The Brown University Common Data Set

July 7, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Wayland Hall in Brown University

The Brown University Common Data Set

As students and parents evaluate their higher education options, one key resource for understanding a university’s demographics, admissions trends, and academic offerings is the Common Data Set. In this article, we’ll explore what the Common Data Set entails, how universities use it to inform their policies, and how Brown University stacks up in key areas.

Understanding the Common Data Set

What is the Common Data Set?

First launched in 1997 by publishers of college guides, the Common Data Set is a standard set of data points that universities use to provide a comprehensive snapshot of their institution. It includes information on admissions, enrollment, retention, financial aid, graduation rates, and more. Universities complete the survey annually and report the information to third-party publishers (like U.S. News & World Report) or post it on their own websites.

While the Common Data Set may seem like just another form to fill out, it plays a critical role in higher education. By standardizing the data points and reporting, it provides a way for universities to compare themselves to their peers and for prospective students to make informed decisions about where to apply.

Importance of the Common Data Set in Higher Education

The Common Data Set has become a critical resource for prospective students and families, researchers, and policymakers looking for reliable data on higher education institutions. With standardized data points and reporting, it provides an “apples-to-apples” comparison of key metrics across universities.

One of the gates in the Brown University

For prospective students, the Common Data Set can provide valuable insights into a university’s admissions process, financial aid opportunities, and graduation rates. By comparing these metrics across multiple universities, students can make more informed decisions about where to apply and ultimately attend.

Researchers and policymakers also rely on the Common Data Set to better understand trends in higher education. By analyzing the data across multiple universities, they can identify areas of success and areas for improvement. This information can inform policy decisions and help universities better serve their students.

How Universities Use the Common Data Set

Beyond simply meeting reporting requirements, universities use the Common Data Set to analyze their own institution and competitive institutions. They can evaluate enrollment trends, forecast budget and staffing needs, and identify areas for improvement.

For example, if a university notices a decline in retention rates, they can use the Common Data Set to compare themselves to similar institutions and identify potential factors contributing to the decline. This information can then be used to develop targeted interventions and support programs to improve retention rates.

The Common Data Set can also inform financial aid policies and admissions practices. By analyzing the data on financial aid awards and admissions decisions, universities can identify patterns and trends in their own practices and those of their peers. This information can be used to develop more equitable policies and practices that better serve all students.

In conclusion, the Common Data Set is an important tool in higher education that provides standardized data points and reporting to help universities compare themselves to their peers and for prospective students to make informed decisions about where to apply. It also helps universities better understand their own institution and identify areas for improvement.

Brown University’s Demographics and Admissions

Student Population Breakdown

Brown University is a small, private Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764, Brown has a rich history of academic excellence and innovation. Today, it is home to a diverse student body of over 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world.

One of Brown’s defining characteristics is its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Women make up 52% of the undergraduate population, while men comprise 48%. Racial and ethnic diversity is a priority at Brown: 47% of domestic undergraduates identify as students of color. This commitment to diversity is reflected in the university’s academic programs, which offer a wide range of courses and majors that explore different cultures, histories, and perspectives.

Brown’s student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1 is one of the lowest in the country, ensuring that students receive personalized attention and support from their professors. The university also has a strong commitment to undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge projects in a variety of fields.

Admissions Statistics and Trends

Brown is consistently ranked among the top universities in the country, and its admissions process is highly competitive. In the 2020-2021 academic year cycle, Brown received 38,674 applications for admission. Of these applicants, 2,533 were admitted, yielding a 6.6% acceptance rate. The median SAT score for the enrolled freshman class was 1520, and 35% of the class received need-based scholarship aid.

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Despite these impressive statistics, Brown’s admissions process is holistic and takes into account a wide range of factors beyond test scores and grades. Applicants are evaluated based on their academics, extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation. Brown has a test-optional admissions policy, but it encourages students to submit their scores if they can due to a lack of access to testing environments through the pandemic.

Once admitted, students at Brown have access to a wide range of resources and support services, including academic advising, career counseling, and health and wellness services. The university also offers a robust program of extracurricular activities, including student clubs and organizations, sports teams, and cultural events.

Diversity and Inclusion at Brown University

Brown University values diversity and inclusion, and it actively seeks to create and maintain a welcoming environment for all students. Its diversity initiatives include scholarships for students from underrepresented backgrounds, affinity groups like the Latinx and Native American student organizations, and cultural events like the annual Black Heritage Series. Brown also has a chief diversity officer and a dedicated office of institutional equity and diversity.

Students at Brown have the opportunity to engage with diverse perspectives and experiences both inside and outside the classroom. The university’s curriculum includes courses that explore issues of race, gender, sexuality, and other forms of identity and difference. Brown also has a number of centers and institutes dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion, including the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America and the LGBTQ Center.

Overall, Brown University is a vibrant and dynamic community that values academic excellence, diversity, and inclusion. Its commitment to these values is reflected in its student body, its academic programs, and its campus culture.

Academic Offerings and Faculty

Overview of Academic Programs

Brown University offers over 80 concentrations, allowing students to tailor their education to their interests. Students who are unsure of their desired major can choose to be “undecided,” and they have the option of designing their own concentration through the Open Curriculum. Students can also choose interdisciplinary concentrations that combine courses across departments.

The Open Curriculum is a unique feature of Brown University that allows students to take control of their own education. Unlike many universities that require students to take a set number of courses in specific areas, Brown allows students to explore their interests and passions through a wide range of courses across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. This flexibility encourages students to think outside the box and pursue their own unique paths.

Additionally, Brown offers a number of study abroad programs, allowing students to gain a global perspective and experience different cultures while earning academic credit. These programs range from semester-long programs to shorter courses during winter and summer breaks.

Popular Majors and Interdisciplinary Studies

Brown has a reputation for its excellent undergraduate programs in the social sciences and humanities, including English, political science, and psychology. It is also known for its strong STEM programs, including neuroscience, computer science, and engineering. Brown’s Alpert Medical School is one of the most selective medical schools in the country.

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Interdisciplinary studies are also a popular choice among Brown students. These concentrations allow students to combine courses from different departments to create a unique program of study. For example, a student interested in environmental policy could create an interdisciplinary concentration that includes courses in environmental studies, political science, and economics.

Faculty Credentials and Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Brown University faculty members, as included in the Brown University Common Data Set, are leaders in their fields, with numerous awards and recognitions to their names. 86% of full-time faculty have earned terminal degrees in their fields, and they are encouraged to pursue research and other scholarly activities in addition to their teaching responsibilities.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1, Brown has a commitment to small class sizes and individualized attention. This close interaction between students and faculty is a hallmark of a Brown education. Professors are accessible outside of class, and many offer opportunities for students to work on research projects or assist with ongoing research.

Brown also has a number of distinguished visiting professors who bring new perspectives and expertise to the university. These professors often teach specialized courses and collaborate with faculty and students on research projects.

Financial Aid and Tuition

Tuition and Fees Breakdown

For the 2021-2022 academic year, Brown’s tuition and fees for undergraduate students totals $60,696. Additional room and board fees bring the total cost of attendance to $78,660. These figures can be daunting, but it’s important to note that a significant number of Brown students receive financial aid.

It’s important to note that the cost of tuition and fees is just one aspect of the overall cost of attending Brown. Students will also need to budget for textbooks, supplies, and personal expenses. However, Brown offers a number of resources to help students manage these costs, including the Brown Emergency Fund, which provides financial assistance to students facing unexpected expenses.

Types of Financial Aid Available

Brown University is committed to making its education accessible to students from all backgrounds, and it has a robust financial aid program to support this mission. Need-based aid is awarded to students based on their demonstrated financial need, and the aid package may include grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. Brown also has a “no-loan” policy for students from families with incomes below $150,000.

It’s important to note that financial aid is not just for students with the greatest financial need. Brown also offers merit-based scholarships to students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement or talent in a particular area, such as athletics or the arts. These scholarships can help offset the cost of tuition and fees for students who might not qualify for need-based aid.

Applying for Financial Aid at Brown University

Students apply for financial aid simultaneously with the admissions application, using the CSS Profile and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These forms provide the university with a comprehensive picture of your family’s financial circumstances and allow them to determine the aid package for which you are eligible.

It’s important to note that the financial aid application process can be complex, and students are encouraged to start the process early to ensure that they have enough time to complete all of the necessary steps. Brown’s financial aid office is available to answer any questions that students may have and to provide guidance throughout the application process.

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Overall, Brown University is committed to making its education accessible to students from all backgrounds, and its financial aid program is a key part of this commitment. Whether you are a student with significant financial need or a high-achieving student looking for merit-based scholarships, Brown has resources available to help you finance your education and achieve your academic goals.

The Importance of the Brown University Common Data Set

The Common Data Set is an invaluable resource for students, parents, and policy-makers. Brown University’s data reveals its strengths and weaknesses, and it invites applicants and stakeholders to engage with the institution’s mission. The pursuit of transparency and accountability, as modeled by the Common Data Set, is essential for the continued growth and vitality of higher education institutions like Brown University.

How AdmissionSight can help you with college admissions

AdmissionSight is a college consulting firm that provides personalized assistance to students throughout the college admissions process. Here are some ways that AdmissionSight can help you:

Admissions strategy: AdmissionSight can help you develop a strategic plan for your college application process. Our professional consultants can assist with identifying schools that are a good fit for your academic, extracurricular, and personal goals and help you plan and prioritize your application strategy.

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Overall, AdmissionSight can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the college admissions process to help you maximize your chances of getting accepted into the college of your choice.

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