Brown University vs Bryn Mawr: Which is the Better Choice?

July 13, 2023
By AdmissionSight
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Brown University vs Bryn Mawr: Which is the Better Choice?

Choosing the right university can be a daunting task, especially when faced with two great options Brown University and Bryn Mawr College. Both institutions offer an excellent education in a supportive environment, but which one is the better choice for you? In this article, we’ll compare Brown University vs Bryn Mawr in terms of location, admissions, curriculum, student life, and more, to help you make an informed decision.

Introduction to Brown University and Bryn Mawr College

Before we dive into the details, let’s take a quick look at the two institutions. Brown University is a private Ivy League research university located in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764, it’s one of the oldest universities in the US and has a long history of academic excellence.

Bryn Mawr College, on the other hand, is a private women’s liberal arts college located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1885, it’s a relatively newer institution but has gained a reputation for its challenging academic programs and supportive community.

Both Brown University and Bryn Mawr College have a diverse student body and offer a wide range of academic programs. Brown University has undergraduate programs in over 70 concentrations, as well as graduate programs in various fields such as engineering, medicine, and public health. Bryn Mawr College offers undergraduate programs in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, as well as graduate programs in fields such as education, social work, and humanities.

Location and Campus Comparison: Providence vs. Philadelphia

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a university is its location. Brown University is located in the heart of Providence, Rhode Island, a small city with a rich culture and history. The campus is spread out across several blocks and is within walking distance of downtown Providence, which offers a range of restaurants, museums, and other attractions.

Bryn Mawr College is located about 11 miles outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The campus is situated on over 100 acres and is surrounded by a suburban residential area. While Philadelphia offers a range of cultural and entertainment options, students may need to rely on public transportation or a car to explore the city.

one of Bryn Mawr College buildings

Providence is known for its vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues. Brown University students have the opportunity to attend performances and exhibitions by local artists, as well as those hosted by the university itself. Additionally, the city is home to several annual festivals, including the Providence International Arts Festival and the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

On the other hand, Philadelphia is famous for its historical landmarks, such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Students at Bryn Mawr College can take advantage of the city’s rich history by visiting museums and landmarks, as well as attending events like the annual Philadelphia Flower Show and the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.

Admission Process and Acceptance Rates at Brown University vs Bryn Mawr College

Both Brown and Bryn Mawr have highly selective admissions processes. Brown University received nearly 40,000 applications for the class of 2025 and admitted only 5.4% of applicants. Bryn Mawr College received over 4,200 applications and admitted just 39% of applicants.

Both universities require a range of materials for the application, including transcripts, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation. Brown University also offers the option to apply test-optional, meaning students can choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores.

Despite the highly selective admissions processes, both Brown and Bryn Mawr have a diverse student body. Brown University has a student population of over 10,000 students, with 51% of students identifying as students of color. Bryn Mawr College has a smaller student population of just over 1,300 students but boasts a diverse student body with 44% of students identifying as students of color.

Once accepted, students at both universities have access to a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities. Brown University offers over 80 undergraduate concentrations and has a strong focus on interdisciplinary studies. Bryn Mawr College has a strong tradition of women’s education and offers a range of majors and minors in the liberal arts and sciences.

A Look at the Curriculum Offered by Brown University and Bryn Mawr

Both Brown University and Bryn Mawr College offer a rigorous academic curriculum with a focus on critical thinking, writing, and research. Brown University offers over 80 concentrations across a range of disciplines, allowing students to tailor their education to their interests. Bryn Mawr College offers majors in over 35 fields of study, with an emphasis on the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

One notable difference between the two institutions is that Bryn Mawr College has a strong emphasis on language learning. All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in at least one language other than English before graduation.

Another difference between Brown University and Bryn Mawr College is the size of their student bodies. Brown University has a larger undergraduate population, with over 7,000 students, while Bryn Mawr College has a smaller undergraduate population of around 1,300 students. This difference in size can impact the classroom experience, with smaller class sizes at Bryn Mawr College allowing for more individualized attention from professors.

Additionally, both institutions offer a variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to get involved on campus. Brown University has over 500 student organizations, including clubs focused on community service, sports, and the arts. Bryn Mawr College also has a range of student organizations, with a particular emphasis on social justice and activism.

Faculty and Student Ratio: A Comparison Between Brown University vs Bryn Mawr College

Both Brown and Bryn Mawr pride themselves on their small class sizes and low faculty-to-student ratios. Brown University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1, meaning students have ample opportunity to work closely with professors. Bryn Mawr College has a slightly higher student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1, but still offers a highly personalized educational experience.

students listening intently to a class discussion

It is important to note that while Bryn Mawr has a higher student-to-faculty ratio, they also have a unique program called the Tri-Co (Tri-College) program. This program allows students to take classes at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore colleges, which expands the number of courses and professors available to them. This program helps to offset the slightly higher student-to-faculty ratio and still provides students with a personalized and rigorous education.

Extracurricular Activities: Clubs, Sports, and Other Opportunities at Brown University vs Bryn Mawr College

Getting involved in extracurricular activities is an important part of the college experience. Both Brown and Bryn Mawr offer a wide range of clubs and organizations, including cultural, political, artistic, and athletic groups.

Brown University has a strong athletic program with 38 varsity sports teams for men and women. Bryn Mawr College offers several varsity sports teams as well and also has a noteworthy equestrian program.

In addition to the athletic programs, both Brown and Bryn Mawr offer unique opportunities for students to get involved in research and community service. Brown’s Swearer Center for Public Service provides students with the chance to engage in meaningful service projects and internships in the local community. Bryn Mawr’s Praxis program offers students the opportunity to work on research projects with faculty members and community partners.

Furthermore, both schools have a strong commitment to the arts. Brown’s Granoff Center for the Creative Arts provides students with state-of-the-art facilities for music, theater, and visual arts. Bryn Mawr’s Performing Arts Series brings world-renowned artists to campus for performances and workshops.

Career Prospects after Graduating from Brown University or Bryn Mawr College

Both Brown and Bryn Mawr have strong career services programs that help students prepare for life after college. Brown University’s CareerLAB offers a range of resources including resume and cover letter reviews, interview preparation, and job and internship postings. Bryn Mawr College’s LILAC (Leadership, Innovation, and Liberal Arts Center) offers similar resources as well as workshops on networking and other professional skills.

According to data from College Factual, recent graduates from Brown University earn a median salary of $70,600, while graduates from Bryn Mawr College earn a median salary of $52,900.

However, it’s important to note that salary isn’t the only factor to consider when evaluating career prospects. Graduates from both Brown and Bryn Mawr have gone on to successful careers in a variety of fields, including business, law, medicine, education, and the arts. Additionally, both universities have strong alumni networks that can provide valuable connections and opportunities for recent graduates.

Student Life: Housing, Dining, and Social Scene at Brown University vs Bryn Mawr College

When it comes to student life, both Brown and Bryn Mawr offer supportive and inclusive communities. Brown University offers a range of on-campus housing options, including traditional dorms, suites, and apartment-style living. Bryn Mawr College also offers a range of housing options, including traditional dorms and apartment-style living.

Group of students working together and talking.

Both institutions also offer a range of dining options, including buffet-style dining halls and cafes. Brown University has a strong social scene, with hundreds of student-led clubs and organizations and a vibrant arts community. Bryn Mawr College, as a women’s college, offers a unique environment that fosters strong bonds and supportive relationships between students.

Additionally, Brown University has a residential college system that allows students to live and learn together in a close-knit community. Each residential college has its own dining hall, common spaces, and faculty members who live on-site and engage with students outside of the classroom. Bryn Mawr College also offers a unique living and learning experience through its self-governance system, where students have a say in the policies and decisions that affect their daily lives on campus.

Tuition Fees, Financial Aid, and Scholarships Available at Brown University vs Bryn Mawr College

Attending a private university can be expensive, but both Brown and Bryn Mawr offer generous financial aid packages to eligible students. According to their websites, the total cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year at Brown University is $80,544, while the cost at Bryn Mawr College is $76,380.

Both institutions offer need-based financial aid as well as merit-based scholarships. Brown University also offers a range of special funding opportunities, including research and travel grants.

It is important to note that the financial aid packages offered by Brown and Bryn Mawr are not limited to tuition fees alone. They also cover other expenses such as room and board, textbooks, and other academic supplies. Additionally, both universities have dedicated financial aid offices that can assist students in navigating the application process and finding the best funding options available to them.

Conclusion: Which School is the Better Choice for You?

Deciding between Brown University vs Bryn Mawr College ultimately comes down to your individual goals and priorities. Both institutions offer excellent academic programs, supportive communities, and unique opportunities that can help you achieve your goals.

If you value a large and diverse city environment, Brown University might be the better choice for you. If you are interested in a tight-knit community with a strong emphasis on the humanities and language learning, Bryn Mawr College may be the better choice. Both institutions have highly selective admissions processes and offer generous financial aid packages, so it’s important to do your research and choose the university that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

Want to learn more about getting into College? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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