PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — On Thursday, Dec. 17, Brown University invited 885 prospective students who applied through its early decision program to become the first members of its undergraduate Class of 2025.
The pool of 5,540 early decision applicants from which those students were admitted marked the University’s largest to date. Applications through the program, intended for prospective students who have expressed a commitment to attend Brown if accepted, increased 22% compared to the Class of 2024. It is the fourth consecutive year that early decision applications have increased, a trend that coincides with the launch of The Brown Promise initiative, which replaced loans with scholarship funds in all University-packaged undergraduate financial aid awards beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.
“In a year when the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented challenges for students and families across the country and around the world, we were more humbled than ever by the breadth and talent of our early decision applicants,” said Dean of Admission Logan Powell. “From among them, we are very excited to welcome to Brown an early decision cohort whose wide-ranging experiences and perspectives will enrich our community.”
Powell noted that this year’s early decision applicant pool was the most diverse in Brown’s history, with record numbers of first-generation college students, students from low-income families and students of color.
“Because of the pandemic, we worried that we might not see the number of applicants we would hope for among students from groups historically underrepresented at colleges and universities,” Powell said. “We are delighted that they in fact applied in record numbers.”
Powell noted that the cohort reflects the University’s sustained commitment to making a Brown education more accessible to students from every socioeconomic and geographic background.
Among this year’s admitted early decision students, 59% applied for financial aid, and 16% of students will be first in their family to attend college. Within the cohort, 48% are students of color, defined as those who self-identify as Black, Latinx, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or Asian — a 8% increase from last year.
Among the 885 accepted students are 45 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 is up from just three students as recently as five years ago.
Collectively, the accepted early decision students represent 46 nations, 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The top countries represented outside the United States are China, the United Kingdom, India, South Korea and Canada.
Applicants were able to learn their application status beginning at 2 p.m. EST on Dec. 17 via a secure website. All early decision applicants indicated that Brown was their first-choice college 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 2025 is Jan. 5, 2021.