Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1998-1999 index

Distributed February 20, 1999
Contact: Mark Nickel

Questions and answers about Brown University's new financial aid policy

What are the new elements in Brown's financial aid policy, announced Feb. 20, 1999?

How many undergraduate students receive financial aid at Brown?

Of approximately 5,600 undergraduate students enrolled at Brown for the 1998-99 academic year, 2,100 (37%) receive University scholarship aid.

Will these changes increase the number of students on financial aid?

Increasing the number of financial aid students across all family income levels remains a longer-term goal which the University will address through its campuswide strategic planning process. The $1,000 minimum scholarship, which will affect approximately 4 percent of the entering class, is a step in that direction and will increase the number of students receiving University aid. The University's primary concern is to improve financial aid packages for students in the Class of 2003 and beyond.

How will the new policy change typical financial aid packages for students who receive University scholarship aid, compared to the current policy?

All students will receive more grant and less loan, depending on need. For planning purposes, the University used four groups based on total annual household income.

For the 1999-00 academic year, the new policy will make the following changes for students who receive University scholarship aid, compared to 1998-99 averages:

Current loan level (1998-99) $5,350 $5,350 $5,350 $5,350
New loan level (1999-00) $1,000 $2,500 $3,500 $4,350
Increase in grant $4,350 $2,850 $1,850 $1,000
Four-year loan total** $7,000 $11,500 $16,000 $19,000
%age change in loan total -70% -51% -31% -18%
* Categories are for planning purposes only. Actual financial aid calculations will take other factors into account, including family assets.

** Compared to an average indebtedness of $23,300 for 1998 graduates who received University scholarship aid.

Will Brown review offers from other schools?

Brown has always tried to respond to offers for admitted students who have been accepted at peer institutions, and this policy will continue.

Will Brown make changes to the financial aid packages of current students?

Brown provides 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need for students who matriculate. Financial aid packages for current students are examined annually and adjustments are made for increases in tuition and fees or for changes in family resources (e.g., a younger sibling entering college).

Loan levels and work expectations normally change as students enter their sophomore, junior and senior years. For returning students, the University will maintain those incremental changes at 1998-99 levels.

All students may use 100 percent of any outside financial aid to reduce the loan or campus work expectations of their financial aid packages.

Why does the new policy begin with the Class of 2003?

Brown's ability to attract the nation's most promising high school graduates has produced a student body that is broadly diverse, independent and immensely talented. That student body, together with the University's faculty and curriculum, is a defining element of life at Brown. Brown's new policy addresses a threat to the quality and diversity of the student body posed by changes in the marketplace.

What will happen to Brown's financial aid budget?

This year, Brown will spend $26.8 million of its own funds for undergraduate scholarship aid. In 1990, the University indexed its aid budget so that, at a minimum, the budget would increase as fast as total student fees. (In practice, the financial aid budget has increased much more than student fees.) The new scholarship aid policy will add an estimated $5 million to the budget during the next four years. By fiscal year 2004, the University's budget for scholarship is expected to reach approximately $41.1 million.

Will the new policy require a tuition increase?

No. The University's revenue stream for the 1999-2000 academic year will include significant expansions from non-tuition resources. These include a 12-percent increase from endowment and a 15-percent increase in alumni support through the Brown Annual Fund, among other sources.

Will tuition increase?

Yes. Brown has held annual increases in tuition and fees to historically low levels and it will continue to moderate those increases.

What does Brown hope to gain by making these financial aid changes?

Brown is committed to maintaining the social and economic diversity that has become an essential quality of campus life. By offering financial aid packages that are competitive in the marketplace, Brown will reduce financial concern as a predominant factor in student choice. Students who make Brown their choice will be able to attend. The new policy will also make Brown more attractive to students who would not have thought a Brown education possible because of the anticipated debt.

Have applications and admissions statistics changed in recent years?

Demand for a Brown education remains strong. In recent years, statistics for total applications, admission rate and yield (percentage of admitted applicants who matriculate) have set all-time records.

Class of '99 13,904 2,955 (21%) 1,419 (48.0%)
Class of '00 15,012 2,856 (19%) 1,511 (52.9%)
Class of '01 14,901 2,674 (18%) 1,423 (53.2%)
Class of '02 15,486 2,635 (17%) 1,461 (55.4%)

How have Brown's financial aid resources grown, compared to tuition and fees?

During the last decade, financial aid has been one of the fastest growing elements in the University's budget, averaging approximately 9 percent growth per year. During the last five fiscal years, tuition and fees have increased 4.2 percent annually, on average, while the financial aid budget has averaged 7.5 percent annual growth.

Tuition/feesAid budgetAverage grant*Average package**
1995-96 $27,340 $22.7 million $12,900 $19,400
1996-97 $28,658 $24.0 million $13,150 $19,850
1997-98 $29,900 $25.7 million $13,800 $21,050
1998-99 $31,060 $26.8 million $14,350 $21,850
1999-00 $32,280 $30.3 million n/a n/a
* Includes federal Pell and other grants

** Includes loan, work study, other non-family resources

What will a typical financial aid package look like next year?

University and other grants will continue to make up the largest portion of financial aid packages for qualified students from families with annual incomes of less than $85,000:

University and other grants $28,500 $24,000 $18,000 $9,650
Loans $1,000 $2,500 $3,500 $4,350
Campus work $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000
Student contribution 2,000 $2,500 $2,500 $3,000
Parents contribution $500 $3,000 $8,000 $15,000
* Categories are for planning purposes only. Actual financial aid calculations will take other factors into account, including family assets.

Related documents:

98-070  News release on new financial aid policy
98-074  Brown announces tuition for 1999-00 academic year