applications are similar in quality). Examples of updates could include news regarding your charitable work or updates on any extra academic work that you have been pursuing.

How to apply to Brown University?

1) Start very early. If you are leaving the preparation to a mere one year in advance, you are doing it wrong. Most admitted candidates will spend a minimum of two years working on their overall profile and the application. It is not uncommon for successful admitted candidates to start 3 or even 4 years in advance which means starting at the age of just 14.

2) Register and complete the SAT Reasoning (or the ACT) and SAT Subject Tests. If you are applying from a country where English is not an official language, you may also have to sit TOEFL - the English language exam. Both SAT exams are not straightforward and take time to master. A perfect score helps but won't get you in on its own. Remember that if you are doing the SAT, you should always include the optional written component. Similarly, while Brown only asks for 2 SAT Subject Tests, many admitted candidates will have completed 3 or even more. You can register for the SAT here.

3) Register and complete the CommonApp. This is a centralised portal through which you can apply to all of your US university choices, including Brown. CommonApp requires you to complete a number of essays and it is best to start early. Essay questions are released each year on the 1st of August. The deadline for Early Decision is 1st November and for the Regular Decision is 1st January. Remember that Brown is arguable the most progressive college in America, and it is important that your essays reflect on why you want to become a part of Brown community over any other. Submitting a generic essay won't fly.

4) Once you applied, be sure to continue communicating with the Admissions' Office and to provide them with regular updates.

Adam, a former student at Brown says: "Brown is unique. The flexibility and freedom that each one of us had to explore our passions is unparalleled and that sold it to me. I had an amazing 4 years here and I can not wait to come back here as an alumnus in the years to come."

If you want Allen & Jain to increase your chances at Brown admissions, then fill the form below to get in touch with us. Our clients applying to the Ivy League+ universities have enjoyed a success rate of 82% last year. Get in touch to see how we can help you.

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