Understanding your Student Contribution
The Student Contribution is the annual contribution that students are expected to provide toward their college costs and consists of a Summer Earnings Expectation and a Student Asset Contribution, if applicable.
The Summer Earnings Expectation is a standard contribution required by Brown for all students. For the Class of 2021, the summer earnings expectation is $2,700. Students generally earn these funds during the summer to contribute toward the costs of traveling to Brown and paying for books once they arrive on campus.
If you cannot earn the summer earnings expectation, you may either use an outside scholarship or borrow loan funds to replace any unearned summer earnings. If the balance on your account is $0, the proceeds will produce a credit balance, which can be refunded to you through a request to the Bursar's Office. Please keep in mind if you have a credit balance, this refund will not be available prior to the beginning of classes.
1. Use an outside scholarship to replace your summer earnings
- When completing the 2017-18 Outside Scholarship Form, indicate that you would like to use your outside scholarship to reduce your Summer Earnings Expectation.
2. Borrow a student loan to replace summer earnings
- If you are interested in this option, email Financial_Aid@brown.edu to request a loan. In your request, include the amount of loan you wish to borrow for the year; any amount we offer to you will be split in half and applied to each semester of enrollment.
The Student Asset Contribution is an expected percentage of students’ reported assets. Not all students have an expected contribution from assets.
Watch our video on the Student Contribution in our video library.
Buying Your Books
Included in your Cost of Attendance is an allowance for books and supplies to recognize you will incur these expenses. You should be prepared to pay for books and supplies and personal items out of pocket from your expected parent or student contribution (summer earnings) when you arrive on campus.
If you do not have available funds to purchase your books you have two options:
1. Borrow a student loan to assist in paying for your books.
- If you are interested in this option, please email the Office of Financial Aid to request a loan.
- Once you accept the loan online, it is applied to your student account. Assuming your bill is already paid in full, you may request a refund of the loan proceeds through the Bursar's Office. Please keep in mind if the proceeds create a refund, this money will not be available prior to the beginning of classes.
2. With your Brown ID, you may use your Bookstore line of credit to "charge" your book purchases to your student account
- Students have an annual $2,000 maximum credit line available.
- Any amount charged at the Bookstore will automatically appear as a charge on your student account, which is payable within 30 days (or interest fees will apply). Books can be charged via this method prior to the start of classes.
Financing your travel to/from Brown
Included in your Cost of Attendance is a travel allowance towards your travel costs to and from Brown. In most cases, students should be prepared to pay for travel out of pocket from your expected parent and/or student contribution (summer earnings).
If you do not have funds to pay for your travel to Brown you may:
1. Borrow a student loan to assist in paying for the cost of your travel.
- If you are interested in this option please contact the Office of Financial Aid to request a loan.
2. Use funds from part-time employment earned throughout the semester to help pay for travel costs.
- For details on job opportunities, including how to apply, please visit the Student Employment web site. Also check our Student Employment video.
Purchasing a computer
Not all students will need or wish to purchase a computer or laptop when coming to Brown. Therefore, the cost of a computer is not included in your estimated Cost of Attendance.
If you wish to purchase a computer, your Cost of Attendance may be increased to include the cost of a reasonably priced, education-related computer that could be paid for by using one of the following resources:
1. Use an outside scholarship to purchase your computer
- Notify the Office of Financial Aid of your outside scholarship by completing the 2017-18 Outside Scholarship Form.
- Email or bring in your computer receipt to the Office of Financial Aid.
- Once your outside scholarship payment is deposited into your Student Account (and assuming the balance on your account was $0), request a refund of the scholarship payment through the Bursar’s Office and reimburse yourself for the computer purchase.
2. Borrow a student loan to assist in paying for your computer.
- Bring your computer receipt to the Office of Financial Aid and we will assist you in securing a loan for the same amount.
- Once you accept the loan online and it is processed, it will be applied to your student account.
- If the balance on your account is $0, request a refund of the loan proceeds through the Bursar’s Office and reimburse yourself for the computer purchase
If you don’t have funds to pay for the computer up front, email us at email@example.com so we can discuss your options.
Financial Assistance for Student Health Insurance
Brown's Student Health Insurance fee can be waived if the student is covered by an alternative insurance plan that meets University requirements (please reveiw the Coverage Comparison Sheet for more information). If you are unable to waive the Brown insurance because you do not have access to comparable insurance coverage, you may be eligible to receive assistance to cover this fee. You will need to submit a Health Insurance Assistance form with all required documents to our office. The Office of Financial Aid will contact you by mid-July with the options that are available for covering this fee.
Working at Brown
If you plan to work on-campus or need a better understanding of the Federal Work-Study or Campus Employment component of your financial aid award, please review our Guide for Students.