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Brown transitions to need-blind admissions for class of 2029 international students

University requires additional $100 million fundraising to make change permanent

Applicants to the class of 2028 are among the country’s first to be considered under a new application review process developed after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action policies in June.
Applicants to the class of 2028 are among the country’s first to be considered under a new application review process developed after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action policies in June.

Brown University will shift to a need-blind admissions policy for international students starting with the class of 2029. 

President Christina Paxson P’19 P’MD’20 first announced the transition in 2021, The Herald previously reported. While the change was funded by $120 million in donations, the University will need to raise another $100 million to make it permanent, according to a Jan. 25 Today@Brown announcement.

“Making Brown an affordable choice for extraordinarily talented international students from every income level is nothing short of transformational,” Paxson wrote in announcement. 

“The Enrollment Division is closely aligned with the College and we have been planning for this transition for over two years,” Associate Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Logan Powell wrote in an email to The Herald. “There will certainly need to be consideration of the changing composition of the incoming classes of Brown students, but those will be welcome changes for the community.”

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According to a Sept. 7 New York Times analysis, Brown currently ranks 230th among 286 of the most selective colleges in the country for socioeconomic diversity, The Herald previously reported. Currently, 40% of the international first-year class receives financial aid from the University, according to the announcement. 

The University will join seven other U.S. colleges and universities that offer need-blind admissions to international students. 

“The response to this initiative is a testament to the importance of providing financial aid for our international students, as well as to the power and generosity of the global Brown community,” Senior Vice President for Advancement Sergio Gonzalez wrote in a Jan. 25 press release.

The shift to a need-blind policy for international students builds on past changes to admissions and financial aid policy at Brown. 

In 2003, Brown was the last institution in the Ivy League to offer need-blind admissions to all domestic students. Five years later, it removed loans from financial aid packages for families with income under $100,000. In 2018, the Brown Promise completely replaced loans with scholarship funds. 

The news comes two days after the University settled a class action lawsuit for $19.5 million. The lawsuit alleged that Brown colluded to set financial aid calculation methods that “artificially inflated net prices of attendance,” The Herald previously reported. Brown admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.

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