University News

Early applications increase for class of 2016

Senior Staff Writer
Monday, November 7, 2011

The number of early applications to the University rose about 4 percent over last year, while applications to the Program in Liberal Medical Education jumped 25 percent, according to Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73.

Though the deadline was Nov. 1, not all early applicants have been able to submit their applications due to ongoing power outages in New England following a storm that hit two weeks ago, Miller said. Once all the applications have been received, he said he expects the number of early applicants to rise to just over 2,900, up from 2,796 last year.

This increase is consistent with the trend over the past five years, and the applicant pool is likely to continue to grow in the following years, Miller said.

In addition to the 25 percent rise in PLME applications, the proportion of minority applicants in that pool has risen 9 percent, he said.

The Admission Office also noted a greater number of applications from the Midwest, a result of recent recruiting efforts in the region, Miller said. International students comprised about 12 percent of the pool for the third year in a row.

Interest in the physical sciences and humanities is up among applicants, while the number of students planning to study the social sciences has remained steady, Miller said. Fewer early applicants are considering the life sciences, and applications to the Brown/Rhode Island School of Design Dual Degree Program with the Rhode Island School of Design are down by about 10 percent.

Though Harvard and Princeton reinstated early application options this year, Miller told The Herald in March he was unsure if the move would lead to a drop in early applications to Brown. The University did not see an increase when the schools eliminated their early application programs in 2006.

Paul Martin, a high school senior at Riverstone International School in Boise, Idaho, said he decided to apply early to Brown after visiting last month. “Everyone was so nice,” he said. The New Curriculum and the idea of being in charge of his education factored heavily in his decision. Though he said he intends to study history and political science, he also expressed an interest in physics.

Grant Phillips also pointed to the New Curriculum as well as an “open-minded” campus culture as major reasons he applied early decision. Though Phillips, who attends the Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Ore., said he was attracted to Brown by its proximity to RISD, he did not apply to the five-year Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program. He said he is interested in studying art, history or commerce, organizations and entrepreneurship.

Miller said the admission office does not have a target acceptance number for the early applicant pool and that the outcome will depend on the strength of the candidates. During the past two years, the University admitted approximately 20 percent of applicants during its early decision round.

The class of 2016 has about 1,500 spots, Miller said, and he expects Brown to receive a total of around 30,000 applications this year. Last year, a record-high 30,946 students applied to the University.

Early decision applicants will hear back from the admission office near the end of the second week in December, Miller said.

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