International or Foreign Students
Q. Is financial aid available for international students?
A. International students who do not apply for, and receive, financial aid upon admission to the University will not be eligible for University aid in future years. International citizens must apply for financial aid at the time of admission and meet all required financial aid deadlines, if they have reason to believe they will need assistance at any point during their time at Brown. For more details on financial aid policies at the time of admission for international students, please read the Need-Blind Policy information.
Q. How and when do I apply for financial aid if I am an international student?
A. Prospective International student application instructions, deadlines, and eligibility for financial aid are dependent on the category of student you are, such as Early Decision, Transfer, or Resumed Undergraduate Education Program (RUE). You can apply by clicking on "Applying: Prospective Students" on the left side bar.
Q. If I am a currently enrolled student who did not apply for, or receive financial aid at the time of admission, is there an option to apply in subsequent years if my family has had a sudden and unexpected change in circumstance?
A. In most cases, no. However, there are a limited number of isolated and extreme situations in which an international student may petition to apply for financial aid, and if approved, submit appeal documentation to our office for consideration. Please carefully review the International Student Appeal Policy for full details.
Q. Is financial aid available to cover travel costs for international students?
A. Students are responsible for all aspects of booking and paying for their own travel to and from Brown. Included in an international student's financial aid award is an allowance up to $1,500 to be used towards travel expenses each academic year. This allowance is an estimate, as actual travel expenses may be higher or lower than this amount. If a student's travel cost is more than this allowance, the student may explore the option of borrowing a loan to assist with the additional amount. Students should contact a Financial Aid Counselor to discuss this loan option and to learn about what documentation may be required.
Q. As an international student receiving University Scholarship, are there any additional requirements that I should be aware of?
A. As a recipient of scholarship assistance you are required to provide specific information about your immigration and tax status in the Foreign National Information System (FNIS). Please visit the Office of International Student & Scholars Services (OISSS) website for more information about this process.
It is extremely important that you complete this process soon after arriving on-campus. Please note that any Brown University scholarship assistance that you receive in excess of charged tuition and mandatory fees each semester may be subject to taxation, depending on your United States residency status, whether your country of residency has a tax treaty with the U.S., and your level of scholarship. Please visit the Taxation for International students section for more information. Submitting your information via the FNIS allows the University to determine if you are required to pay this tax. The amount of the tax is determined on a semester basis.
Any required tax will be charged to your Brown student account late each semester. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) if and when you are assessed this tax if you wish to pursue financing options to cover this expense.
Q. Is financial aid available for transfer students?
A. Yes, there is a limited amount of university funding set aside for students admitted through the need aware transfer admission process. Need aware means that financial need will be taken into account in making the admission decision. To be considered for financial assistance at any time during their undergraduate years at Brown, transfer students must apply for financial aid when they initially apply for admission as a transfer applicant. Students who do not apply for financial assistance with their initial admission application will not be considered for University Scholarship at any point during their undergraduate years at Brown, regardless of any changes in their family’s financial situation.
Click here for more information about financial aid for transfer students.
Q. How do I apply for financial aid?
A. Detailed application instructions and deadlines for transfer students can be found by clicking on "Applying: Prospective Students" on the left side bar.
Q. Will deferring my acceptance to the University affect my financial aid package?
A. Yes. Your current financial aid award is based on current information (budget and family contribution.) Should you defer your admission to Brown, you will need to submit updated financial aid materials to receive an updated financial aid award that will reflect Brown's costs and your family's financial situation for the time you enroll.
U.S. Citizens and permanent residents, who decide to defer their acceptance beginning with the Class of 2007, can apply for scholarship assistance in a future academic year even if they do not apply at the time of admission. However, students must submit an on-time application for any given year prior to being considered for scholarship assistance for that year. Deferred International or transfer students, who do not receive scholarship assistance at the time of admission, will not be considered for scholarship assistance during their time at Brown.
Q. What criteria do I need to meet to be considered independent?
A. Being independent means that no parent information is required to determine the student's estimated family contribution. Although you may be financially self-sufficient, the U.S. Department of Education assumes that "most students entering a postsecondary school straight from high school are financially dependent on their parents."
In order to be considered independent for federal financial aid programs, you must meet one of the following criteria established by The U.S. Department of Education:
- Student is over 24 years old (see FAFSA Criteria)
- Student is married
- Student has legal dependents other than spouse who receive more than half their support from you
- Student is an orphan or a ward/dependent of the court
- Student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
Please note that a determination of independence for federal purposes, such as a student who is over 24 years of age, does not warrant treatment as an independent student for the awarding of University Scholarship. Submission of parent income and asset information will still be required for determining eligibility for University Scholarship.
In unusual circumstances, such as abuse and neglect, students who do not meet the criteria above may be considered independent. If you believe that your circumstances qualify you for consideration as an independent student, please contact our office and speak with a financial aid counselor.
Q. Why do you require parent information even though I am considered independent according to federal criteria?
A. Brown believes that the primary responsibility for financing a student's education lies with the student and the family. Although a student may meet the federal requirements for independent status, Brown expects that parents will support their children through their undergraduate education. Financial aid at Brown is awarded solely based on a student and family's financial need. Should parents discontinue their financial support for reasons other than ability to pay, Brown will not assume the parental responsibility for financial support of the student. As a result, an independent student may qualify for federal financial aid, but not automatically qualify for Brown University Scholarship. Note: The only exception to this rule is a student who is admitted under the Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) program.
Q. My parents do not support me financially, does that make me independent for financial aid purposes?
A. No, lack of parental financial support alone does not suffice to be considered as an independent student.
Q. Does the Office of Financial Aid consider special situations?
A. Yes, typically in situations of parental abuse, neglect and/or drug addiction. If you feel that you have unusual circumstances that would qualify for treatment as an independent student, contact our office to speak with a financial aid counselor and discuss your situation. If your circumstances appear to warrant consideration as an independent student, your case will be taken to the Financial Aid Award Committee for a final determination of your status.
Q. Does acceptance to the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) affect my financial aid package?
A. No. Your financial aid application will be evaluated in the same manner as other undergraduate students in similar circumstances who were not admitted to the PLME. When you enroll in Brown's Medical School, your financial aid will be awarded by the Medical School's Office of Admission and Financial Aid according to their policies.