Cost of Attendance represents a combination of direct charges and estimated indirect expenses. Standard direct charges will appear on your Brown billing statement and may include: tuition, fees, room, and board (meal plan). Standard indirect expenses include: books, personal expenses, travel, and miscellaneous. Students may experience different levels of indirect expenses; however, the values listed represent allowances provided for the academic year.

Not included in your Cost of Attendance are individual expenses that may be specific only to you. For example, you are required to have health insurance while attending Brown. If you do not waive the University's health insurance plan, your Cost of Attendance will include an additional component for this charge, which for the academic year 2017-2018 is $3,615.  Additional individual expenses not included may include: clothing for the New England climate, computer expense, additional trips home during the academic year, etc.

**Travel allowance –An allowance for travel will be included in your Cost of Attendance.  You are responsible for all aspects of booking and paying for your own travel to and from Brown.  To pay for travel up front, students are expected to use a portion of the funds they earn over the summer, as well as funds that are earned throughout the academic year as part of a student’s on or off campus employment.


2017-18 Cost of Attendance

Direct/Billed Charges


Tuition and fees


Housing and Meals (on or off campus)


Subtotal - Direct charges




Indirect Estimated Expenses




Personal, Travel, Miscellaneous



Total Direct and Indirect Charges


Creating a Financial Aid Package:

The Office of Financial Aid determines your financial need upon review of your financial aid application. Financial need is determined by subtracting the calculated student contribution from the cost of attending Brown.

Cost of Attendance(COA) - Student Contribution (SC) = Financial Need

The SC is composed of (1) Student Contribution from Summer Earnings and (2)  Student Contribution from Assets. The Student Contribution from Summer Earnings is a standard amount that is evaluated each year. All students at Brown are expected to contribute from their summer income to defray the costs of their education. The Student Contribution from Assets is the result of a series of calculations explained in the Needs Analysis section on our web site.

Let's assume the following:

Cost of Attendance


Student Contribution from Summer Earnings  


Financial Need


Once our office has determined the level of financial need, we create a financial aid package. A package is created in this order:

  • State and/or Federal Grants
  • $5,000 loan
  • $2,900 work-study/campus employment
  • Remaining need in University Scholarship

Using our sample student above, examples of awards based on the student’s year in school are as follows:


Financial Aid Package

University Scholarship


Work-Study/Campus Employment




Total Financial Aid


* Please note, the examples above are based on the current standard Student Contribution from Summer Earnings for RUE students, which is $3,500.  

** The above example is not a guarantee of an expected package.  This package exists to demonstrate the components of a Brown University financial aid package.

*** Brown University’s Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) program has received a gift that will provide $1 million annually in financial aid scholarship funding for the next 15 years. The gift, from an anonymous donor, will provide loan relief, work-study/campus employment relief, and waivers of required summer earnings.