Essay Scoop: How to Answer Brown Essays

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Brown University, one of the Ivy Leagues, has a highly competitive applicant pool with a 9.3% acceptance rate for the class of 2020. The short answer questions in this ivy league application provide you with the opportunity to stand out from the rest and explain how you would contribute to—and benefit from—the academic, social, and extracurricular activity at Brown.

Below we provide some advice on how to approach each question in the application.

Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated in our Member Section, earlier in this application? If you are “undecided” or not sure which Brown concentrations match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or modes of thought that engage you currently. (150-word limit)
Based on notes from Brown admissions officers, the university looks for self-direction in learning. This means that your goals are intimately tied to your academic pursuit. Explain the connection between them.

We all exist within communities or groups of various sizes, origins, and purposes; pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. (150-word limit)
Your surroundings shape your perspective. Sometimes you can pinpoint moments that have had a lasting impact on your understanding of the world. What are the salient factors that contribute to your identity (interpret broadly).

Tell us where you have lived – and for how long – since you were born; whether you’ve always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. (100-word limit)
As an expansion to the previous prompt, describe the space(s) you’ve grown up around and how they relate to who you are. These can be geographic areas or any other settings where you grew up.

Why Brown? (200)
This is a very straightforward “why us” question that requires research on aspects specific to Brown that match your interests, rather than just ivy league essays in general. Show that you have done some research on academic programs, professors, courses, clubs, or traditions, and mention your extracurricular activities that prove your interest in those specific Brown areas. It is important to talk about both Brown and why you would be a good fit.

Questions? Let us know!