University News

Expanding College Access
Ensuring Brown continues to cultivate the next generation of leaders

By Christina Paxson / January–March 2022
January 25th, 2022

Over the years, many incredible alumni have shared that without financial aid they could not have attended Brown. Their stories demonstrate the importance of bringing talented students from all income backgrounds to College Hill. We also have an obligation to promote educational achievement among children from surrounding communities. We can all be proud that Brown is advancing both of these priorities through a combination of new initiatives.

At the end of 2021, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of donors, we were delighted to surpass the $3 billion goal in the BrownTogether campaign. This success, combined with remarkable growth in our endowment, provides an opportunity to build on these two commitments, ensuring that Brown continues to attract the best and brightest students locally and globally and expanding college access in Rhode Island.

We plan to make investments in three distinct areas:

1. Brown will significantly increase scholarships for moderate-income students and reduce the summer earnings expectation for high-need students.

2. The University will move toward need-blind admission for international students.

3. Brown will develop a program that prepares talented students from local public schools to attend four-year colleges and universities, including Brown. Through these investments Brown will continue cultivating the next generation of leaders.

Financial aid is one of the best tools we have to recruit students who will become thoughtful leaders, global citizens, and pioneers of innovation. Beginning with the next academic year, we will change the calculation of how much a family has to contribute by eliminating the consideration of a family’s home equity. The resulting increased scholarship will cover full tuition for families earning $125,000 or less with typical assets. This marks a critical step toward our goal of making Brown affordable for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

These actions build on two decades of efforts to make a Brown education more accessible.

Beginning this summer, Brown will also reduce the summer earnings expectations for our highest-need students. With this change, Brown scholarships will cover all expenses—tuition, room, board, and books—for students from families who make less than $60,000 a year with typical assets, in addition to supporting personal expenses.

As the second prong of our investment, Brown will aggressively grow our financial aid budget for international students, with the goal of becoming fully need-blind for international students for the graduating class of 2029 (entering in fall 2025). This initiative will be instrumental in expanding the diversity of perspectives and experiences among our students while also providing a Brown education to talented young people who will go on to serve their communities locally, nationally, and globally. This initiative will be supported by increases in funds from the endowment as well as new fundraising.

These actions build on two decades of efforts to make a Brown education more accessible. In recent years we moved to need-blind admissions for domestic undergraduate students and replaced loans with grants in financial aid packages for all students through the Brown Promise initiative. We also became need-blind for students who have served in the U.S. military, increasing their scholarships and covering all tuition and fees for veterans.

The third prong of this plan involves working with community partners to develop, fund, and lead an intensive college-preparation program that will prepare cohorts of students from Providence to enter selective four-year degree programs. In future years, the program could be extended to other communities in Rhode Island’s urban core.

This program, which aligns with the state’s ambitious college attainment goals, will be part of several ongoing efforts that prioritize early intervention in addressing educational disparities. This work also aligns with Brown’s ongoing partnerships with the Providence Public School District and the Community College of Rhode Island.

With these new investments in attracting top talent and supporting them through their years at Brown, we have an opportunity to further demonstrate Brown’s commitment to building a community that serves the best students from around the world.

Read the January–March 2022 President's Spread on Entrepreneurship Grows at Brown here (PDF)

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Related Issue
January–March 2022