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Brown University vs Occidental College: Which is the Better Choice?

July 13, 2023
By AdmissionSight
College Decision Day

Brown University vs Occidental College: Which is the Better Choice?

In today’s world, education is the foundation on which successful lives are built. Two top-tier institutions of higher education in the United States are Brown University and Occidental College. Both offer unique advantages and opportunities to their students. However, when it comes to choosing Brown University vs Occidental, many factors come into play.

In this article, we will compare Brown University vs Occidental on various aspects such as admission requirements, tuition fees, academic programs, and much more. So, read on to find out which one is the better choice for you.

Introduction to Brown University and Occidental College

Brown University is a private Ivy League research institution that offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs across various fields of study. It is located in Providence, Rhode Island, and was founded in 1764.

On the other hand, Occidental College is a private liberal arts college located in Los Angeles, California. It was established in 1887 and provides undergraduate courses in various fields of study, including arts, sciences, and humanities. Both schools have a reputation for academic excellence and are highly sought after by students across the United States and the world.

Wayland Hall in Brown University

Brown University has a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 100 countries. The university is known for its strong commitment to research and innovation, with numerous research centers and institutes dedicated to advancing knowledge in various fields. Brown is also home to a number of notable alumni, including eight Nobel laureates, several Pulitzer Prize winners, and numerous CEOs and entrepreneurs.

Occidental College, on the other hand, is known for its strong emphasis on community engagement and social justice. The college has a long history of activism and has produced many notable alumni who have gone on to make significant contributions to social and political causes. Occidental is also known for its beautiful campus, which features a mix of historic and modern buildings, as well as numerous green spaces and gardens.

Location and Campus Size of Brown University and Occidental College

Location and campus size are significant factors when it comes to choosing a college. Brown University has a total campus size of 146 acres and is located in Providence, Rhode Island.

In contrast, Occidental College is situated on a 120-acre campus in the Eagle Rock neighborhood in the northeast of Los Angeles, California. Both locations offer their unique advantages. Brown University’s campus is situated in an urban setting, whereas Occidental College’s campus is located in a suburban environment. However, both campuses are stunning, filled with greenery, and offer a sense of community that is essential to student life.

Aside from location and campus size, Brown University and Occidental College also differ in terms of their academic programs. Brown University is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum and offers over 80 undergraduate majors, including popular programs in computer science, economics, and biology.

On the other hand, Occidental College has a reputation for its excellent social sciences and humanities programs, with popular majors including psychology, sociology, and media arts and culture. Both universities have a diverse range of academic offerings, ensuring that students can find a program that suits their interests and career goals.

Admission Requirements and Process of Brown University and Occidental College

The admission requirements and process of a college are often the most crucial factors in determining whether or not you can attend a school. Brown University has an acceptance rate of 6.9%, making it one of the most selective universities in the country.

The admission process involves a rigorous application process that includes essays, standardized test scores, and letters of recommendation. In comparison, Occidental College has an acceptance rate of 36%, which is still highly competitive. The admission process includes essays, standardized test scores, and letters of recommendation, but the requirements may differ depending on the program you are applying for.

Scholarship document, admission paper or letter on table.

Aside from the standard admission requirements, both Brown University and Occidental College offer additional opportunities for applicants to showcase their talents and achievements. Brown University, for example, allows students to submit supplementary materials such as art portfolios, music recordings, and research papers. Occidental College, on the other hand, offers an optional interview for applicants to further demonstrate their fit for the school.

It is important to note that both Brown University and Occidental College have a need-blind admission policy, meaning that they do not consider an applicant’s financial situation when making admission decisions. Additionally, both schools offer need-based financial aid to help students afford the cost of attendance. However, it is important to research and understand the specific financial aid policies and options of each school before applying.

Tuition Fees and Financial Aid Options at Brown University and Occidental College

Financial considerations are an essential factor for most students when deciding on a college. The tuition and fees for Brown University are approximately $60,000 per year, with additional costs of around $20,000 for room and board.

In comparison, Occidental College’s tuition and fees are approximately $58,000 per year, with additional costs of approximately $16,000 for room and board. Both schools offer financial aid options for students, including merit- and need-based scholarships, grants, student loans, and work-study programs.

It is important to note that the financial aid options at Brown University and Occidental College differ in some ways. Brown University offers a need-blind admission policy, which means that a student’s ability to pay for tuition is not taken into consideration during the admission process.

Additionally, Brown University meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. On the other hand, Occidental College offers a need-aware admission policy, which means that a student’s ability to pay for tuition may be taken into consideration during the admission process. However, Occidental College also offers a generous financial aid package, with over 80% of students receiving some form of financial aid.

Academic Programs Offered at Brown University and Occidental College

Brown University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in various fields, including engineering, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. It has a reputation for being one of the most prestigious research institutions globally.

At Occidental College, undergraduate students can choose from various disciplines, including arts, humanities, and natural sciences. Occidental College has a liberal arts curriculum that aims to provide students with a well-rounded education focusing on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Brown University’s School of Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields, including biomedical engineering, computer engineering, and environmental engineering. The School of Public Health offers graduate programs in public health, epidemiology, and biostatistics. Brown University’s School of Professional Studies offers graduate programs in business, cybersecurity, and technology management.

Occidental College’s theater department is renowned for its productions and offers a major in theater and a minor in dance. The college’s urban and environmental policy institute provides students with opportunities to engage in research and advocacy on issues related to sustainability and social justice. Occidental College’s study abroad program offers students the chance to study in over 50 countries, including Argentina, China, and South Africa.

Faculty Quality and Student-to-Teacher Ratio at Brown University and Occidental College

Faculty quality and student-to-teacher ratio are important factors in deciding which college to attend. Brown University has a student-to-teacher ratio of 6:1, indicating that students receive personalized attention from their instructors.

The university has many distinguished faculty members who have made significant contributions to their respective fields. Occidental College has a student-to-teacher ratio of 9:1 and also has a pool of highly qualified faculty. Occidental College prides itself on its undergraduate teaching, with professors providing students with supportive and challenging classroom environments.

Aside from faculty quality and student-to-teacher ratio, another important factor to consider when choosing a college is the availability of research opportunities. Brown University is known for its strong research programs, with students having access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources. The university also encourages undergraduate research, providing students with opportunities to work alongside faculty members on research projects.

On the other hand, Occidental College places a strong emphasis on community engagement and social justice. The college has a variety of community service programs and partnerships, allowing students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world issues. Occidental College also offers courses and programs focused on social justice, providing students with a well-rounded education that prepares them to make a positive impact in their communities.

Student Life at Brown University vs. Occidental College: Clubs, Sports, Social Activities, etc.

Student life provides an essential college experience, from clubs and sports to social activities. Brown University has over 300 student organizations and clubs, ranging from academic societies to volunteer groups.

The university has various sports teams, including football, soccer, basketball, and baseball, among others. Occidental College has over 100 student organizations and clubs, with a particular focus on sustainability and community engagement. The college also has several sports teams, including basketball, soccer, volleyball, and tennis.

Two men playing basketball.

Aside from clubs and sports, Brown University also offers a wide range of social activities for students. The university hosts various events throughout the year, such as concerts, comedy shows, and cultural festivals. Additionally, Brown has a vibrant Greek life, with over 30 fraternities and sororities on campus.

Occidental College also provides students with unique opportunities for social engagement. The college has a strong emphasis on the arts, with a student-run theater company and a music conservatory. Occidental also hosts an annual music festival, bringing together local and national artists for a weekend of performances and activities.

Career Opportunities After Graduation from Brown University vs Occidental College

After graduation, students want to pursue careers that will help them achieve their professional goals. Brown University has a strong reputation for producing successful graduates in various fields.

Graduates have gone on to work in top companies, research institutions, and organizations worldwide. Occidental College also has a strong reputation for producing successful graduates, with many students continuing their education in top graduate programs or pursuing successful careers in various fields.

However, there are some differences in the types of career opportunities available to graduates from Brown University and Occidental College. Brown University has a strong focus on research and innovation, with many graduates pursuing careers in fields such as technology, healthcare, and engineering.

On the other hand, Occidental College has a strong liberal arts program, with many graduates pursuing careers in fields such as education, social work, and the arts. Both universities offer a wide range of career opportunities, but the focus of their programs may lead graduates toward different paths.

Student Diversity and Inclusivity Initiatives at Brown University vs Occidental College

Student diversity and inclusivity initiatives are essential factors that contribute to the college’s welcoming environment. Brown University and Occidental College both actively promote diversity and inclusivity on their campuses.

Brown University has various programs, including mentoring and support programs, that aim to provide a sense of belonging for students from underrepresented communities. Occidental College has several student organizations that support diversity and inclusivity and offers various initiatives such as training programs, workshops, and forums.

In addition to the programs and initiatives mentioned above, Brown University also has a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan that outlines specific goals and strategies for promoting diversity and inclusivity on campus. This plan includes increasing the diversity of faculty and staff, enhancing support for first-generation and low-income students, and creating a more inclusive curriculum.

Similarly, Occidental College has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan that outlines specific goals and strategies for promoting diversity and inclusivity on campus. This plan includes increasing the diversity of the student body, faculty, and staff, enhancing support for underrepresented students, and creating a more inclusive campus culture.

Campus Resources Available to Students at Brown University vs. Occidental College

Both Brown University and Occidental College have a wide range of campus resources available to students. Brown University has several libraries, research centers, and labs, offering students an opportunity to explore their research interests.

The university also has several career services centers and counseling services that support student success. Similarly, Occidental College has several libraries, research centers, career services centers, and counseling services that provide students with the necessary resources to achieve their academic and personal goals.

However, there are some differences in the types of resources available at each institution. Brown University has a larger variety of research centers and labs, including the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs and the Carney Institute for Brain Science.

On the other hand, Occidental College has a strong emphasis on community engagement and social justice, with resources such as the Center for Community-Based Learning and the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles. Additionally, Occidental College has a unique resource in its solar array, which provides renewable energy to the campus and serves as a research and educational tool for students interested in sustainability.

Prospective Students’ Guide: Which Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Brown University and Occidental College?

Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. However, considering the factors mentioned above can be helpful in making an informed decision. Prospective students should consider the location, admission requirements, tuition fees, academic programs, faculty quality, student life, career opportunities, alumni network strength, campus safety and security measures, student diversity, and inclusivity initiatives, and campus resources when choosing between Brown University and Occidental College.

Group of students smiling and talking to each other.

One important factor to consider when choosing between Brown University and Occidental College is the size of the student body. Brown University has a larger student body, with over 10,000 students, while Occidental College has a smaller student body, with just over 2,000 students. This can impact the overall campus culture and the level of individual attention students receive from faculty and staff.

Another factor to consider is the availability of research opportunities. Brown University is a research-focused institution with a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, while Occidental College also offers research opportunities but may not have the same level of resources and funding as Brown. Prospective students interested in pursuing research should consider which institution aligns best with their academic and career goals.

Conclusion: Final Thoughts on Choosing Between Brown University vs Occidental College

As we have discussed, Brown University and Occidental College offer unique educational experiences to their students. While Brown University offers a rigorous academic curriculum and unparalleled research opportunities, Occidental College provides students with a well-rounded education that focuses on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Ultimately, the college that is the better choice for you will depend on your preferences, priorities, and goals. We hope this article has provided you with useful information to help you make an informed decision.

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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