Does Brown Interview Everyone?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Two people on an interview in a table.

Does Brown Interview Everyone? For students who have the goal of attending a top university, but still want to enjoy the benefits of an education styled after the liberal arts approach to learning, Brown University is one of the most targeted options. Each year, tens of thousands of students apply to Brown with the hopes of becoming a part of the school’s incoming graduating class.

Like many of the other highly prestigious and selective schools in the United States, Brown University offers its undergraduate applicants the chance to interview with members of the school’s proud alumni community as a part of their undergraduate application process.

But does Brown interview everyone? The simple answer to this question is no. While students have had the opportunity to meet with a Brown interviewer if they desire to do so, it is not a required aspect of the application process. Beyond that, the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has actually forced the school to suspend the interview portion of the application. For that reason, you may be curious about how you could benefit from taking part in the Brown interview process.

If you are planning on applying to Brown and want to learn more about the incredible application process, as well as what role the interview can play in your ability to get into the school, then you have come to the right place!

Students walking in Brown campus.

At AdmissionSight, we consider it our number one priority to help the high school students that we work with every year get into the schools of their dreams. This means helping students with anything from academic and extracurricular profile evaluations, to essay editing, common application preparation, interview preparation and so much more!

The experience and knowledge that our admission consultants have gained over years of working within the undergraduate admissions industry allow them to offer the students that work with us a major advantage compared to the students that opt to go through the entire experience with nothing more than guidance from their parents, peers and high school counselors.

That advantage is a big part of the reason why out of all of the students that we work with, 75 percent of them end up getting into either an Ivy League school like Brown, Dartmouth, or Cornell or a top-10 program that is not within the Ivy League but is no less prestigious such as UChicago, Stanford or MIT.

So, if you are wondering, “Does Brown give interviews,” or “Does Brown interview all applicants?” or simply want to know more about what it takes to make the most out of the interview experience at Brown, then simply continue reading to learn all of the important basics.

Let’s get started!

Does Brown give interviews?

Does Brown give interviews? Well, if you have read up till this point in this breakdown, then you already know that the answer is yes and no. In fact, the school first decided to suspend this portion of the application during the 2020-21 application cycle, and that choice extended into the 2021-22 cycle.

A student and an interviewer talking.

Here is what the school itself had to say about the extension of the decision:

“In previous years, we have offered alumni interviews as a way for applicants to get to know Brown while also sharing more about themselves conversationally beyond the information provided in an application. However, as we strive to ensure that all applicants have equitable access to all components of our application process, alumni interviews will not be offered for the 2021-2022 admission cycle.”

“To better enable consistency across our applicant pool, this year we hope you will instead consider submitting a two-minute video introduction to tell us more about yourself beyond the information you provided in your application. This additional component of the application process is recommended and may offer another avenue to show us who you are and why you are interested in attending Brown. Videos will not be evaluated for production quality or editing ability; we are simply hoping to get to know you through your own voice.”

So, in order to prepare students for the future of applying to Brown, AdmissionSight will go over some facts as they relate to both the interview process and the video introduction. The reason for this is because it is currently unclear whether or not the school will revert back to offering an undergraduate application interview or will instead opt to only offer the video introduction for undergrad applicants from here on out.

After all, both the Brown interview process and the Brown video introduction aim to accomplish essentially the same thing for the admissions officers and committee at the school. After all, for the most part, any student’s application to Brown is going to consist primarily of information that is not all that personal. Grade point averages, test scores, extracurricular achievements, and more.

Truthfully, with all the documents and information that is sent to any school as part of the typical undergraduate application, the only things that really shed light on who the applicant is as a person rather than just a student are the student’s personal essays/statements and their letters of recommendation. This can lead to a lot of desire! After all, admissions committees are not just interested in learning about what kinds of students are applying to their school, but also what kind of people.

That is why, whether you are speaking with a Brown interviewer or making an introductory video, the primary point of them remains the same. The main point is to give the admissions officers at Brown the chance to get to know you better as a person.

How much does the Brown interview matter?

This is, of course, an important question to answer whether the school decides to reinstate the application interview or decides to stand pat and only offer the video introduction. In the end, the interview is not going to take a student who lacks the grades, test scores, and essays needed to get into Brown and make him a surefire choice to get in. With that in mind, a student who has wonderful grades and test scores, but may not yet be guaranteed to get in, can certainly improve their chances by putting in a great performance in either interview or video introduction.

Young woman talking to two interviewers.

And when it comes to improving your chances of getting into Brown, you should really think about taking every opportunity that is available to you, no matter how small. The reason for this is because – just like the rest of the Ivy League schools – Brown is incredibly difficult to get into.

To give an idea of just how difficult the school really is, let’s consider the acceptance rate from the most recent application cycle. Two years ago, Brown saw a massive increase in the number of its applications. And in the 2021-22 application cycle, the school saw even more applicants than it did during the 2020-21 cycle.

In total, 50,649 applicants applied to Brown’s undergraduate program. Though the reason for the increase is not fully known, people have started to base it primarily on the fact that Brown (and many of the other top schools in the United States) no longer require either an SAT or ACT to apply. Still, just because taking the SAT or ACT is no longer a requirement to get into Brown, that does not mean that the school is any easier to get into.

In fact, only 3.6 percent of the students that applied to Brown via the school’s Regular Decision round got into the school during the 2021-22 cycle. As for the students that applied via Early Decision, 14.6 percent of those students got in. Overall, the acceptance rate for the Brown graduating class of 2026 was 5.0 percent, and a total of 2,546 students were admitted.

Based on those numbers alone, it should be fairly clear why any student should take any opportunity available to them to improve their slight chances of getting into the school.

What are Brown interviews like?

Again, because the future of the interview process at Brown is currently a bit murky, we thought it would be a better idea to answer some questions that are more about the current video introduction aspect of the application.

In order to help you get a better idea of what to expect from the video introduction that is currently available in place of the Brown undergrad application interview, we will first break down some basic information about the expectations, then spend some time answering some common questions about the process, and finally wrap up with some basic tips about how students can make the most out of this unique and exciting opportunity.

When it comes to the video introduction, it is basically offered to give students an opportunity to tell the admissions officers at Brown more about themselves in their own voice. The video can offer a great opportunity to shine more light on who you are as a person and why you believe Brown would be a great fit for you for your undergraduate education.

Young woman talking to a man in an interview.

In terms of what topics admissions officers want to see or expect, the school makes it clear that there are no concrete guidelines in this regard. Here is what the school has to say about topics, formats, etc:

“As with any aspect of the admission process, there is no specific topic or format we are hoping to see in your video introduction. Perhaps you’ll take us on a tour of your hometown, or talk to us about your favorite place. You might share a time that you were moved by music or art, or tell us about something you could talk about for hours. Maybe you’ll discuss how your friends would describe you, or how you feel about the Oxford comma.

You could describe how you were influenced by a book that changed your perspective, or you could let us know what makes you happy. This is absolutely not an exhaustive list, and you are welcome to discuss any of these topics or anything else that will allow us to get to know you better. No two Brown students have the same story, and we don’t expect that any two video introductions will either.”

Now that you have a basic understanding of the video introduction portion of the application, here are some of the most common questions, along with their answers, so that you can be even more informed on the topic.

Will my application be negatively impacted if I choose not to send a video?

While the video introduction is not a required aspect of the application process at Brown, the school does “encourage students to submit one when possible.” The school has found that the video intro has offered meaningful and new insight into who students are beyond just the information that is presented in their application and written samples.

What information should I include?

The truth is that students are encouraged to include any information and cover any topics that they think might help the admissions officers looking at the video get to know them better. One major benefit of this video introduction is that you can actually map out and (if you want to) rehearse what you are going to say. That is a big difference between this approach and a typical interview.

Female student thinking while standing near the wall.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that you should stay away from topics that you discuss in detail in your application itself. This is not the time to hammer home what you think is the most impressive thing about you and your application. It is to give the admissions officers a more three-dimensional look at who you are. Let them hear your authentic voice!

My video is over two minutes long, is that okay?

Another big difference between the video introduction and the interview process is that while undergrad admissions interviews tend to last somewhere between 40 minutes and an hour, the Brown video introduction has a time limit of just 2 minutes! That’s a lot of pressure to make a strong impression in that short amount of time. Because of that, you may feel inclined to sneak in a couple of seconds in the end so that you can really include everything that you want. Well, that is part of the challenge.

The school explicitly asks that students do abide by the 2-minute length. The main reason for this is that they want this aspect of the application to be totally equitable among all applicants. So, that means that one of the main challenges for you is to create a video that you feel is genuine and impressive while also only lasting 2 minutes long!

Other tips to prep for your Brown interview

To finish, we thought that we would offer some important tips that can help any student improve the experience and the quality of their video introduction. Here are some great things to keep in mind:

  • Your video should begin with you in front of the camera saying, “Hi, my name is [insert name] from [high school].” After that, what you choose to say and how you choose to say it is up to you. Simple and unrehearsed is fine, and you are welcome to be creative.
  • We recommend you dress casually as you would for a school day or school event.
  • Videos will not be evaluated for production quality; we recommend sitting in front of your laptop/camera/tablet/phone and speaking directly to the audience. Make certain you are visible and audible during your video. Check the lighting and listen to your video after you have recorded it to ensure you are happy with the final product before submitting it.
  • Limit your video to no more than two minutes.
  • Be sure your video is in landscape orientation so your finished product will not require viewers to turn their heads to the side when viewing on a desktop computer.

Succeed in the Brown interview

Though Brown University does not currently offer an interview process for students who are applying to this wonderful school, the video introduction has become a wonderful replacement that makes the experience available to all applicants. While your video introduction is not likely going to have a massive impact on your application, it could very well just be that small factor that tips you over the edge from someone who will either end up on the waitlist or not be offered a spot to someone who will one day be walking the halls at Brown.

At AdmissionSight, we know how to help students make the most of these unique opportunities that are offered as part of the Ivy League application process. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to make your video introduction at Brown the best that it can be, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.





College Admissions

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.