The University received 28,671 applications for the class of 2016, marking a 7 percent decline from the previous year. This drop in applications follows a record-setting year in which the University received the largest number of applications in its history. This year's total ranks only behind the applications for the classes of 2015 and 2014, respectively, according to a University statement. In 2011, total applications rose by 3 percent, and in 2010, they rose by 21 percent compared to the year prior. Over the previous five years, the number of applicants had grown by almost 50 percent.
"We've anticipated this kind of leveling off in application numbers for
several years in the wake of slight declines in the number of high
school graduates nationally," said Jim Miller '73, dean of admission, in
the release. "And the reintroduction of early admission programs at
several peer schools increased the likelihood that applications would be
Brown is not the only school to experience a drop in applications this
year. Columbia, Harvard and Penn all received fewer applications, though
only Columbia's decline was greater than Brown's.
Harvard, which reinstated its early action program this year, received
34,825 regular decision applications, a drop of 1.9 percent, according
to an article published in the Harvard Crimson.
Meanwhile, the number of applicants increased at Dartmouth, Duke
University, Cornell, Stanford University and Yale, according to a New
York Times blog. Dartmouth saw an uptick in applications of 2.98
percent, Duke of 6.13 percent, Cornell of 3.53 percent, Stanford of 6.98
percent and Yale of 5.05 percent.
While the overall number of applicants decreased, international
candidates increased to constitute a record 16 percent of all regular
decision applicants. The largest contributors to the international pool
were China, Canada, Korea and India, compared to last year's group of
China, Korea, India, Pakistan and Turkey. The University received
applications from 141 countries, two more than it did last year.