Hello everyone! I had the opportunity to travel to Brown University this morning and meet with Liliana Ornelas, a northern California Admissions Officer. She is also a graduate of Brown and was very helpful in answering my questions. In contrast to Amherst College, Brown sits in the middle of Providence, R.I., which is a much bigger city than Amherst. It is surrounded by residential neighborhoods and is literally right in the hub of Providence. There are about 5600 undergraduate students from all over the continental United States as well as from overseas. Here is what I learned from Liliana in our meeting today:
- The transcript is the most important item during the application process. Readers are looking for AP and Honors classes and what to see that students are challenging themselves throughout their high school career.
- SAT/ACT - important but does not weigh heavily in comparison to the transcript, essay and the letter of recommendation.
- Student essays - This is one of the most important items in the application process. As Yale and Amherst Admission Officers have also said, let yourselves shine in this essay. Be honest, open and use this opportunity to explain any fluctuation in your grades during your high school tenure.
- Recommendations - Again, select teachers and counselors who have a strong relationship with you and can truly do a good job in writing about you and your qualities. This is key.
- Interview - optional. This is not mandatory in the application process. Often times, a Brown alum will interview a prospective student. Students can choose to interview or not. Again, it is not mandatory and will not "make or break" you.
- Extra curricular activities - Please note all activities. Even if that is babysitting, working, etc. It doesn't necessarily have to all be sports, music, theater, etc.
Brown Fun Facts:
- Brown is proud of its diverse campus. 30% students of color. 3rd World Center Group- Established in 1976 to serve interests and needs of all students of color and help celebrate their diverse cultural backgrounds but also have an impact on he wider community on campus. The center raises awareness of issues of race and ethnicity that confront students of color at Brown and within the larger national and international society. It does so by sponsoring lectures, receptions and other community-building activities.
- Academic advisor for all freshmen students
- There is a variety of groups and clubs to join for all students interested.
- Student to Prof ratio: 9-1
- Most undergraduate students graduate in four years.
- 98% graduation rate
- Some of the guest speakers who came to speak at Brown recently are: Spike Lee, Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese and John Edwards.
- Open curriculum-students have the opportunity to explore widely across the disciplines and decide for themselves what they truly want to study.
- One of the most important goals at Brown is "to develop active learners who take responsibility for their own education."
- As my tour guide, Natasha, stated, "Brown is a great school where you will find happy people enjoying their time here."