Need Blind Admission

Brown has a need-blind admission policy for all US citizens and permanent residents.  Need-blind admission simply means that your ability to pay for your education will not be a factor in the admission decision. Its basic premise is that a family's financial circumstances will not be considered when reviewing a student's application for undergraduate admission.  This policy has allowed us to further open our doors to students who had previously thought an Ivy League education was out of reach. Brown is committed to maintaining a student body that is strong in intellect, diverse in character, and driven to achieve. Any student who possesses these qualities should have the opportunity to study at Brown. The need-blind policy further underscores this commitment. 

Financial Aid Initiatives Unique to Brown University

Financial aid is one of our highest priorities. Brown is committed to meeting a family’s full demonstrated financial need and has established several unique financial aid initiatives to better assist families.

For families (including both parents) with a total income below $60,000, and assets less than $100,000, no parent contribution is calculated towards the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). For families with total income below $100,000, the loan component of the financial aid award is replaced with additional scholarship. For families with total income below $150,000, reduced loans are awarded. Families with total incomes above $150,000 receive our standard award strategy, which includes loans, student employment, and then scholarship up to the level of need. Details on creating a financial aid package, initiatives unique to Brown,student effort level and/or how Brown University defines total income are highlighted in the A-Z index on our website.

For Example: A family of four with one student attending Brown as an incoming freshman in 2014-15, with a total parent income of $57,200 and assets of $68,000 could expect the following estimated financial aid award.

Basic Need Formula ~ Example    

Financial Aid Award


COST OF ATTENDANCE Billed and Indirect expenses $62,694 STUDENT'S NEED $60,094
      Award to meet NEED:  
Minus Parent Contribution $0 Work $2,750
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Student Contribution $2,600 Scholarship


= NEED Eligibility for need based financial aid =$60,094 TOTAL AWARD=NEED $60,094

Need-Based Financial Aid

We believe that financing a Brown education is most successful through a partnership that draws on the resources of the student, his/her family, federal/state governments, and the University itself. We also believe that the primary responsibility to pay for college, to the extent possible, lies with the family. Eligibility for financial aid from the University, therefore, is based on demonstrated financial need. Brown, as a member of the Ivy League, does not offer aid based on academic achievement, athletic ability, or any other form of merit or talent.

Brown meets the full demonstrated financial need of all applicants who meet the published financial aid deadlines. Based on eligibility, a financial aid award may consist of any combination of state grant, federal grant, standard amount of loan, and work-study/campus employment. The remaining demonstrated need would be met with University Scholarship. Students must reapply for financial aid each year and meet all published deadlines to preserve eligibility consideration.

Determining Eligibility

Brown University awards and distributes all of its aid based on demonstrated financial need only. To determine need, therefore eligibility for financial aid, we first measure the financial strength of the family. We collect financial information from the CSS Profile for all applicants and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for U.S. citizen applicants. We then verify this information with income tax returns for accuracy. Consideration is given to family marital status, number of dependents, number of children in the household pursuing an undergraduate education, unusual medical expenses, and federal, state, and local taxes, to name a few. Each analysis is reviewed individually, and in many cases modified, according to institutional policy. More details are available here.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The outcome of the family’s financial analysis is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  It is derived from both the stu