Along with the basic Common Application essay, the Ivy League schools require supplemental essay responses. These additional essays help these elite schools gain a deeper understanding of you as an applicant. They are your opportunity to explain how the school is a good match for you and how you can enhance the college community. These schools want to know what is important to you and how they fit into your goals for the future.
When addressing each prompt, it is essential to consider the overall character and focus of the school in relationship to your personal objectives. Visit the school website, read about their educational mission, and think about how the school supports your interests. Did you know that an impressive 100% of Brown faculty teach undergraduates? As the first Ivy League school to accept students from all religious affiliations, Brown is known for its openness. It is also renowned for its innovative approach to education and outstanding research. Brown is committed to undergraduate autonomy and the process of free inquiry. For students this means that while a framework of specific departmental concentration requirements guides you, you must take responsibility as an “architect of your courses of study.” Take a close look at the distinctive Brown Curriculum on the school’s website. Imagine what it might be like to have this level of control over the content of your studies.
Brown University supplemental essay prompts
Brown University supplemental essay #1
Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about an academic interest (or interests) that excites you, and how you might use the Open Curriculum to pursue it. (250 words)
Do not underestimate the impact of this response—it is a direct and powerful question. In short, why Brown and why the Brown Curriculum in particular? This is your opportunity to convey how the college fits with your interests now and potentially in the future. How and why does the Brown Curriculum appeal to you? What attracts you to this approach, and what might you gain through the process? What are your thoughts about its educational approach?
Consider how the Brown Open Curriculum complements your learning style. Think about why you are attending college and how Brown supports your goals. Is it relevant to you that 80% of Brown students go on to graduate or professional school? Are you planning to go on to graduate studies? What specifically draws you to Brown that you cannot find anywhere else? Discuss the subject areas you are interested in studying. Consider what specifically attracts you to explore these areas. You can include examples from previous coursework, volunteer experience, personal research, or any other factors that influence your interests. How you respond to this question demonstrates your potential to succeed in Brown’s independent academic framework. Don’t panic if you are truly undecided. This is a great opportunity to reflect on how you approach learning and discuss which subjects engage you. As you explain the scholarly topics you are passionate about, you are providing a context for your interests and offering insight into how you navigate and process your world.
Brown University supplemental essay #2
At Brown, you will learn as much from your peers outside the classroom as in academic spaces. How will you contribute to the Brown community? (250 words)
Last year, this question was part of another prompt—this year it stands alone. The admissions committee clearly wants to know how you might add value to the diverse Brown community. How students interact outside the classroom is important at Brown. If you did your research, you will be able to identify what you find most exciting about the Brown approach (in addition to subjects and faculty you may have mentioned in a previous response). Keep the diversity of the student body in mind and think about how you might benefit from and augment the cohort. Consider how you engage with your peers and examine how you might get involved at Brown. What kinds of opportunities might be available to you? Share your enthusiasm here! Discuss how you can contribute to the intellectual and social community at the school. As you engage with the community at Brown, how might you in turn also enhance that community?
Brown University supplemental essay #3
Tell us about a place or community you call home. How has it shaped your perspective? (250 words)
This question emphasizes the importance of understanding your “place” within a community context. This prompt allows you to share your geographical, cultural and/or social landscape. Take a moment to ponder what this reflects about how you view yourself in relation to others. Discuss a place or community that is significant to you and why. In addition to describing the place/home/community, you must focus on the influence it had on you. Your response to this question helps to provide a rich context for your life experience. Are there specific cultural or religious ties? Is it a diverse or homogeneous community? Delve into why you feel comfortable there and what role you play. Most importantly, why is this place/home/community an essential part of who you are and possibly who you hope to become—how has it shaped you?
Note: If you are interested in Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics or Physics, you must complete additional Science/Engineering statements. Likewise, if you are applying to the 8-year Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) or the 5-year Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program (BRDD), you must also complete additional special programs statements.
Final thoughts on applying to Brown
There are a lot of numbers to take into account. Brown has a highly competitive applicant pool. It received 38,674 undergraduate applications for the class of 2023. Only 2,551 or 6.6% were offered admission and more than 94% of the students admitted were in the top 10% of their high school class. Your essays make you more than the sum of your numbers.
Don’t panic. The best approach is to stay relaxed and focused. Keep in mind, while adhering to the designated word limits, your goal is to distinguish yourself from your peers by sharing your personal examples, anecdotes, and perspectives. In short, by providing sincere insight into what makes you unique and a good match for Brown! Be sure to allow yourself appropriate time to reflect on your educational goals and to convey your most compelling self to the admissions committee through your essay responses.
If you’re applying to Brown University, you already know you’re up against tight competition. Don’t be overwhelmed. Get the guidance of an experienced admissions specialist who will help you stand out from the highly competitive applicant pool so you can apply with confidence, and get accepted! Click here to get started!Marie Todd has been involved in college admissions for over twenty years. Marie has both counseled applicants to top colleges and evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology; School of Nursing; and Taubman College of Architecture. Want Marie to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch with Marie Todd.