BAM Do you anticipate changes in Brown’s admission standards or policies?
Miller No. This place is remarkably healthy: 17,000 applications for 1,450 spaces; the numbers are staggering. I do think there are areas we could keep working on—diversity writ large. Racial and ethnic diversity, certainly. Also intellectual diversity, political diversity. College is a chance to be challenged.
BAM What schools does Brown lose applicants to?
Miller The usual suspects: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford. Columbia actually has emerged as a big competitor. That’s a relatively new phenomenon. Columbia used to pretend it wasn’t in New York. Now they celebrate that.
BAM Are there advantages Brown is not capitalizing on?
Miller Not that I can discern at the moment. Brown has benefited tremendously from the resurgence of Providence. The campus is much more vital than when I was in college. And there’s a lot more talent.
BAM Does the Sidney Frank gift change the way your office will be recruiting?
Miller It’s an extraordinary message to kids all across the country that there’s only one door into Brown: you get in because you can do the work—not because your parents have money.
BAM Is that true in terms of alumni kids? They have a higher admission rate.
Miller Legacy kids have to hit the same bar. The rule of thumb is that if you have two kids of equal talent and ability, the decision will go to the alum kid. But a couple of things contribute: one, if there’s anything to genetics, they are smarter; and, two, it’s rare to see applications from alum kids who shouldn’t be applying.