Financial aid at Brown is a partnership that draws on the combined resources of the student, his or her family, federal and state governments, and the University itself. Brown believes that the primary responsibility to pay for college lies, to the extent possible, with the family. Eligibility for aid from the University, therefore, is based on 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.

It is important that students apply for financial aid if they have reason to believe that the cost of attendance exceeds what they and their parents can reasonably be expected to contribute for their first and/or any subsequent year at Brown. Financial aid is renewable for all four undergraduate years, assuming eligibility continues. Students must reapply each year for financial aid. Renewal forms and procedures are distributed at the end of the fall term.