Brown University, located in Providence, Rhode Island, is known for being a leading research university. Brown University tuition for the 2021-22 school year was $62,304, which is nearly double the average for private four-year universities at $35,807 per year.
Costs for 2021-22
Tuition & Fees
Books & Supplies
Room & Board
Total Cost of Attendance
At Brown, 55% of students receive some kind of financial aid, including student loans and scholarships, to help pay for Brown tuition. Brown has been need-blind for domestic students for nearly 20 years, which means an applicant’s financial background isn’t taken into consideration during the application process. Anyone, regardless of income and financial situation, can apply.The university is currently making strides to offer the same need-blind process for international students.
Generally, financial aid is monetary assistance awarded to students based on personal need and merit. Students that qualify for financial aid can use it to pay for college costs like tuition, books, and living expenses.
The federal government is the largest provider of student financial aid. However, aid can also be given by state governments, colleges and universities, private companies, and nonprofits. The different types include:
• Scholarships: These can be awarded by schools and other organizations based on students’ academic excellence, athletic achievement, community involvement, job experience, field of study, and financial need.
• Grants: Generally based on financial need, these can come from federal, state, private, and non-profit organizations.
• Work-study: This federal program provides qualifying students with part-time employment to earn money for expenses while in school.
• Federal student loans: This is money borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education. It comes with fixed interest rates that are typically lower than private loans.
Colleges, universities, and state agencies use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial aid eligibility. The FAFSA can be completed online, but note that state and federal and school deadlines may differ.
You can find other financial aid opportunities on databases such as:
While just 11% of Brown students take out federal student loans, even fewer (3%) take out private student loans. The average private loan is $24,697 a year.
Private loans are funded by private organizations such as banks, online lenders, credit unions, some schools, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations. While Federal student loans have interest rates that are regulated by Congress, private lenders follow a different set of regulations so their qualifications and interest rates can vary widely.
What’s more, private loans have variable or fixed interest rates that may be higher than federal loan interest rates, which are always fixed. Private lenders may (but don’t always) require you to make payments on your loans while you are still in school, compared to federal student loans which you don’t have to start paying back until after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time.
Private loans don’t have a specific application window and can be applied for on an as-needed basis. However, if you think you may need to take out a private loan, it’s a good idea to submit your FAFSA first to see what federal aid you may qualify for as it generally may have better rates and terms.
If you’ve missed the FAFSA deadline or you’re struggling to pay for school throughout the year, private loans can potentially help you make your payments. Just keep in mind that you will need enough lead time for your loan to process and for your lender to send money to your school.
Given that the total cost of attendance at Brown is $82,570 per year, it would cost $330,280 over four years, based on the 2021-22 Brown University tuition. The average cost for private school tuition and room and board in the U.S. is $54,480 a year, which makes it $217,920 for four years, according to CollegeData.com.
Whether Brown students take out student loans, receive scholarships, or pay for the tuition themselves, they will pay $62,304 a year (based on 2021-22 Brown tuition) plus an additional $16,346 a year for room and board.
The average tuition for private four-year schools is $38,070, and room and board is $13,620, making the total $51,690 per year.
Graduate Tuition and Fees
Costs for 2021-22
Total Cost of Attendance
There are graduate loans and scholarships available to help cover the graduate school tuition ($60,944) and fees ($1,139).
Cost per Credit Hour
While most students opt to attend Brown University full-time, others attend part-time. In this case, tuition is based on the number of units the student takes, and the cost per tuition unit is $7,835.
Campus Housing Expenses
Costs for 2021-22
Books & Supplies
Room & Board
*Based on available units on Brown Real Estate housing website in 2022.
First-year students at Brown are required to live on campus, and 74% of other undergraduates choose to continue to do so. First-year undergrads have roommates in residence halls that house 50-60 students. Returning students may live in private single rooms, suites, or apartments, based on a lottery system.
Students interested in living off campus can find housing through Brown Real Estate’s website (explore auxiliary housing options here ). Housing typically includes utilities such as heat, hot water, gas, and electricity, and leases are for 12 months. Types of housing vary, but range from $925 to $1300 per person per month.
Brown University Acceptance Rate
Number of applications
The Brown acceptance rate is low because the school has high standards for its students. Here are the requirements for applicants.
• School report
• Midyear school report and transcript
• Counselor recommendation
• Two teacher evaluations/recommendations
• Bachelor of Science and PLME recommendations (if applicable)
• Final school report and transcript
• Secondary school GPA
• Secondary school rank
• Admission test scores (SAT/ACT)
The deadline for Early Decision is November 1, and the Regular Decision deadline is January 5. You can apply here .
SAT and ACT Scores
Like many universities, Brown is waiving the requirement for standardized test scores for first-year applicants for the 2022-23 school year.
Here are the 25th and 75th percentile of test scores for Brown students:
SAT Evidence-Based Reading/Writing
Popular Majors at Brown University
Brown University offers more than 80 undergraduate programs and 2,477 courses. Here are the most popular majors.
1. Computer Science
Brown offers fields of study in both general computer science and computer science with an emphasis in economics. Students learn about artificial intelligence, databases, distributed systems, networks, operating systems, programming languages, and robotics and security.
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 253
Students focusing on economics learn how individuals, businesses, and governments allocate resources to meet goals. Economics majors may go on to work in business, finance, or government organizations.
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 177
3. Applied Mathematics
Brown offers several undergraduate programs in applied mathematics, including those in biology, economics, and computer science, as well as general applied mathematics.
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 119
While studying biology, students learn about cell and molecular biology, structure and function, and organismal biology.
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 116
5. Political Science
Students of political science examine how people live, govern themselves, and solve problems in communities around the world.
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 78
Brown sends highly-trained students of biomedical, chemical, computer, electrical, materials, and mechanical engineering out into the workforce. The course load also includes classes in math, computing, and chemistry.
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 70
7. Public Policy
Students that major in public policy will learn how to analyze social problems and create solid policies and practices for communities.
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 68
English students dive deep into English literature, including poetry, fiction, drama, film, creative nonfiction, digital media, and theory.
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 64
9. Public Health
When studying for a public health degree, you’ll learn how social, political, behavioral, and biological sciences contribute to patterns of health and disease.
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 58
If you’re interested in topics like visual physiology, neurochemistry, and behavior, a degree in neuroscience might be of interest. In addition to diving into these specific fields, you’ll also learn about psychology and cognitive science, and the mathematical and physical principles involved in modeling neural systems.
Brown has an exceedingly high graduation rate. For example, here are the percentages of first-year students in 2014 who graduated:
• 4 years: 84%
• 6 years: 95%
Post-Graduation Median Earnings
The median earnings for Brown graduates is $78,943. In contrast, the median salary for graduates of four-year schools is $47,891.
Brown is a prestigious school with stringent requirements for admissions. If you are at the top of your class, you may stand a chance of getting accepted, even if your financial need is high since the school is need-blind.
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