Credit: Nicholas Dentamaro

Noah Hoffman

Aspen, Colorado

When Noah Hoffman graduated from high school in Aspen, Colorado, he decided to throw himself into competitive cross-country skiing rather than head to college.

The decision paid off. 

Hoffman became the top distance racer in the country and ultimately competed in two Olympics —Sochi in 2014 and PyeongChang in 2018.

With his competitive career coming to a close, Hoffman decided it was time to finally pursue a degree, so he applied and was accepted to Brown’s Resumed Undergraduate Education program. Each year, the RUE program enrolls 24 undergraduates at Brown who have been out of high school for six years or more and have not yet completed a college degree. 

Hoffman applied to RUE program because he says it will enable him to have a more traditional college experience. Unlike many other programs for older students, RUE is a full-time, four-year program.

“To have the opportunity for a high-quality education that I passed on 11 years ago, to get to do it now, is really important to me,” Hoffman said. “I’m grateful to be able to start out at the very beginning and to have four years to figure out what I want to do.”

Though his program of study is still up in the air, Hoffman said he is looking forward to taking advantage of the Open Curriculum to try a wide array of courses that touch on public policy, economics and law. He ultimately hopes to use what he learns in classes like these to address social justice issues such as income and opportunity inequity.

“My life is defined by my privilege,” Hoffman said. “I grew up in one of the most affluent communities in the U.S., in the wealthiest country in the world. I am white, male, straight and cisgender. I hope to effect change by finding a way to give more people opportunities like the ones that I’ve had.”

While Hoffman says he’s excited to explore the opportunities and pathways that the Open Curriculum offers, he said it’s ultimately the community he hopes to make here that he’s looking forward to the most.

“So far everyone has been incredibly welcoming,” Hoffman said. “It seems like this community is really supportive of each other and really invested in every individual’s success and I’m excited about that.