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University sees record-high number of applicants for Class of 2023

Applicant pool most diverse in history, total number of apps increases by 9 percent

The University received 38,640 applications for the Class of 2023 — the most in its history, according to Dean of Admission Logan Powell. The applicant pool increased by approximately 9 percent from last year’s applicant pool of 35,438 students.

The number of applicants who identify as students of color increased by 12 percent, according to Powell. These students comprise 47 percent of all applicants for the Class of 2023, compared to 45 percent of applicants last year. The University also saw a 6 percent increase in students applying for financial aid, as well as a 16 percent increase in first-generation applicants.

“This is the most diverse applicant pool we’ve ever had, which is a testament to the strengths of Brown and the outreach we have done for years to try to attract the most interesting and talented students from all over the world,” Powell said. “It’s diverse in almost every way you can imagine.”

Powell attributed the growing interest in the University to the recent Brown Promise, which eliminated student loans from financial aid packages, The Herald previously reported. But he emphasized that attracting a large applicant pool was not the goal of implementing these changes.

“(The Brown Promise) is the right thing to do, and it also makes Brown a much more attractive place financially for many students and families,” Powell said. “Our policies are truly focused on demonstrating our values, and not explicitly on changing the size of the applicant pool.”

Along with the Brown Promise, recent on-campus developments such as the new Engineering Research Center, the expansion of the Watson Institute and the Carney Institute for Brain Science are appealing to prospective students, Powell said.

“We have an incredibly strong foundation of access and affordability and outreach,” Powell said. “That combination make us incredibly attractive to a much broader population of students than has ever been attracted to Brown.”

Physical sciences are the most popular category of academic interest among applicants, followed by social sciences. Additionally, the top three intended concentrations among applicants are engineering, biology and computer science.

The number of students interested in the physical sciences increased by 23 percent this year. This growing interest “mirrors a national trend,” Powell said.

All 50 states are represented in the pool, with California, New York and Massachusetts sending the largest number of applicants, respectively. In addition, applicants come from 157 countries, led by China, India and Canada.

The number of international students within the applicant pool increased by 7 percent, “where many schools in the country are seeing a decrease in international applicants,” Powell said.

Regular decision results for the Class of 2023 will be released on Thursday, March 28.


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