Date April 14, 2017
Media Contact

Brown to waive application fee for low-income students

Beginning with the class entering in fall 2018, eligible prospective students will no longer need to request application fee waivers personally.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Beginning with prospective undergraduates who apply for admission to the class entering in fall 2018, Brown University will automatically waive the application fee for any high school student eligible for free and reduced price lunch through the National School Lunch Program, as well as students enrolled in federal, state or local programs that aid students from low-income families.

Additionally, Brown will automatically waive the application fee for any student who belongs to a community-based or college access organization that promotes educational opportunity for low-income students. 

Brown already honors fee waiver request forms from the College Board, the National Association for College Admission Counseling and school counselors, as well as requests that come directly from applicants. This shift in approach will make fee waivers even more accessible to prospective students who need them most, said Logan Powell, Brown’s dean of admission.

“We want to ensure that for any student interested in coming to Brown, the cost to apply is not a deterrent,” Powell said. “We expect that this approach will not only encourage more talented students from low-income backgrounds to apply, but will also complement our broader commitment to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of every student who is ultimately admitted to Brown.”

The University will determine automatic fee waiver eligibility using information supplied via the Common Application, which all prospective students complete during the admission process. Students are asked to indicate if they are eligible for free lunch, enrolled in a state or federal program that aids low-income families or belong to a college access organization.

Students who do not meet these specific criteria, but for whom the application fee will still cause financial hardship, can request a waiver via the Common Application, through their high school guidance counselor, or by directly contacting Brown’s admission office.

The new approach comes amid continued discussions among students and senior leaders at Brown about accessibility for low-income students. Powell noted specifically conversations with student leaders from the University’s First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center.

“I am grateful for the initiative that student leaders took and the input they provided in thinking through strategies for ensuring that application costs are not a barrier to the admission process,” Powell said.