What Is the Average ACT Score at Brown?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Brown University buildings with tall trees and green lawn.

What Is the Average ACT Score at Brown?

If you are interested in attending a fantastic university and enjoy the liberal arts culture that exists at many liberal arts colleges around the United States, chances are good that you are interested in attending Brown University. There is no doubt that Brown is one of the best schools in the world. After all, it is in the Ivy League. And if you are interested in Brown, there is also little doubt that you are asking yourself, “What is the average ACT score at Brown?”

The ACT is one of the two standardized tests that high school students have taken to gain admission to schools all across the country.

Shaded answer sheet with pencil and eraser on top.

So, what is the average ACT score at Brown and what can a student do to improve their chances of getting into a fantastic school? At AdmissionSight, we make it our goal to make sure that high school students know exactly what they need to do in order to achieve their admissions goals and get into the schools of their dreams.

Let’s get started!

What is the average ACT score at Brown?

Though Brown may not be considered one of the toughest schools to get into in the Ivy League, it is still one of the most competitive and prestigious schools in the country. For that reason, it is not all that surprising that the average ACT score for high school students that end up getting into Brown is incredibly high.

In fact, the Brown average ACT is a 34 out of the perfect score of 36. The 25th percentile score is 32 and the 75th percentile score is 35.

That means that if you get a 32, you will know that you have scored below average compared to the Brown University typical ACT scores. If you score a 35 or above, you will know that you have an above-average score compared to other students that get into Brown.

Aerial view of Brown University's surroundings.

While an average or above-average ACT score will certainly help any high school student’s chances of getting into Brown, scoring highly on a standardized test will not – on its own – get any student into a school like Brown.

The simple reason is that Brown, and all the other schools in the Ivy League, are incredibly competitive and are only choosing from the cream of the crop when it comes to high school students both within the United States and the rest of the world!

A final note on the ACT – and the SAT for that matter, though we are not covering that in this breakdown – is that Brown University has made standardized testing optional over the last few years. As far as we know, standardized tests are options at Brown University through the 2021-22 application cycle.

The reason for this is, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. Without a doubt, the novel coronavirus has made public tests, such as the SAT and ACT, much more difficult to conduct. Beyond that, schools want to make it clear that they do not want students to do anything that could put them at risk of getting infected with COVID-19.

However, there is a very large chance that standardized tests will once again be required soon. Here is what Brown University has to say about the test-optional policy at the moment.

“Brown will extend our test-optional policy to all first-year, transfer and Resumed Undergraduate Education applicants in the 2021-2022 admission cycle,” the school announced on its site. “We hope that applicants will have the opportunity to take the SAT or ACT and submit test scores as part of the admission process this year.

The SAT or ACT, when submitted, will continue to be considered in the context of all the other information we have about a candidate. As with every aspect of the admission process, this policy will be evaluated again before the 2022-2023 application cycle begins.

“Students who are not able to submit scores this year will not be disadvantaged in our admission process, and we will look at other aspects of the application, from course grades and extracurricular challenges to insight from counselors and teachers, to assess academic preparation.

Scores may be self-reported or sent officially to Brown, and we continue to accept Score Choice and will always consider a student’s highest scores if multiple results are submitted.

While standardized testing has long been a component of our holistic admission process, it has always been one among many components that we consider. Testing can be informative but is only one part of a much larger and more important story about an individual applicant.”

After reading that, you may be wondering if you should even worry about the ACT at all. After all, if it is completely optional and not including your ACT score will not negatively impact your chances of getting in in any way, then what is the benefit?

At AdmissionSight, we still think there is a great benefit for students who are able to take the ACT safely and earn a fantastic score. After all, when it comes to the most competitive and prestigious schools in the world – like Brown – students should leave for every single way in which they can improve their chances of getting in.

While not taking the ACT will not hurt your chances of getting in during the 2021-22 application cycle, getting a great score on the ACT will without a doubt help your chances of getting in!

But before we do that, let’s go over some of the key admission facts related to Brown so that you have answers to many more questions than just, “What is the average ACT score at Brown.”

Let’s break down the Brown acceptance rate, Brown requirements and much more.

Brown admissions facts

Last year marked the largest application pool in the history of Brown University. In total, 46,568 high school students applied to the school. Of those students, just 5.4 percent of the students who applied got in.

On top of that, it is important to know that 95 percent of the students that got into Brown were in the top 10 percent of their high school classes in terms of GPA. Moreover, the average GPA for students who get into Brown is 4.0. That shouldn’t come as much of a shock to you considering the Brown average ACT score.

A few more important facts regarding the students that applied to Brown in 2021 include:

  • 55 percent of the students that applied to Brown in 2021 identify as students of color
  • 17 percent of the students that applied to Brown in 2021 were part of the first generation of students in their family that applied to college
  • 69 percent of the students that applied to Brown in 2021 applied for financial aid
  • While students from all 50 U.S. states were admitted to Brown, the top five states were:
    • California
    • New York
    • Massachusetts
    • New Jersey
    • Texas
  • Finally, the students that were admitted to Brown came from a total of 1,703 individual high schools. 58 percent of those schools were public schools, 31 percent of schools were private schools and 11 percent were parochial schools.

Another important thing to know about applying to Brown are the Brown requirements. When it comes to admissions requirements, there are none. However, any student that is interested in getting into Brown should make it a point to take the following courses in high school:

  • Four years of English (including continued practice in writing)
  • Four years of mathematics (including calculus for students interested in engineering)
  • Four years of one foreign language
  • At least two years of laboratory science (including physics and chemistry for students interested in engineering)
  • At least two years of history

On top of that, students should take part in at least a couple of schools that focus on the visual or performing arts. More importantly than that, students who are interested in getting into Brown – or any other top school for that matter – should take as many advanced courses as possible.

That means loading your high school curriculum with honors, AP and IB courses whenever possible. A key reason for that is because Brown, and the other Ivies, have some of the most difficult course loads in the world.

A high school student who has taken many advanced courses throughout high school will be able to show admissions officers at Brown that they are able to deal with the demands and rigors of a curriculum at Brown.

With that being said, there are some Brown requirements that are important to keep in mind. Of course, we are referring to the application requirements. Here are the Brown requirements to keep in mind when you are preparing to apply.

  • Early Decision application deadline – November 1 (11:59 p.m. applicant’s local time).
  • Regular Decision application deadline – January 5 (11:59 p.m. applicant’s local time).
  • Complete your application via the Common Application.
  • Brown’s supplemental essays are submitted through the Common Application.
  • Submit the $75 application fee or a fee waiver.
  • If you are applying to the eight-year Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) or the five-year Brown|Rhode Island School of Design Dual Degree Program (BRDD) you must complete the special program essays.
  • An official copy of your high school transcript sent by your high school counselor
  • Counselor recommendations
  • Two teacher evaluations/recommendations
  • Standardized test scores (options through the 2021-22 admissions cycle)
  • Supplementary materials if you are accomplished in music, visual art or any other kind of creative endeavor

Other tips to improve your chances of getting into Brown

Now that you know the Brown requirements as well as the Brown average ACT and the Brown university acceptance rate, it is time to start to break down how every student can improve their chances of getting into the school.

These factors have nothing to do with the ACT, as you are officially very well informed when it comes to what you will have to do to improve your chances of getting into Brown as far as the ACT is concerned.

Talk with Brown alumni

One of the most important things that a student can do can express interest in going to a school like Brown. After all, any competitive and prestigious school loves to know when a student has prioritized a specific school over all others.

A male student talking face to face with an alumnus.

One great way to express your deep interest in attending Brown is to speak with members of the school’s proud and engaged alumni.

Reaching out and taking the time to ask questions you may have about the school and prove that you are the perfect match for Brown can be a great way to give yourself a leg up in your pursuit of getting into Brown.

Make sure to mention any family that has gone to Brown

Every Ivy League school loves to honor the history of the school. After all, some of the schools in the Ivy League are some of the oldest institutions in the United States! In fact, Brown was first created in 1764, making it older than the United States itself! Crazy!

So, to try to honor that incredible history, Brown has always honored the legacy that some families have at the school. Essentially, students who have grandparents, parents or siblings who have gone to Brown are believed to have a better chance of getting in.

Invest your time in the right extracurricular activities

An important aspect of the college application process has to do with students being able to prove that they are passionate and committed students and people.

That means excelling both inside and outside of the classroom. The best way to do that is to take part in fabulous activities out of school and during the summer.

While there are no specific kinds of activities that schools like Brown University values over others, the one thing that every school these days absolutely looks for is a high level of commitment as well as a student’s pursuit of roles of impact and leadership.

Two students grabbing a ball.

For that reason, it is now believed that students should invest their time and energy in anywhere from three to five extracurriculars and dive deeply into those activities. So, whether you are interested in sports, theater, academic competition, model UN or anything in between, make sure to invest yourself into it fully and pursue your passions as deeply as you can.

And don’t forget to mention those passions and your goals related to those passions in your application!

Earn stellar teachers’ recommendation

For high school students who are looking to get into Brown University, they will need to get two separate letters of recommendation from two different members of their high school’s faculty.

For students to try to get the most out of these teacher recommendations, they should make sure to speak to their teachers who they want to write the recommendation letters early on.

In fact, it is thought that students should ask as early as the end of their junior year or at the very beginning of their senior year of high school. This will give the teachers enough time to think about and effectively craft a letter of recommendation that will be as impressive and positive as possible.

Craft incredible personal essays

Every student that applies to Brown is going to have to answer a number of personal essay questions that are used to help the school get to know the student better at a deeper and more personal level.

While some may believe that these personal essays are not all that crucial, they are actually one of the most important aspects of the application process. The personal essay section of the application process is thought to be the second-most important aspect of the application behind a student’s GPA.

A woman seated while writing on her notebook.

Considering a student spends four years of school to get their GPA, it should be clear how highly important these essays are.

So, students should make sure to give themselves the adequate time that they need in order to craft the most personal and effective essays possible. This means spending time coming up with a topic that really speaks to you as a person.

Going with the very first option that you come up with probably won’t render the best option. On top of that, make sure that you give yourself the time that you need to read, edit and improve the essays that you have written once you have actually crafted them.

We can help you beat the Brown University average ACT score

At AdmissionSight, we make it our top goal to help our students get into the schools of their dreams. That is why we are so proud of the fact that 75 percent of the students that we work with end up getting into an Ivy League or top 10 school elsewhere in the United States. Whether it’s improving your ACT score, crafting the perfect essays or even mapping out what kinds of courses to take in high school, we’d love to help.

If you are interested in learning more, contact us today to set up a consultation.


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