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48,881 students apply to class of 2028, down 5% from last year

Application pool is third-largest in Brown’s history

A total of 48,881 students applied to Brown’s class of 2028, marking both a 5% decrease from last year and the third-largest applicant pool in University history, according to Logan Powell, associate provost for enrollment and dean of undergraduate admission. 

This year, the University received 6,244 binding early decision applications and 42,637 applicants for its regular decision cycle, which closed Jan. 3. In December, the University welcomed 898 early decision applicants to the class of 2028 — the largest cohort in its history.

“We are thrilled with the quality of the applicant pool and honored to learn more about these incredible students as we continue the Regular Decision process,” Powell wrote in an email to The Herald. 


According to Powell, though the number of applicants has increased steadily for the last three admission cycles, this year’s decrease “was planned for and expected,” he wrote.

According to Brian Kim, director of data science, research and analytics at the Common Application, since the start of COVID-19 and the increase in test-optional admission policies at colleges and universities, “students seem to be expanding their options in colleges they consider since they don’t have to report their test scores.”  

Brown’s Ad Hoc Committee on Admissions Policies is currently considering changes to Brown’s test-optional policy, which has been in place since June 2020, The Herald previously reported.

Tiffany Blessing, a counselor at admission consulting company IvyWise and former assistant director of admissions at MIT, believes that more students are considering political factors when deciding where to apply. 

She cited reproductive rights as an example of political factors influencing students’ college application decisions. In Rhode Island, abortion access is codified in state law under the Reproductive Privacy Act of 2019. 

Regular decision applicants can expect to hear from the University in late March when all eight Ivy League schools simultaneously release admissions results.


Talia LeVine

Talia LeVine is a photographer for The Herald and a University News Senior Staff Writer focusing on Admissions & Financial aid. She is a first-year from Seattle, WA studying Political Science with an emphasis on human rights.

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