First-year students celebrate Opening Convocation All photos: Nick Dentamaro / Brown University

Date September 8, 2017
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Meet the Class of 2021

As Class of 2021 students begin their academic journeys at Brown, we asked five of them to tell us where they've been and what they hope for now that they're here.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Between moving into residence halls, learning how to navigate campus, shopping for classes, saying goodbye to families and getting used to the quirks of college life, it’s been a big week for the 1,719 first-year students who comprise the Class of 2021.

Having ventured to College Hill from 68 countries and 49 states across the U.S. — more demographics here — they represent nearly every cultural background, socioeconomic group and religious belief, and they arrive at Brown with distinctive personal histories, perspectives and ambitions.

Despite their many differences, talk to any small group of them, and you’ll inevitably find some common themes: a wide variety of academic interests, an intense love of learning and an authentic desire to make an impact on the world. Here are a few of their stories.

The Class of 2021: A Snapshot

A total of 32,723 students applied for admission to Brown’s undergraduate Class of 2021. The University admitted 2,801 students (8.6 percent), yielding a matriculating class of 1,643. (The addition of nine incoming Resuming Undergraduate Education students and 67 transfers makes for the total of 1,719 first-year students.) Here's a breakdown of the new class:


895 women (54 percent) and 748 men (46 percent)


  • 40 percent of the class are students of color
  • 13 percent of students are first-generation college students 

Financial aid 

  • 43 percent of the class will receive need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 54 percent of those students receiving financial aid have no loans in their financial aid awards
  • 26 percent have no expected parental contribution from income

Academic interests

Among the most popular intended areas of concentration are engineering, computer science, biology, biochemistry and molecular biology; business, entrepreneurship and organizations; political science, economics, neuroscience and international relations.


  • Members of the class come from 49 U.S. states and 68 countries
  • 16 percent of students were educated abroad
  • After the U.S., the top countries represented are China, India, Canada, South Korea and the United Kingdom