This guide contains tips and information for all applicants to streamline the process of applying to Brown. We hope you will enjoy the application journey, and we look forward to reading more about you.
Submitting Your Application: Step-by-Step
We strongly recommend that you apply online via The Common Application. The online system will guide you through the process of providing the supporting credentials appropriate to your status as a first-year, international, or transfer applicant.
If for any reason you prefer not to submit an electronic application, please refer to the paper application instructions.
Step 1) Begin by registering on The Common Application website if you haven’t already done so. Upon registering you will need to add Brown University to your list of colleges.
Step 2) Review both the Common Application and the Brown Supplement as presented to you on the Common Application website. Read each form and the online instructions carefully before entering your information. This will help you to gather the information you need and to avoid mistakes. Please also review the important application information that is specific to your status as a first-year, international, or transfer applicant.
Step 3) Complete the Brown Supplement. The supplement provides us with information specific to Brown and must be submitted before we can start an application file for you. Please submit the Brown Supplement before you submit the Common Application. Both must be received before the deadline - The Special Programs page contains more information on the Program in Liberal Medical Education and the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program.
Security Questions for the Brown Supplement:
- What is the name of the first school you attended?
- What is the name of your favorite childhood friend?
- What is your oldest sibling's middle name?
- What was the last name of your third grade teacher?
- What was your childhood nickname?
Click here for questions regarding the character limit on Brown's Supplement.
Step 4) Complete the Common Application before the deadline. The Common Application serves as a general application to a large number and range of colleges, so some questions may not be applicable to all institutions. Please keep the following in mind when completing the Future Plans section of the form:
- Entry Term: Freshmen may only enter Brown in the fall semester.
- Intention to Apply for Aid: Brown’s financial aid is based solely on need. We do not offer merit-based scholarships.
- College Housing: Brown students must live in residence halls for their first six terms, and housing is guaranteed for all four years on campus.
Step 5) Request School Forms. Depending upon your status as a first year, transfer, or international student, you will be presented with either online or paper methods of inviting appropriate school officials and teachers to supply records and recommendations. You do not need to wait until your application is complete to make this request of your counselor and teachers. We suggest that you begin the process early to give them plenty of time to respond before the deadline.
Step 6) All applicants must submit a non-refundable $75 application fee or submit a fee waiver. If the fee will present a financial hardship for you and your family, you may be eligible for a waiver of the application fee.
- Ask your guidance counselor to submit a Fee Waiver Request (Brown accepts the NACAC, College Board, and Expanding College Opportunities Fee Waiver request forms).
- If you are requesting a fee waiver and you select "Other Fee Waiver Request" on the common application Payment Tab, please have your guidance counselor email firstname.lastname@example.org with an explanation of your request.
- If you are a Questbridge finalist, you should select "Other Fee Waiver Request" and there is no need for you to email us with an explanation of your request.
Step 7) Arrange to have official test results sent to Brown before the deadline - please consult the First-Year Applicant page to see which tests we accept.
Tips for completing the Common Application
- When completing the essay and short answer portion of the online application, files cannot exceed 500 KB in size and should be in .doc, .docx, .wpd, .rtf, .xls, .pdf, or .txt format. Mac users must save the file with the appropriate three-letter extension.
- Please do not attempt to upload a document that is password protected or that contains macros.
- Give your recommenders plenty of time to complete and submit their forms. Be sure to fill in your parts of those forms. As a courtesy, provide stamped, addressed envelopes for recommenders who are submitting forms on paper.
- Observe all deadlines faithfully. Avoid submitting your application at the last minute.
- Make copies of every portion of your application. Ask your recommenders to keep copies of their forms and letters. This will make it easier for you to provide duplicates in the event that the original item becomes lost.
For technical or logistical difficulties while completing the online application, please refer to the Common Questions or the Help resources on the Common Application site.
If you have questions about the content of our application and are unable to find answers within this guide, please call us at 401-863-2378 during our regular office hours, or email us at email@example.com at any time.
For questions about financial aid please refer to the Financial Aid website.
Keeping Track of Your Application
To allow you to follow the progress of your application, we offer a secure and private Application Summary page where you can:
- Track the status of your application
- Check whether all required documents and test scores have been received
- Update your contact information
- Check the admission decision on your application
Early Decision applicants can expect to receive their userID and passkey within 10 days of submitting an application. Regular Decision applicants will receive an email with online tracking instructions following the January 2nd deadline.