Late last month, 1,730 regular decision applicants were offered admission to the University, resulting in a total of 2,609 accepted applicants to the class of 2027. The Herald spoke to eight accepted applicants to learn more about their experiences, reactions to their application decisions and what drove them to apply to Brown.
‘It just felt right’: Applying to Brown
“Brown has been my dream school since I was twelve,” said Caroline O’Brien, an early decision admit. “I fell more and more in love with the school, and knew I wanted to go there.”
For Thu Le, an accepted student from San Diego, the open curriculum inspired her decision to apply to the University. That flexibility “would be something that would really make my education much more fulfilling,” Le said.
All accepted applicants who spoke with The Herald expressed a similar sentiment — with Carrington Hughes, from Cleveland, saying that she “wanted flexibility” in her learning. “I really needed that space to be able to say, ‘Oh, I want to change what I'm going to do,’” she added.
Students also cited the campus culture as a draw to the University. “I feel like everything about this campus reflects my own personal morals and my beliefs and really what I want to be surrounded by as a student,” Hughes said.
Many of the prospective students visited campus before applying. “It was just something about the tour,” said Anson Nguyen, an accepted student from Florida. “It just felt right.”
An ‘intense’ wait: Waiting for a decision
After months of laboring over personal statements, test scores, video portfolios and other elements of the application, students waited patiently — but anxiously — for their decisions.
Some took a carefree approach. “I was just trying to take my mind off of it,” said Noah Kaufman, an accepted applicant from Austin, Texas. “I figured I'd put in all the work I could to get into my dream school.”
Marissa Guadarrama described “feeling like my life was going to change.” It was “intense,” she said.
‘It was absolutely surreal’: Being accepted
While early decision applicants were informed of their admission in December, regular decision applicants waited until March 30 of this year to hear back.
“I wanted to pull an all-nighter the night before so I could sleep during the day,” Nguyen said. “Just get rid of the anxiety. It didn't work. I ended up staying up for 24 hours. I just couldn't sleep.”
“I had this unwavering confidence that lasted until seconds before I actually opened my decision,” Hughes said.
Once the clock struck 7 p.m. EST on decision day, applicants logged onto a secure portal to learn whether they had been accepted.
“When the time came, I put on some Beyoncé,” Nguyen said. “The portal was blank at first. I saw the status update and then screamed.”
“I opened it with my mom and my brother next to me,” said Carlos Pino, an early decision admit. “It was kind of surreal to be honest.”
“I closed my eyes, and I clicked the status update … I saw the picture … I just screamed,” Guadarrama said. Much of her extended family came to celebrate her admission, bringing along a cake that read ‘happy birthday’ — the only one the store had in stock.
After being accepted, Guadarrama spoke with her godmother. “You didn't know if I was going to get in. Why did you buy me a cake?” she asked. Her godmother responded, “I always knew you were going to get in.”
Le opened the decision at Starbucks with her friend, something they had planned to do together since their freshman year of high school. “I was jumping up and down, and I think I took a lap outside the building.”
After opening his decision at a basketball game, Daniel Amadi “ran home to my mom, and then we just celebrated. We were really excited.”
“I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand at the time,” Kaufman said. After seeing his acceptance letter he remembers “running out to my parents and my grandparents.” He exclaimed, “Oh my God, I got in! I got in! I can’t believe I got in!”
“I heard my mom crying. She started calling my dad,” Hughes recalled. “It was one of those feelings like, ‘I did the impossible. I did what everyone told me you really can’t do.’”
The next four years
With A Day on College Hill approaching on April 14 and April 21, accepted applicants are gearing up to visit campus and meet their potential classmates.
Many social media platforms have already helped the future class of 2027 connect with one another, according to Nguyen. “Everybody I've talked to so far (on social media) is really genuine and sweet,” he said.
As an early decision applicant, Nguyen will be joining the class of 2027. “I didn’t think for a second that I made the wrong decision.”
Owen Dahlkamp is a first-year student from San Diego, CA studying Cognitive Neuroscience and Political Science. In his free time, he enjoys creating spreadsheets at Dave's Coffee.