Brown University Panel
Get the inside scoop on what it’s like to attend Brown University.
2021-08-10 Brown University Panel
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on Brown University Panel. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists.
Hello everybody. My name is Jasmine. I just graduated from brown with of 2021, and I studied politics, philosophy and economics. I’m Katie. Um, I am currently actually a first-year medical student at brown, but I also graduated in 2021 and I concentrated in science, technology and society. Um, with a focus in medical anthropology and mental health.
So I can start now. Um, so just give you guys a brief overview of brown. Brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island. We’re a private school and we’re about medium size. So it talks about [00:01:00] 9,000 students total. Um, I really feel like brown size is nice because it doesn’t feel so bad that you’re drowning, but too small that everybody knows everybody.
So I feel like it’s a nice size there. Um, it’s urban. So it’s, um, if you know anything about Providence, there’s downtown Providence, and then there’s a big hill college hill, and brown is right on top of college hill. Um, it’s a pretty big campus, but again, not too crazy that you can’t get around and there’s a shuttle to help you get around places if you don’t want to walk.
But I’d say it’s actually a very walkable.
So, yeah, some of our notable alumni you’ll see Emma Watson and John presents ski. I think John presents, he actually came two years ago the year before COVID and gave our commencement address, which is amazing. Um, brown is the first Ivy that accepts all religious affiliations. That’s kind of a fun fact.
Another fun fact that everyone talks about is the van Winkle gates. Those are kind of like the gates and every picture. You’ll see a ground where you walk through only twice in your entire time [00:02:00] here once when you commence, when you start school and once when you graduate and that’s always a big, uh, fanfare event.
So in terms of the academic scene, undergraduate education, almost everyone is in the college, which is just what undergraduate life is called. Um, there’s also a school of engineering specifically for students studying engineering. Um, the big thing you know about brown, if you know anything is the open curriculum.
Um, so what that essentially means, and we’ll probably talk a little bit more about it too, is that there are no major requirements. So a lot of colleges you might be looking at, there’s like a core where you have to take like one math, one science literature class, um, at brown it’s completely open. So you take whatever you want so long as you graduate with a degree of concentration.
Um, and then you have to take two writing classes. Um, but beyond that brown really lets you explore and you can kind of take whatever you want, which I think was very, very fun.
Yeah, this is going to be [00:03:00] about the graduate academic division. So it’s kind of the graduate schools, if you will. So, um, medicine, obviously, that’s where I’m at. So the Warren Alpert medical school, we also have a school of professional studies. That’s very close by a school of public health, which you may have heard about in the news at all.
Um, our school of public health is like, I think one of the top ranked in the country and is currently doing a lot with COVID. The brand school of engineering is let’s picture it in the back. It was recently remodeled, a very, very nice building and also just, you know, a great department. And then kind of like the general encapsulation of all the other graduate schools.
We, some of the programs that we’re most known for, for example, are going to be your MFA program. So in the literary arts department, as well as our history program, we’re very renowned for, um, yeah, that’s kind of the rundown of the graduate schools.
Um, so in terms of some student life facts, um, here are a couple of our most popular majors. Computer science to me is definitely one of our most popular majors. Um, the fun thing about [00:04:00] CS in case we’re wondering is that there are so many different variations to computer science at brown. So you can do a bachelor of arts, a bachelor of science.
You can do CS econ, where you do like computer science plus economics. Um, and I think there’s a couple more types of concentrations where you can blend computer science and other things. So it’s definitely a really popular space at brown if you’re interested on. But beyond that, we have a lot of other popular majors, including economics, math, et cetera.
Um, in terms of student life, we are a division one, so we have tons of different, um, varsity teams as well as junior varsity teams and club sports at brown. I was a cheerleader for a little. Which was like considered a club. And then I joined the ballroom team, which I guess is also club, but we were very competitive and traveled a lot, which was very fun.
Um, so there’s tons of different ways you can get involved, even if you’re not on like one of our 33 varsity teams. Um, I see somebody raising their hand. Are we taking questions at the end? Yeah. There’s going to be a Q and a at the end. And I don’t think that people [00:05:00] can, um, speak, um, like the audience can’t speak, but you can type your questions in the Q and a tab, or if you have tech issues, put it in the public chat.
So, yeah, in terms of student life at brown, a major, I would say a major part of my life, my life and undergrad was being a part of extracurriculars and that kind of thing be divided into service organizations, for example. So we have a really big service or on campus called the square center, which is run through brown and they help you organize different things.
So it might be for example, making education more accessible. Um, I worked a lot with mental health policy on campus. So a ton of student organizations where you can really find what your passion is, and also kind of find your group of people. Um, intramural sports is a huge thing, brown as an intramural, but brown is.
Um, well known for our ultimate Frisbee team, actually leave ranked first, nationally this past year. It just kind of cool. Um, a lot of public service groups, a lot of what we’ll do here. And what kind of ground really encourages, I [00:06:00] would say is a big student advocacy piece. So you’ll see a lot of folks go out into Providence, the city, which, um, outside of the school campus, right.
Kind of varies in terms of socioeconomic class. Um, if you could speak Spanish or Portuguese, that’ll be a huge help over here in terms of working with either like the free clinics. For example, I’m feeling pre-med or just kind of working with other student organizations off campus, a couple of school events and traditions, or this couple here a day on college hill, for example, and was when all the pre frosh, after you get in, you get to come and explore shopping.
Period is a huge thing that is basically the first two weeks of every semester. You are going around and shopping at Casa. So instead of signing on to take, okay, these are the five classes I’m taking this semester. You actually can go to a bunch of different tosses and see what’s right for you. So think of it almost as like the professors selling their class to you and their teaching style.
Um, what else? We got midnight, Oregon playing, which happens for example, on Halloween every [00:07:00] year they’ll play, um, the theme, the Hedwig’s theme song from Harry Potter. Um, you’ll have the gala having petting is kind of not a thing anymore, but heavy petting that used to bring out dogs onto the main grain.
Um, we have chicken finger Friday, so all of these really fun events and traditions that you will experience when you come here. And it’s a really great experience. I’d like to, as a senior now graduated. I think I went to most of them, although some of them are canceled for the COVID. So I think we have a poll question.
Some of you have started answering it. Um, I can give a couple more people, a couple seconds to put on their answer, but first question, are you planning to apply to brown? Um, yes. Now maybe not sure. So far it looks like some people are saying yes, definitely feel free to add. Okay. A lot more yeses. This is getting exciting, Katie.
It looks like we’re doing a good job of selling her out. Um, [00:08:00] yeah. And if you’re on the maybe line that’s okay. Hopefully you can tell you more about brown that convinced. UI where a special school to find him. And if you’re not sure that’s great because that’s why we’re here to help. You know, ground’s a good fit I can say while we’re on this slide while I absolutely loved brown brown might not be the great fit for everybody.
And so I think it’s great to attend information sessions like this, to kind of start getting a sense of what types of things you really want in your college experience and what types of things would make you really happy. I think we can head on to the next slide then. Okay. I guess I can do this one on why I chose brown.
Um, so I said that I chose brown because brown gives you the freedom to shape your education. I mentioned the open curriculum earlier, but I can talk a bit more about it. Um, so at brown, my major was actually an independent concentration politics, philosophy, and economics. I was able to create that through Brown’s independent concentration program.
I submitted this big application. I like applied to committee. Um, and what was fun about my concentration was that I used it to study the fashion industry. [00:09:00] So it used, um, politics, philosophy and economics analyzing issues and fashion. Thinking about questions about the role of aesthetics in society, um, how dress can be used to communicate and what role things like property plans from the economic and philosophical perspective.
Um, and that was really helpful because, um, afterwards I ended up applying to law school and I want to be a fashion lawyer. Um, and so I really felt like brown. Like what’s the place for, I could really explore that idea of fashion law, but explore it from a liberal arts perspective. Um, and so I felt like other universities that have more rigid curriculums wouldn’t have allowed me to do something quirky, like studying PPE and fashion, but so that’s really what really helped me choose brown.
I don’t know about you, Katie. Um, I’m on the next slide. Yes. Um, so I chose, I chose band for a myriad of reasons. Um, as I know, a lot of you y’all might be interested in, I am a part of the PLME program, the program in liberal medical education. And so the biggest [00:10:00] reason why I chose brown is because I actually like the liberal arts and I’m a lot better words than I am at science and math, to be perfectly honest.
Um, so a big part of coming here was being able to explore all these different disciplines. Um, kind of like Jasmine, I didn’t create my own IC, but I did basically. Do that under another, another umbrella. So under science technology and society, right. I was thinking about the history of science and philosophy of science really coming at it and thinking about topics that I thought would be extremely valuable to me.
So thinking about medicine from the perspective of disability studies, or from thinking about historical racism, right. That’s kind of a huge part of my studies here from anthropology. Um, and a huge part that like, you know, is a big place in my heart. Um, and coming to brown, I remember my freshman year, I took a class in the religious studies on religious studies on Buddhism and deaths.
And that’s something that’s still kind of informs how I’m thinking about what a good death looks like or how to treat my patients and palliative care, for [00:11:00] example, which I might want to go to, um, today. So that was a huge, huge part of, for me, of course,
Yeah, we have another fool about where you are in the college application process. So we can give everybody a second to kind of answer that one. And I know some of y’all might be earlier in your high school year, so no worries if you haven’t started. Um, and it’s also early August, so, um, you’re still at the beginning stages.
That is totally normal. Yeah. And it looks like a lot of people are still working on putting together their school list. I think that’s a great place because it lets you kind of explore and think about, like I said earlier, what you feel like you would envision your college experience to be like, I think it’d be one of them had to the next slide.
Okay. So [00:12:00] let’s talk application process, which might be nerve-wracking, but hopefully we can kind of de-mystify it for you guys. Um, so there’s two big windows for brown, early decision and regular decision. Your ed window that will be closed on November 1st. And then regular decision is January 5th. So there are differences between applying early decision and regular decision.
If you’re not familiar with that, the biggest thing is that early decision is binding. So if you were to get accepted into brown, early decisions, that is essentially you committing to brown saying, this is my number one school. If I get in I’m going there, if you’re not sure brown is like, people always will.
You want to go to, you could apply regular decision. I applied regular decision and it’s just as great. It’s the same people reading your application. You just get your decision a little bit later. So we require for supplemental. And then if you’re applying to like the PLE M E program, do you guys call it cleaning or is that just the as yes, no.
Uh, I call it, I call it sleep. We have three extra essays for [00:13:00] the clini, and I believe there are a couple extra essays if you’re interested in the brown risky program, which is like the art school here as well. Yes. Um, and then your acceptance rate. So it’s 5.4%. Um, and right now a lot of applicants, 55% are identifying as students of color.
And I know brown just from being there has really been working on trying to increase diversity efforts into the recruiting and retention. And then the experience for those, um, students who identify as Jews of color on campus, um, with this one would be accept, acceptance rate, and that number was way lower with COVID.
But in pastures, it was around like 8%. Yes.
Okay. So this is kind of the average stats of admitted students. And I always preface this by saying right. Stats really? Is not what gets you into a school like brown unfortunately, or fortunately, right? [00:14:00] There’s, it’s a holistic application. It really is about the whole story and the whole narrative. And so I always say extracurriculars essays, that’s really going to make the difference between an acceptance and a reduction.
Um, that being said, the average unweighted GPA is 3.9, right? We have a really high act score, high sat score, and we do take the FAFSA. We require the FAFSA and the CSS profile, which is for private schools. Um, brown is pretty amazing about loans. I think recently I want to say two years ago, we actually made this promise to undergrads that if you have need, we will not make it alone essentially.
So money, it will be given as a scholarship, all the money that brown believes that you need will be given to you as a scholarship. You do not have to pay it back. And I think that’s really amazing and also makes it so that folks who want to come are able to. I should also say, and this might come up later that brown is test optional this year.
And so, you know, that might factor in, if you’re looking at your sat or [00:15:00] act score and you’re like, Hey, like, this is not what I want to submit today. Uh, test optional. Right? That’s a, that’s a thing I would explore further with your advisor.
So, um, okay. So that is the, um, that’s the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab, moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read the, your questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, um, and then read them aloud before our panelists gives you an answer as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just double-check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page.
Um, if you’d joined through the webinar landing page or like the website, um, it’ll only be. Uh, ask questions in the chat, which is fun. It’s just, we’re going to try and keep it organized so we will get to your question best we can. And yeah. So [00:16:00] I guess just to start it off since this was a big topic or very important to brown, um, and y’all have very interesting, uh, majors, uh, why not?
Why, what, um, what is the open curriculum like and how do you like navigate it and go about making your major. Um, so I can say that. So when I was at brown, I worked at the curriculum resource center, which is the center on campus that is specifically related to peer advising. Um, and so when we talk about the open curriculum and navigating it, I think one thing you could think about is using your resources.
Um, so when I came to brown, I didn’t have like an older sibling or someone from my school that could tell me how to navigate brown. So having a center like CRC, um, or other peer advising, um, opportunities like the Meiklejohn program is something we have, um, there’s so much advising at brown that can really help you navigate your curriculum.
I think I jumped ahead of myself. Your first part of the question is just explaining how it is. [00:17:00] And what’s fun and bad about it. Um, for me, I really, really liked the open curriculum. I’m a person who always has a clear path of what I want to learn every semester. I set out to where there’s something different.
Um, I’m really like a liberal arts person. And I decided one semester I wanted to learn how to code. So I signed up for a coding class and I took it pass fail, and I learned how to code. Um, and like the open curriculum gives you that ability to do things like that. If you’re someone who was really self guided in terms of your education, um, if you’re someone who sometimes likes more structure, that’s what I would say, leaning on those resources and peers can kind of help you figure out how to navigate.
Yeah. I like to describe, like on the two opposite ends of the spectrum of the Ivy league schools, I like to put Columbia on one end and brown on the other end, right? Where Columbia, for example, is very well known for its core curriculum. You have a very set schedule of classes and specific topics that everyone has to cover.
And the pro of that is that you build community. The con of that is there’s less [00:18:00] freedom, right? At brown. The biggest thing I looked forward to every single semester was getting the new class, um, lineup for the next semester on, you know, we call it tab and going through all the passes and like, wow, that sounds so interesting.
And ending up with like 10 or more cart classes in my cart and being like, I’m so excited for this next semester because there’s so many wild classes, right. And some of these classes really are wild. Like for example, there’s a history of pirates class. Um, there was like a ship building class in the engineering department.
They’re kind of all over the place. It’s about what you’re excited for. Right. And so there is a lot of freedom and sometimes that can be overwhelming. And so it’s really knowing what you prefer for me, that freedom was like a godsend, especially after high school, where I was like, I’m tired of taking these classes and doing all these tests that, you know, aren’t really suited to what I personally enjoy and that’s kind of why I ended up at.
Okay. Um, so y’all’s curriculum [00:19:00] sounds way interesting. Okay. Uh, one student asks, what extraordinary things did you do, um, that, that you got to Jesus. What extraordinary things did you do that you got, uh, got you into brown. There we go. So, okay. Um, so I’m assuming that’s meeting in high school. Um, so one of the major things that I did in high school was I actually worked at a teen suicide hotline.
So clearly, if you couldn’t tell I’m a big thread of my life has been thinking about mental health and applicating about mental health. Um, so if there’s a suicide hotline and that was the basis of actually my personal statement, um, you know, I get some more, very much more boring things too. Like I was on the science Olympia team in my high school.
Um, you know, I did volunteering things. And I think the one big thing I want to impart is that when you say extraordinary, right? A lot of times we’re thinking like Olympic AFI, we’re thinking like winner of the eight Intel, they should just name of it. But like the [00:20:00] Intel science fair competition, like getting published in a paper, like massive things like that.
I certainly did not do any of those things. I just pulled together a really good cohesive narrative about what I cared about and why I cared about what I cared about, if that makes sense. And so for me, a lot of that was honestly talking about humanities and medicine, which is exactly what I ended up studying, um, which is not the case for everyone, but right.
It’s kind of like having that cohesive narrative. It doesn’t have to, I don’t have to be extraordinary. I just have to have a passion and a way to fulfill that up around. Yeah, basically to echo what Katie just said. I don’t think I did anything extraordinary in high school. Um, I was worried, I like brown was my first choice.
I thought I wouldn’t get in because I wasn’t like in the Olympics or like winning national competitions. Um, I think what helped me get into brown was that my application was really awful. Um, in my high school, I like tried to take advantage of like independent studies. [00:21:00] I took like Greek online because I thought I wanted to study classics at brown.
And so I like were in Greek, senior year. Um, and like I did things like that in my high school where I tried to follow my passions. And then I put that in my application and I feel like that really shown through versus like collecting as many trophies as I could and hopes of like standing out that is very true.
And I do want to add that, um, the webinar is being recorded so that you can view it at a later time through the website. And then also you can download the slides in the handouts tab if you had any, if you want to look over it again. Um, but I guess going off of that topic of like admissions and what they’re looking for, what quality do you think brown values most from I’m assuming, um, students that are applying.
I felt like brown likes. We have the reputation of being this like very liberal Ivy league. And I think the way to, the way I thought about that in my application process was [00:22:00] that brown really respect students that are wanting to learn more about the world, wanting to have challenging conversations, wanting to collaborate with people who are different than them.
Um, and so for me, I felt like that’s something that brown is looking for is a level of like, I want to be challenged. I don’t just want to do the one thing that I’ve like, like you can come to brown and only study math because you knew were like math and then you never do anything outside of math. But I think the whole.
Philosophical thing behind the Oregon curriculum. And the way brown is structured is that an actually really gives you the chance to expand and explore and learn new things and talk to new people. And so I feel like if you have that type of perspective in your application, but I’m both really passionate about something and I’m really excited to expand.
I think that was something that brown really like, I don’t know. Yeah. And I think to add onto that, um, the big thing since actually coming to brown and being here that really stands out to me about our student population [00:23:00] is kind of, I think of it as like a two-pronged thing. One. Really big student advocacy.
So a lot of folks here are passionate about a social cause specifically, and really kind of fighting for it, whether it be policy or, you know, through a completely different like, you know, writing about it, journalism, the folks here really are passionate and really fight for things. Um, the other problem, I think about a lot is, uh, what I would call like ethical community engagement.
And so just really wanting to engage with the community, but not just like, oh, I volunteer here and there because it looks good on my resume. Um, we really value kind of like thinking through and being very thoughtful about where making impact about our place as grad students in the writer, Providence community.
And so those are the two, like two of the bigger things that I see a lot of conversations about, um, on the brown campus. And it’s kind of embodies a student, uh, the student body to me. That sounds us. And, um, so I [00:24:00] guess going off of that, so the opposite end, um, we know why brown chose y’all, but why did y’all chose choose brown and what made it so unique?
And then another student who had also add what are some improvements you would suggest that brown needs to connect. Yeah, I can, uh, start. So, and I’m, I can answer another small question that you’ve seen pop them in the Q and a. So part of why I chose brown, I’m not going to lie is to be a part of the BSM team program here, or the plea MI program or the PLME program.
If you want to spell it out. Um, again, like I said, I am not a perfectly true lover of stem. In fact, I really hate math actually specifically. And so, um, being a part of clingy was, you know, a dream for me in terms of clearly from my undergrad experience. And you can see my extracurriculars, even in undergrad.
None of it, I did this for my resume was all entirely because I wanted to, and I really craved that freedom coming from the high school that I went [00:25:00] to. Um, so that was a huge part of it. The other big part of it was I visited and I think, um, Brown has almost like shaped me into the adult that I am in terms of like my philosophies about the world.
And so I’ve really loved what brown has done for me in that way. And that’s not really why I chose it, but looking back kind of a part of it, it was like, I felt like these were my people when I visited. Um, I really liked Providence. I come from a very big city come from Los Angeles and I kind of liked that Providence was the perfect size to be a student in, without a car, in my opinion.
Um, so that’s kind of, um, some of the vague reasons I reflect the Oakland curriculum is up and do that again. But yeah, Jasmine. Yeah. I mean, I think I already talked mostly about like why chose band, which is the academic things, um, in terms of improvement. I mean, I think from was like the best college for me, but every college can be improved.
I mean, I don’t know if there’s like very [00:26:00] specific ones that would be worth getting into, cause I think you could probably say the same for every college. Like, oh, they could have more doors. I don’t know, like most of brown is pretty fine, but always small interprets that could be made. Okay. Um, so y’all said that y’all really liked the campus.
So can you describe some more of the campus life? Uh, some students are asking about housing, um, meals, what the city and like, um, safety measures on campus. So I can talk a little bit about like on campus. So freshman year you get matched randomly with a roommate and you get randomly placed around kids.
There’s really not much you can do on that one. You just hope it all works out. Um, some of my friends are still best friends with their college roommates from freshman year. So really, um, after that, as a sophomore, you get to kind of like pick, you can go through the housing lottery or if you ended up joining like a Greek house.
So I [00:27:00] was in a sorority, you can go through Greek or program housing if you’re in like a special program house, which are like different theme towels, there’s like a tech house, for example, um, or like a French house. Um, and then after that you can apply to go off campus as a junior and senior, I lived off campus for my last two years at brown.
You can kind of live on college hill and around the neighborhood area. A lot of people like to do that. Cause it kind of gives you a chance to live on your own. Um, some people live downtown though. It’s a little bit harder to do. So cause you have to like get up the big health I talked about in the beginning.
Um, but in terms of. Navigating your on brown Katie kind of already mentioned it. You can a hundred percent live around brown and not have a car. I actually did get a car senior year and that was great because I got to explore Providence more. So I like drove around a Newport more and I went to Boston more.
Um, and Brown’s only an hour away from Boston, which is super spree. Nice. Uh, I didn’t touch on safety. Katie, do you want to talk more about [00:28:00] that one and anything else you want to add? Yeah, I can cover that. Yeah. So I will, I can do like a little bit of food and safety too. So that was actually, I forgot to mention, like, if there’s anything I changed about brown, um, brown suit honestly is pretty good compared to other schools like, uh, I visit my friends at Harvard a lot.
I find brown food to be a little bit more diverse, but even so I, um, I remember my first year kind of like really craved, um, food from home a lot when I was here. Um, so it’s like, if, if there’s anything I would change, I would say the food. But I also moved off campus my senior year. Um, then you have a kitchen, right?
And you kind of have access to whatever you want to cook, which is really nice. Um, but that’s kind of food. Um, we have a lot of dining halls. Some of them are like the, the dining halls. You’ve seen TV, where you go, when you get whatever you want, it’s all you can eat. Buffet style. Other ones are more like cafes or you kind of purchased by the meals.
So we’ve a lot of [00:29:00] diversity when it comes to meal plan, which I actually really, really enjoyed. And that was a huge plus of Brown’s food specifically. Um, in terms of our safety, I personally would say, and again, this is, you know, considering like I come from Los Angeles. So to me, Providence feels very, very safe.
Um, I walk around on campus, uh, late at night and, um, Don’t worry about my safety, um, and that, but that being said, safety measures. We have a late night shuttle. We have multiple late nights shuttles that will take you different places. And that goes all around campus. And we even have an on-call shuttle that you can call to pick you up downtown and take you back to the accuracy you want to go to.
So somebody said Friedenberg like, that’s what the on-call shuttle kind of is. Um, it only operates at night though, too, you know, for safety purposes, we have those roulette campuses of blue lights on campus that everyone has. But I think in general, the Providence, we specifically where you’ll be as a student, uh, on college hill is extremely [00:30:00] safe.
Um, mostly you see other students around you. Um, so yeah, I would say I’ve always felt very comfortable, even if I’m walking around at night as, you know, a small female. Okay, thank you for that response. So we’re going to do a quick promo, um, send this up.
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So, um, okay. So we learned a little bit about campus life. So can you tell a little bit more about like the social scene? Some students are asking about diversity and others are asking [00:31:00] like, what the community’s like, is it like a cutthroat co-chair what is it. Um, so I can say that one thing that also drew me to brown that I mentioned earlier is that I never felt like the culture is cut throat.
I don’t know about you Katie in the sciences. Um, but for me, like I always felt really supported. I felt like everyone was collaborative. My high school was super cut throat. So it was really like refreshing to be in a place where I could just focus on myself, um, in terms of diversity. Um, so there is a center for students of color, the BCSC, um, they organize lots of different events for students of color.
Um, and there’s different student groups that are affiliated with the BCSC. So at brown, I was the president of our black pre-law association. Um, I can talk a about three law at brown and people have questions on that too. Um, but that was like a really great sense of community for me. Cause I really got to meet, um, other black student.
You know, aiming towards what I want. Um, other social scene stuff. I mentioned I was in Greek life. Um, and then I kind of did [00:32:00] athletic stuff. Uh, so I feel like I kind of got a good sense of it, but overall I’d say brown as a place where you can kind of do what you want. You can get as involved or as not involved in anything really.
Um, like you could join a bunch of clubs and just do a bunch of random things. You can also like be in one or two clubs and like feed presidents of them by your sophomore, junior year. It’s really like up to you and what you want to get out of those experiences. Yeah. And I’ll probably echo mostly what Jasmine said.
I wasn’t predictable, especially, I can’t really speak on that, but I never felt like it was cut throat. Obviously I was pre-med and I was in pre-med classes, so I can definitely speak to that. Um, I also came from a pretty competitive high school and that was actually a meeting. Um, point of where citing, where I applied to, to be perfectly honest, I specifically chose not to apply to competitive pre-med schools or like cut through med schools that were kind of rumored to be that that’s not how it is here at brown, because we don’t re deflate meaning like we don’t penalize you [00:33:00] if everybody else in your class does better than you want to test, for example.
So that’s kind of, I think a big reason why we also like very much encourage collaboration. Um, that is a huge part of like, I don’t know, premier culture here. Like I frequently study with other people, um, I was going to say something else that I totally forgot. Um, we also have a lot of community events back before COVID, but I remember for example, every spring would throw a huge carnival on the main green.
And one of the beautiful things about the size of brown, which is like at around 6,000 is typically I can walk across campus and see someone that I recognized from one of my classes and does doesn’t mean that I know everyone, but it means I always see a familiar face and I can always smile and kind of say hi.
And so that’s something that I’ve also really enjoyed about grounding our community here. Okay. So, um, I guess going off of the cutthroat and like what classes or likes, there were some questions about like work life balance, what the classes are like rigor [00:34:00] and then also like class size teacher, student ratio, stuff like that.
So classes at brown, you can, when I say you can kind of make your education at brown, I really mean it. I was literally in a class by myself, which is something I wanted one person. I have also been in the class with like a hundred people when I took CS. I think so you can, I think there’s a whole range at brown.
Um, in terms of that rigor, I think everyone has different experiences. I would just say broadly that like different classes have different work expectations and different people have different strengths. So a class that might seem really rigorous to one person, but actually just be super fun for another person.
Um, I felt that a lot at brown, but just like everyone had very different streets. I always felt appropriately challenged as someone who like high school was sometimes easy, but the hardest part was getting through all the work and like being, like getting through the culture of high school here, I felt like appropriately challenged in my [00:35:00] classes.
Yeah. Um, I would say, oh gosh, I forgot the starting of the question. Um, I, um, took a lot of English and writing classes and some something that people don’t realize here is that a brown actually, we encourage those. Like those classes are mandatory pass fail, because they’re not supposed to be about like how well you’re writing creatively, but rather how much you’re pushing yourself.
So that’s like a fun thing to talk about when it’s taught. We’re talking about difficulty in terms of size. I think a majority of my classes were somewhere between 15 to 30 classes. Again, keep in mind. Uh, taking a lot of liberal arts classes. And so those were kind of like the seminars, for example, would be around those sizes and the professors did know my name.
Um, and that’s kind of cool. And they, you know, a lot of them will schedule one-on-one meetings with you and really give you personalized feedback. That being said, right? Like every other school, if you’re taking introduction to chemistry, because you’re a pre-med student, that’s going to be a hundred students, a hundred [00:36:00] students in that class.
Plus, um, I will say brown professors or brown in general, really values teaching. So unlike other, you know, bigger public schools, for example, you don’t get grad students teaching you, you do get professors. And then after that, we kind of break off into like conference and discussion sections where you might have a TA who’s a grad or even an undergrad, depending on the class, which is also a lot of fun.
Yeah. Okay. Um, before we jumped back into like, um, academic stuff, can you tell a little bit more about financial aid? How y’all um, if y’all received any, um, what scholarships or like, yeah. So I can say I did receive financial aid at brown. Um, I would say that when someone was wondering about applying early decision, versus not for me personally, Brahm was my number one dream school, but I didn’t apply early decision because I was worried about financial aid.
Um, and not applying [00:37:00] early decision gave me the chance to get packages at other Ivy leagues. And I was able to bring those to brown and I got a much better package because of that. Brown is a full need school. So what that does need is that there is a cap when it comes to how many outside scholarships you can apply.
Um, if you don’t know about this, I would just do some research and scholarship disinvestment. I believe this is what it is dispersant. Um, because there are social displacement, there is a limit to how much outside scholarship money you can use at a school that is full need. Um, I was able to find lots of outside scholarships, both starting in high school.
I started looking as a junior in high school and I kept applying since I’d been at brown. I got scholarship money, like even my senior year. And so every time I got scholarship money, I just kept applying. It, kept applying it. Um, and then between that and doing some work over summer, I was able to graduate debt free.
I did take out loans as well. Um, so I will say that brown ended up being affordable for my family, but it was a combination of like me [00:38:00] applying for scholarships, me being really intentional about being debt free, but also brown spiritually package was able to. Step up in terms of money for us, uh, real quick.
Cause I need this too, but if you don’t mind, can you type some of the scholarship names in the public chat? If you’re a
I’ll continue, I’m talking. Yeah. So I always that like brown paper is extremely expensive and by no means, am I racing that it can be cheaper than a public school? Right. And I, again like the UCS are 30 K brown is about twice that, but with the additional financial aid, sometimes it can not be cheaper things that financial aid might cover.
And we’re doing a lot to kind of expand on it. For example, might be laundry. So here laundry is coin operated by most students, financial aid will cover that financial aid can help you cover the cost of books, cover the costs of a flight home for me, for [00:39:00] example, um, Uh, when I said books, I mean textbooks, by the way.
Um, or like books you need for school. Um, flights, like if your laptop, I remember my room, she’s still T all over her, her laptop and needed the money to, to fix her laptop. And, you know, that’s something that they were able to get her emergency funding. Um, and it does, it can also cover not only tuition, but room in board food, right?
So, you know, uh, sensibly, when someone says they’re on a full ride to brown, it doesn’t mean that they got a merit scholarship. I want to be very clear about that. Ivy leagues do not offer merit scholarships and my merit. What I mean is it’s not based off your achievement. Um, everyone who comes to brown is eligible.
If you apply to work for financial aid and. Your family estimated family contribution and they provide the rest of it. So someone, if someone says they’re on a full ride to an Ivy league school, right? Again, we’re not talking merit scholarship, we’re talking about what the family needs and [00:40:00] providing what they need because everyone who comes to brown is amazing and is achieving a lot.
So it’s not, um, it’s not the merit, if that makes sense. So I want to make that clear because people sometimes get confused when they hear the word like scholarship. Um, Yasmin I think is talking to like outside scholarships. So I saw a, you put it outside of brown that you can apply to your tuition, which, um, is really nice and you supplied directly to your money.
It’s kind of great. Um, but it’s not given to you by brown. And if someone talks about brown, giving them a scholarship, what they most likely mean is their brown is giving them the money, like is giving them the tuition costs. If that makes sense, instead of like loading it to them. Um, so those are kind of the terms that you want to be.
Yeah. And there are other webinars on financial aid, um, more specifically. So if you’re having trouble with that, especially with all the forms, um, a lot of private schools give better financial aid, but they require a lot more paperwork like the FAFSA uh IDRC, which is through college [00:41:00] board and the CSS profile, which is through college boards.
So make sure to look at your school’s requirements when you’re applying to schools for that. But, um, I guess to go off of that, a lot of people are asking about the pre-professional programs. So can you talk a bit about like what opportunities, um, they have, um, what they were like, what the courses were like, just the programs in general, anything you’d like to share so I can cover.
Law and business, because those are the two types of spaces I was in at brown on the business side. I did investment banking for a summer, so I can talk a little bit about investment making. I did a little recruiting, I would say brown is really, um, recruiting for consulting. Brown is really good. If you’re interested in IB consulting, finance, there are tons of resources beyond classes.
I, when I got my I investment banking internship, I had not even taken an economics class yet, but brown was able to help me learn how to get through my finance interviews. I learned my technicals, um, and there’s so many [00:42:00] different recruiting events. So they have all of the major banks and consulting firms and tech companies.
Everyone comes on campus. There’s both like the official career fair that we have. Like twice a year, but then we also just have on-campus recruiting events all the time. So if you want to like, come in and network with like a bank or with a consulting firm with like a Google or something, they’re always on campus.
Um, so that’s like the business side from the law side. So I was pretty low the whole time. It was like, I was at brown. We have different law advising at brown. We have a specific, like three professional advisor that helps with pre-launch through med. And that’s like a point person you can go to for application stuff.
There’s also so many organizations. So I told you I was president of the black pre-law association. There’s always, there’s also just a general pre-loss association and a pre-launch journal society, I believe. Um, so between different student groups, plus the actual official pre-law advising, I felt super, super supportive while I was at brown.
I was fortunate enough. I was [00:43:00] accepted to law school as a junior at brown. So like there were tons of resources that helped me achieve that pretty early on in my time. Cool. And so I can speak to them. Pre-med and also CSN hearing, since I know a lot of people that are vaguely. Um, so with pre-med kind of like Jasmine was mentioning, we do have a specific pre-health advisor.
If you decide you want to apply to medical school, you know, you’ve taken all your pre-med. Serving your junior year, actually you’ll be in direct conversation with them. And so the way it works is they are kind of like the direct gatekeeper. If your application, they have to write your recommendation letter, you actually have to do multiple interviews and essay questions for brown itself to help you both prepare for medical school applications.
But also, so the medical school, like the pre-health advisors here can know you and directly like, you know, what your strengths and weaknesses are and kind of support you in that. Um, so that’s kind of directly what brown. For it’s like pre-med students. [00:44:00] Um, in terms of CS, again, like was mentioning the career fair is less for pre-med.
It’s more for kind of all the other professions. Um, but when it comes to CS, a lot of folks, a lot of recruiters come here, so you’ll, you’ll go to the recruiters and if not to get free food or to get a free succulent plants, um, to get information. And a lot of my friends have talked to those recruiters.
Um, there’s kind of support for technical interviews as well. And. A lot of folks get internships during their summers at big companies, like, you know, the Amazon apples, Googles of the world. Um, and I see a lot of folks going to San Francisco and Seattle both during the summers here and also post-graduation.
Um, I want to mention that brown has a specifically dedicated career lab. I know I definitely went there multiple times in my freshman, sophomore year. They do anything from as simple as literally reading over your resume and giving you pointers and how to create a better resume, all practical interviews with you.
Um, [00:45:00] so they believe on the full gamut and they’ll even bring employers there. We have a whole website called handshake. Um, and also I think like Bruno bears, alumni, where you can connect with alumni at brown or different job opportunities. So. My freshman summer, I actually worked for brown alum that I found off that website.
And I’ve made use of those upsides to find summer internships pretty much every single year post that. Um, and they also provide funding sometimes for unpaid internships, which is really, really amazing. And I took advantage of that to do the work that I wanted to do as well. Um, so yeah, that’s kind of pre-professional um, I can quickly also mentioned, is this a good time to mention the PME program McKenzie or I could see that later.
Uh, what was the question? Sorry, sorry. Um, should I, is this a good time to mention the plenty program as pre-professional or I could do that later. Yes. You can do that now. And then also, if you want, you can start just quickly answering questions in the chat. Like if you want to type them out. Um, yeah, the CNE, um, [00:46:00] feel free to type them in the.
I think it should be in the Q and a okay. Um, so plenty program, right? Like I said, it’s a BSMD program. The way it differs is that we have slightly less requirements when it comes to pre-med classes. And we do not apply to medical school. If you applied to out to medical school, you actually use your spot at the brown Alpert medical school, but you come in with the spot waiting for you.
Um, the pre-health advising there. Then if your planning is completely different, have our own set of deans and advisors and kind of guidelines that we have to apply by. So we have to take a certain number of pre-med classes alongside everybody else. And then once you finish those pre-med classes, you kind of have to, um, speak with your Dean figure kind of like your next course of action, exactly how you’re going to get to medical school and how it’s going to support you as a future physician, essentially.
Um, that’s kind of some of the basic questions about clini. Um, let me see if, if there’s any more I’m going to, I can type some answers in the chat if that’s going to be helpful for folks [00:47:00] as we can. Uh, okay. For a general, well, this isn’t general, but do either of you have experience with like international students or being an international student and then also first gen or any sort of other affinity or affiliation gave you?
Yeah. So, um, my freshman year roommate who is still my current best friend is an international student. Um, there is a ton of support for international students on campus. And I know this again, cause my roommate like ran a lot of the programs. Um, so they kind of try and do their best to make sure that folks feel like they have a home here.
Um, and they also offer support with like straight up logistics things. Right. So like making sure that your visa is getting renewed and how you apply for that. Um, they’ll organize a lot of trips around Providence. So I remember they went apple picking, they went to an alpaca farm, um, really fun things that I also wanted to do.
And I ended up doing separately, but, um, there’s, that’s a really big part of [00:48:00] campus. Um, there also are a lot of community or social groups surrounding the international students. So, um, there will be wounds that are popping to mind, for example, is like, there’s like a Korean international student group, for example.
Um, and there’s a whole half of a floor in one of the buildings at brown, literally just dedicated to being a space for international students. Um, so that’s, that’s a major part of campus. Um, and I think folks end up feeling like they, they find a community here even as an international students. That’s not something, you know, where.
Um, okay. Uh, there’s some quick questions, as some people are asking about the shopping period and where does that work? Um, like how does that work? And then another person asks if, um, brown has early action, early decision early action. Uh, yes. Yeah, that one I answered in the chart earlier. Um, and [00:49:00] then what was the first one you.
Uh, if you can explain like the shopping period again, real quick. Yeah. So essentially the way shopping period works is when you know, um, at the beginning of the semester, you have two weeks where you can take any classes you want. So there’s a website it’s called courses at brown. You can see all the courses that we offer.
You see what time they’re offered and you can go to all of them. That’s the shopping. Um, you are technically supposed to be doing work for every class you’re actually shopping. Um, so some people will shop like, you know, 15 classes. I go to 15 glasses for two weeks and keep up with work for 15 classes. I don’t necessarily recommend that strategy.
Um, but I think the best thing about shopping period or the way I would recommend utilizing it is having like the classes. You’re pretty sure you want to take. And then one or two or three backup classes, and it gives you the chance that if you signed up for your first choice and you actually realize like, oh, this syllabus is actually not what I thought it was going to be.
Then you have like a backup glass and you can check [00:50:00] out and realize you liked it better. And then you swap them. Um, so it’s really nice because you don’t just like get stuck with something you signed up for because the title of looked really cool. Um, but then the class ended up like not being what you wanted to wear it at all.
Okay. So we’ll try and get there’s some quick questions about like it mission stuff. And then we’ll try and like, just do some closing statements on like any final advice. But, um, one person is asking about, um, the BS MD. Is that the bachelor’s of science medical degree? Yeah, that’s the, that’s the planning program that I keep referencing.
Okay. So that’s what that is. And then, um, they asked how many people are accepted into it. Yeah. Um, so approximately for the BSN program for cleaning brown is one of the few schools that doesn’t other notable schools will include Northwestern. Might’ve gotten rid of it, but rice university and Washington university in St.
Louis, uh, university of Rochester, et cetera, et cetera. [00:51:00] Um, again, these are. My brown it’s an eight year program. And it basically means you have a conditional acceptance into the medical school. How many people get in? Um, we have one of the biggest programs actually need usually accept around 90 students.
Um, we ended up with about 60 students usually by the end of senior year who are matriculating into the medical school. Um, so that’s a big part of our undergrad. It is extremely competitive. You are writing three extra essays. Um, unlike other programs, we do not have an interview. So it’s entirely based off, you know, your undergrad application and those extra three essays.
And the way the application system works is you will be reviewed by the undergrad school. If they accept you, you will then be taken to my advisors, my deans, actually, who then kind of work to figure out who’s going to be the next class of PDs. And that’s going to be. You know, ideally right? Thinking about how can we make this as much of a diverse student body as possible [00:52:00] when it comes to the medical student class.
Um, other questions here, um, some people are asking about how important the video submission is, and if you can explain that, and then also just important parts of the application in general. Yeah. So unfortunately the Jasmine and I, neither of us had the video submission, um, our year when we applied. So we can’t speak directly to how to do it.
What I will say though, is that it’s in place of the interview. Right. And in the past, the interview has accounted for, you know, a relatively small percentage, like maybe like 5% of the admissions process. It’s really like, uh, just don’t mess it up badly and it should be fine. It’s kind of just a chance to show maybe a different side of yourself.
So for thinking about the application as an entire narrative, right, like maybe like what can your video portfolio add? That’s that’s new and like will lend a face to your application. Is that makes sense? Um, so that’s kind of how I think that the video, uh, [00:53:00] portfolio thing. Uh, okay. Uh, if you see any questions that you want to get, um, please do answer them.
Um, some people, um, have the mentioning things about study abroad and like international travel. Um, so I did not study abroad at brown, but a lot of people did I say brown really makes an effort to make it very accessible. So when you study abroad at brown, you pay whatever you’re paying at brown that year is what you would pay to go abroad.
So you don’t have to pay separately. Um, so if your financial aid package is something that works for you and your family, then you can go abroad without like an additional tuition costs. Um, there are like half your programs and, or, yeah, you can do it for a half year or a full year. Um, and it’s kind of up to you, which one you choose.
Um, there’s also other opportunities to do international travel if you don’t want to go for a semester. So I did not want to study abroad. I didn’t want to give up time at brown. COVID meet me, give it up anyway. Um, but, [00:54:00] um, so there are winter session classes during normal non pandemic times. And during those sessions you actually get to travel.
Um, so I know like last year, like for winter break, when you would go home, you can take a class and they went to like Iceland and Mexico. Um, if you get into one of those courses, brown covers your expenses for that. So they pay for you to go to Iceland for the semester. Um, there’s also different trips that student groups take.
So for pre-law for black pre-law, we would pay for our students to go on law school tours. So we’ve been organized trips to like Columbia and Harvard and Boston, everything like that, which isn’t international. Um, but in terms of international, the entrepreneurship center does travel internationally. So prior to COVID during COVID spring break, A week before we got shut down, I was supposed to go to London with brown and tour different like entrepreneurship centers and the alumni.
And that was like, oh, where did they paid for? Um, and they’ve done that in Asia as well. And I don’t [00:55:00] know which countries. Um, so if things get better with the pandemic, brown typically has lots of ways for you to go abroad either for a semester or just for like a week. Yeah. So I was actually going to study abroad my junior spring.
Unfortunately it was canceled to COVID, but I can kind of see it a little bit of the process. It was a bit, I actually, I was going to go to Japan and I actually created an independent course even to study abroad and it was going to be in the anthropology mental health. Um, I had a faculty advisor and everything, unfortunately, sadly.
Um, but that was, you know, something that brown very much encourages. So that’s kind of catching on. I see a lot of questions also about internships. I want to speak very quickly. I think Jasmine can speak more to like entrepreneur stuff very quickly to like kind of the sound side of internships. Um, when it comes to see us, a lot of folks get like paid internships at big companies that is, um, you know, just something that a lot of people in tech do when it comes to research though brown specifically offers a couple of funded, [00:56:00] uh, funded opportunities.
So one for example is called the trip. And that one is either in research or in teaching with a brown of the need professor. And there’s a couple of number of those every single year. Um, they also have a link program, which is what I actually did once. Um, basically that is, I found like an unpaid internship somewhere randomly that I wanted to do.
It was with like a psychology, um, program working on like children’s media and Disney. And I was like, I want to do this. It sounds super cool. So I actually applied to Brown’s link program and they offered me funding for it. Um, so that was pretty amazing in terms of whether they’re competitive or not. Um, I have heard that they are more competitive in stem.
Um, they do take into account financial need is what I’ve heard. So that that’s one aspect of it. The other aspect of it is honestly, I think there are a lot of spots. And so within the year you likely will get one within the four years of that make sense [00:57:00] of it’s very, very likely. There’s a number of internships.
I would say in all four of my summers at brown, I’ve gotten paid every single summer for the internship that I’ve done, whether by brown or by the employer that I found through Brown’s network, um, coming to college, I was like, I’m the lump. Then I do work for free. Um, and that’s what I accomplished. Yeah.
And I can just briefly add on internships. I felt like I had such a fantastic internship experience. I brown. So I can say my first summer I worked in fashion in New York city. My second summer, I did investment banking. My third summer went for a tech company in between those. I worked for a law firm and then I just graduated and I did two internships this summer, both in fashion.
So like in terms of internship support, like brown helped me with that very first internship I got in with the second one. Um, and then after that, like my resume was able to speak for itself. Basically, I’ve never had problems finding internships since then. It’s to the point where like, I don’t [00:58:00] look for internships anymore.
Like recruiters reach out to me on LinkedIn and ask if I want to work for them. So I felt like just having the brand on my resume, got my foot in the door and gave me opportunities that like I never thought I would have had. Okay. Um, well this has been a great webinar. We’re going to do one more question just to close it out, but, um, okay.
I guess you can just describe your overall experience. What was the best part, anything good, bad or otherwise, um, and like biggest surprises or what you learn? What, what would you tell students pretty much? Um, if you’re typing, Katie, I’ll go really quick then I am just so, so, so grateful. I just told you guys how I did like internships in every different area.
And it sounds like I just did a bunch of random. But I think round taught me how to explore my interests from different ways and pull things together. And like we say, interdisciplinary a lot at brown, but I truly felt like [00:59:00] ground, let me have a type of experience where I can blend things that don’t necessarily always go together.
Um, to the point where, like I got accepted to my top law school, I got accepted to my top master’s program. I’m going to be a fashion lawyer. And I work in like the intersection between fashion and tech and the fact that I was able to like come to that conclusion, I think was supported by Ron’s education, allowing me to get.
Cook different classes together and test out theories. And I had faculty members that really supported me and my perspective, and I feel like you don’t necessarily get that at every college. Like I have multiple people willing to sit with me and talk through, you want to study like fashion and ETFs and blockchain.
Sure. Let’s find a way to make it happen. And you want to be a lawyer too. We got you. And so that to me was like, my best part of brown is it gave me the confidence to like study and research the things that I was passionate about. Yeah. And that’s like a really feeling it’s like a really hard like speech to follow up.
But I was [01:00:00] going to say like some of the lectures that I’ve had at brown are from some of the most charismatic professors and they will forever stick with me kind of like the lessons I learned about the world and about life. And, you know, almost like who to be as a person moving forward as, as wild as that sounds.
Um, I am going to be a practicing physician soon, and that is something that absolutely terrifies me, but brown really prepared me for that. And some of like the most unexpected classes, like I took a history of prisons class and that I think about that class, like every other day in medical school, to be perfectly honest.
Cause I’m thinking about how to serve populations that are underserved. And so. So many opportunities and just so much freedom that has allowed me to just do random things. Like the fact that I literally watched these Disney TV shows and kind of studied how to make them more equitable for a summer and brown funded me for that was amazing.
And so it’s just been an amazing time here. I just grabbed where we’re looking back with like graduated like heart eyes at that makes sense. But, um, I’m still here on campus and [01:01:00] I still walk through campus and look around and I’m like, wow, I’m blessed to be here on this beautiful core jus like timely campus.
And it’s, it’s amazing here. And the opportunities here are really what you make of them. But, yeah, that’s my last bit. Okay. Thank you to our panelists and thank you everyone for coming out. So that is the end of the webinar and the, we had a great time telling you about brown university and here’s the rest of the August series for August.
We’re going to be doing a lot of college panels. So if you want to learn more about colleges, um, and then also if you have any more lingering questions that weren’t answered, you can always sign up for an advisor, or you can email some of the advisors for quick questions, or remember that Google and YouTube are always great resources.
Um, and then for more nitty gritty questions, um, we do have more webinars from our older series on different parts of [01:02:00] the application, financial aid, uh, Ivy leagues and just schools in general. So, um, again, thank you to our panelists and good night. Everyone’s.