PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — On Friday, Dec. 15, Brown University invited 898 prospective students who applied through its early decision program to become the first members of its undergraduate Class of 2028.
The pool of 6,244 early decision applicants, the second largest in University history, reflected the University’s commitment to making a Brown education more accessible to students with a broad array of talents and experiences from every geographic and family background, according to Associate Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admission Logan Powell.
“The foundational members of the Class of 2028 possess an incredible depth of talent, perspectives and intellectual curiosity,” Powell said. “The admitted students demonstrate a profoundly meaningful understanding of Brown, how they can contribute to the community, and the ways they will benefit from sharing their own knowledge while also learning from others.”
The applicants were admitted through early decision, a program intended for prospective students who express a commitment to attend Brown if accepted. The number of admitted students who will be first in their family to attend college represents a 4% increase since last year, a trend that coincides with dedicated outreach to prospective students who come from rural, first-generation and low-income backgrounds, Powell said.
“This group of admitted students reflects Brown’s efforts to deepen our support for students from all geographic and economic backgrounds, and help them explore the incredible opportunities that a Brown education can provide,” Powell said.
Adjustments to Brown’s undergraduate application included the addition of new questions that called on applicants to write about three words that best describe them, their most meaningful extracurricular activity, what they would teach if they could teach any course, and why they want to attend Brown. Those elicited textured responses from the admitted students, who conveyed remarkable creativity and a passion for exploring interdisciplinary solutions to the many complex challenges facing the world, Powell said.
“Applicants articulated incredible examples of the ways that interdisciplinary research and academic work at Brown — whether it’s engineering and art, or neuroscience and music — will enable them to address solutions to a range of challenges,” Powell said. “These intersections are a hallmark of the Brown experience, which these admitted students are poised to embrace with enthusiasm and ingenuity.”
Among the diverse cohort of admitted students, 19% will be the first in their family to attend college and 12% are international citizens — both of which are the largest percentages in the last five years.
Geographically, the admitted students represent 52 nations and 45 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The top countries represented outside the United States are Canada, China (including Hong Kong), India, Peru, South Korea, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Among the 898 accepted students are 64 admitted through Brown’s partnership with QuestBridge, a national nonprofit that works to equalize access to top colleges and universities for high school students from low-income families. That number continues to grow each year and has swelled from just three students eight years ago.
Powell said the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 29 ruling that prohibits the consideration of race and ethnicity in college admission decisions impacted the admission cycle as the University worked to swiftly understand the new law and operate within the new legal framework. However, Brown’s longstanding approach of considering every prospective student individually based on many factors positioned it to adapt to the challenges of a shifting landscape, Powell said.
“The technical change was that we could no longer view a student’s race or ethnicity if they opted to include it in the optional boxes available on the application, but we have always put the individual at the center of our review and a box they checked was not going to determine an outcome,” Powell said. “As always, we continue to engage in a process that considers the totality of applicants’ academic ability, experiences and individual achievements, guided by a philosophy that seeks diversity of backgrounds and perspectives.”
As Brown prepares to welcome the newest class of admitted students, the Class of 2028 will be supported by multiple measures to strengthen its financial aid and access initiatives. In recent years, Brown replaced loans with grants in initial University financial aid packages and eliminated the consideration of a family’s home equity as an asset when calculating available financial resources; the University expects to become fully need-blind for international undergraduates starting with the Class of 2029.
Early decision applicants were able to learn their application status beginning at 3 p.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 15, via a secure website. All early decision applicants indicated that Brown was their first choice and agreed to accept an offer of admission if the University extended one.
The deadline for regular decision applications for Brown’s undergraduate Class of 2028 is Jan. 3, 2024.