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University accepts record-low 6.6 percent of applicants to class of 2023

Sixty-five percent of admitted students intend to apply for financial aid, 49 percent identify as students of color

Updated 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2019.

The University admitted 1,782 students to the class of 2023 Thursday, bringing the overall acceptance rate to a record-low 6.6 percent, according to Dean of Admission Logan Powell.

The regular decision acceptance rate was 4.8 percent, the lowest in University history. The applicant pool of 38,674 students was the largest the University has seen, up 9 percent from last year’s applicant pool of 35,438 students, The Herald previously reported.

The Admission Office intentionally admitted a low percentage of applicants in anticipation of a high yield rate, Powell said. He expects a high percentage of admitted students to enroll at the University this year due to the large number of students accepted through early decision and increasing awareness of the Brown Promise, which replaced all loans with grants in financial aid packages this year. The Admission Office accepted 769 students during early decision, The Herald previously reported.

Sixty-five percent of admitted students intend to apply for financial aid, an increase from 64 percent in the class of 2022.

“We expect that further information sharing and further notoriety around Brown Promise will draw more students to look more closely at their financial aid awards,” Powell said. “In the second year of the Brown Promise, students and families should know very clearly that (financial aid) will be more compelling than it has ever been.”

In building the class of 2023, the Admission Office “sought out students who represent not just incredible talent … but also those students who bring to campus a certain perspective that we value,” Powell said.

Forty-nine percent of admitted students identify as people of color, the same percentage as last year. First-generation students account for 14 percent of admitted students, compared to 13 percent in last year’s admitted class.

Though the Admission Office seeks to strengthen first-gen representation at the University every year, “no category of students has a perfectly linear … change in representation,” Powell said.

The University is also expanding its annual A Day on College Hill admitted students program, which consisted of two overnight events last year. This year, admitted students can choose to attend one of two overnight visits or a new day-only version of ADOCH which will take place April 24. Powell expects the additional opportunity to visit campus through ADOCH to increase interest in matriculation.

“We know from our data that admitted students who visit campus are far more likely to enroll than admitted students who don’t visit campus,” Powell said. “We know that something magical happens when they visit College Hill, and we want to give admitted students one more opportunity to visit campus.”

In an effort to increase access to campus during ADOCH, the Admission Office has increased the number of travel grants offered to admitted students from 432 to 500 this year.

Admitted students hail from all 50 states, led by California, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Texas. In addition, 80 countries are represented, led by China, Canada, India, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Thirteen percent of admitted students this year are international, up from 11 percent in the admitted class of 2022.

Thirty-three percent of admitted students indicated an intended concentration in the physical sciences, a 2 percent increase from last year. Powell said. The Admission Office has also seen growth in admitted students interested in the humanities, who make up 18 percent of the cohort.

Eighteen students were admitted through the Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program, and 94 students were admitted to the Program in Liberal Medical Education.

Admitted students to the class of 2023 expressed excitement upon learning of their acceptances to the University.

Erika Smith of Atlanta, Georgia, was surrounded by her family as she opened her decision letters. “When I opened it and saw the acceptance letter I got up and started screaming because I was so happy,” Smith said, adding that she had “fallen in love with (the University)” after touring campus and interviewing. If she attends the University, Smith plans to concentrate in either economics or neuroscience.

John Coady of Halifax, Massachusetts, opened his acceptance letter to the University last out of all of his decisions. “It was one of the best feelings, just knowing that I got into such a great school,” Coady said. Though he is currently undecided on a concentration, Coady “absolutely” plans to attend the University in the fall.

Moving forward, the Admission Office will continue working “to build a class that fulfills the priorities of the University” and aiming to admit socioeconomically diverse students, Powell said.


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