Early applications to Brown are up 21 percent from last year, according to Jim Miller ’73, dean of admission. They numbered over 2,850 at the Nov. 1 deadline, he said, up from 2,343 last year.
Miller said the results were “unexpected,” especially during tough economic times.
“It does seem that people do perceive Brown as having great value,” he said, adding that people seem “very willing to invest in a Brown education.”
A difficult economic climate can sometimes lead applicants away from binding programs, like early decision admissions, that may restrict their financial aid options.
Applications to the Program in Liberal Medical Education were up 35 percent over last year, Miller said. Because applications had decreased last year, this year’s increase
means that about as many applicants applied this year as two years ago, he said.
The number of minority applicants also rose “pretty significantly,” Miller said. The University received 75 percent more applications from Hispanics than last year and 60 percent more from blacks.
The University has put a lot of effort into recruiting a diverse applicant pool, Miller said.
International applications also increased, Miller said. The state-by-state distribution of American applicants was relatively steady, he added.
Also noteworthy was a 27 percent increase in the proportion of applicants who said they are interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, Miller said.
Though it is impossible to know for sure, Miller said, the large increase could foreshadow changes in the regular decision numbers as well.
What is “most interesting” about the overall increase is what it “portends for regular decision,” Miller said.
The early applicant pool looks “very powerful,” he added.
The University aims to enroll just under 1,500 students next year, as usual, Miller said. The percentage of early decision students in the final class size typically ranges from the high twenties to low thirties, he said, and he does not expect that to change this year.
Decisions will be available online to applicants the night of Dec. 14.