Committee on Financial Aid

  • Jim Tilton, Chair, Director of Financial Aid
  • Susan Harvey, Co-Chair, Professor of Religious Studies
  • Tracy Barnes, Director of Institutional Research
  • Alex Mechanick, Undergraduate Student
  • Jim Miller, Dean of Admission
  • Ken Miller, Professor of Biology
  • Rebecca Nedostup, Associate Professor of History
  • Jason Sello, Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Jonathan Vu, Undergraduate Student
  • Michael White, Professor of Sociology

To contact the committee chairs, send email to 

Brown’s goal is to provide the financial support necessary to attract an exceptionally talented, diverse, and global student community. Our success in this regard depends heavily on a system of need-based financial aid. For most applicants, admission to Brown is need blind—the admission office does not consider financial need when deciding whether to offer a student admission to Brown. The University pledges to provide an amount of aid consisting of a mix of scholarship and loan to meet full need as calculated by an agreed upon formula. In FY12, Brown budgeted approximately $90M for undergraduate financial aid, over 10% of our entire budget.

While our financial aid program is both broad-based and generous, we do not offer need-blind admission to transfer, RUE (return to undergraduate education) and international students, although the students we do admit receive full need-based aid. In addition, unlike some of our peers, loans make up part of our aid packages for students from families with incomes in excess of $100,000 per year. Finally, even with financial aid, paying for a Brown education can be challenging for many families in the middle class.

Your committee is charged with examining Brown’s current financial aid policies and recommending any changes you think would help us achieve our goal of attracting an exceptionally talented, diverse, and global student community. Be mindful of the fact that increases in the financial aid budget will depend upon some combination of increasing tuition faster for those who can pay the cost, diminishing the amount of money Brown spends on its academic needs, or raising new endowment. Therefore, like all other financial decisions, the challenge is to strike an appropriate balance among competing priorities.

Please be prepared to discuss your preliminary recommendations with the President and Provost by the end of the semester.