Rhode Island is one of the most beautiful states in the US and hosts Brown University, located in Providence. Brown is a private research university and the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.
It is that old, thanks to its founding in 1764 and its principles of a progressive, intellectually-curious atmosphere. That’s pretty unlike the uber-competitive and rigid atmosphere common at other elite institutions.
Brown moves from all that rigidity with its famous Open Curriculum, which gives students a chance to pursue their academic passion the moment they set foot on campus. That said, Brown is as selective as they come, with their acceptance rate hitting the 5% mark at some point. So if you want to earn a place at Brown, you have your work cut out.
In this article, you will learn why Brown has remained highly selective through the years, the current acceptance rate, and other requirements applicants must fulfill.
Brown University Acceptance Rate
Going by the early decision applications for the Class of 2026, Brown accepted only 896 out of over 6,000 applications. That translates to about a 14.6% acceptance rate for early decision classes.
But things take a turn for the main acceptance rate, which is 5.5% and significantly lower than the ED and other top institutions.
Further, the Class of 2026 saw the largest pool of applicants in Brown’s history at 50,649. From this number, just 2,546 emerged successfully and were admitted into Brown. That figure translates to a 5% acceptance rate – an all-time low for Brown. You will have to return to the Class of 2013 for a double-digit acceptance rate of 11.2%.
Brown University GPA Requirements
For Brown University, the GPA you need or that matters is the GPA that helps you get in. In line with that, the average GPA at Brown is a remarkable 4.08
Further, this school does not officially provide or report its average GPA, but from available data from over a thousand high schools, 4.08 is the mark to beat. That also means you must be at the top of your class, with straight A’s in various subjects, to compete with other applicants.
In addition, your chances dramatically increase with harder classes like AP or IB courses, which shows you can handle college-level academics.
If you have Brown in mind, maintain a near-perfect GPA, especially from your Junior year, or you will need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This way, you can still compete effectively against other applicants with higher GPAs. Your high school academics set the pace.
Generally, students that get into Brown have an average SAT score between 1440-1560 on the 1600 SAT scale. With that, Brown is strongly competitive for these test scores. Further, the 25th percentile SAT score is 1420, while the 75th percentile SAT score is 1550. As such, a 1420 SAT result is below average, but a 1550 is comfortably above average.
Another thing to consider is the Score Choice policy at your school because it will help you form a good testing strategy. To that extent, Brown, like other leading universities, uses the Superscoring method.
That means applicants can choose which SATs to send so that Brown can Superscore them for them. However, you must submit all the SATs you have ever taken, while Brown picks the highest section scores.
For example, if your current SAT Superscore is below 1550, you should seriously consider retaking the SAT and submit only the tests that give you a higher mark. Since you can retake the exams multiple times, it’s best to concentrate on the subject affecting your chances. Whether Math or Reading, you can focus on that subject and forget the rest.
The average ACT score needed to get into Brown is 33-35. That range is a bit easy but does not approach the exams with levity. Moreover, the 25th percentile ACT score is 32, while you’ll find the 75th percentile ACT score at 35.
That means applying with a 32 or below leaves you needing more luck to get in. But if your application has something very impressive, you can pull it out to save your low scores.
In addition, it’s a given that so many applicants will score 34 and above, so 32 won’t cut it easily. However, taking and submitting ACTs has more benefits than SATs because you can control what you send. You could take more than five tests and decide to send the best one, unlike SATs, where it’s compulsory to send each one you have ever attempted.
Brown University will accept any ACT score you provide, but don’t expect it to Superscore them. It needs your ACT scores from a single sitting, regardless of the year or number of times.
Brown: How Applicants Are Evaluated
Brown wants students that have an intense curiosity and aspire to impact society and the world with their abilities. However, it has to narrow down the wide pool of applicants to about 5.5% to decide which talented and accomplished applicant best meets Brown’s standard.
Additionally, Brown moves away from stereotypical assessments to conduct a holistic admissions process. According to the admissions office, the process is centered on discovering how each applicant would contribute and benefit from its strong academic, social, and extracurricular activities.
To achieve that, Brown uses these eight categories, which it considers “very important” to the admissions process:
- The rigors of secondary school academics
- Class rank
- Grade Point Average
- Standardized test scores
- Application essays
- Personal qualities/character
Extracurriculars are important to Brown, so you must bring genuine value and excellence to one or more activities. Whether you stand out in your high school’s debate team, at a science fair, or research work, Brown could do with your willingness to grow.
Moreover, Brown has 38 varsity sports teams that present about 900 undergraduates every year. The bottom line is that Brown encourages you to stand out more than your previous experiences.
Brown University Yield Rate
Brown has quite an impressive yield rate at 69%. Even though that places them behind Havard, Stanford, and Yale, it’s a good figure and well-above other leading higher institutions.
For example, Cornell and Northwestern have 64% and 60% yield rates, respectively. At 69%, it is clear that most students applying to Brown choose it as their first choice. In addition, it shows that many applicants make a binding decision to attend once admitted by Brown University.
Brown: Tips to Help You Apply
With thousands of applicants, you can check out these tips to beat the competition:
- Brown gives applicants options concerning alumni interviews, which can be conducted over the phone/Skype, in person, or via submission of a two-minute video portfolio. For the latter, applicants can upload a video on their Applicant Portal on any topic they choose. Some popular topics include: why you chose Brown University, your academic interests, your community, and an individual who has influenced you.
- According to Brown, a typical class includes 10-12% of students classified as legacies. That refers to students that many have an immediate relative like a parent who attended the school. Applicants with Brown lineage have an advantage during the admissions process.
- Brown is not interested in “demonstrated interest.” Applicants do not have to worry about making campus visits or connecting through social media to prove Brown is their favorite or top choice.
- Brown is big on teacher recommendations, and the admissions office closely studies them. You will need to ask some of your teachers in major subjects who believe in you and know more about your ability to write a recommendation. That in Iles strong language about your academic prowess. For example, if you’re top in math or among the top 1% in AP or IB courses.
Final Words: Is Brown Worth It?
Brown University is worth it. It’s one of the best universities in the United States, and a 69% yield rate suggests many students think so.
Sure, Brown is highly-selective and will prove challenging to get into, but the high level of academic discipline and other activities are huge draws. Meanwhile, it has engaging extracurriculars, including sporting activities, to help create well-rounded students.
Now that you know what it takes to get into Brown, such as an acceptance rate of 5.5% and better standardized test scores, do all you can to fulfill the admissions requirements.
Your test scores, GPA, and personal interests should combine well to see you admitted. Also, stay abreast with the latest Brown University trends and learn more about what improves your chances of success.