Brown University Panel
Want to learn more about what it takes to apply to and attend Brown University? Join CollegeAdvisor Admissions Expert and recent alums Katie Chiou and Sam Greenberg as they discusses their admissions and undergraduate experiences. Learn more about Brown’s classes, campus, and even the PLME (Program in Liberal Medical Education) program.
2022-09-07 – Brown University Panel
Hi everyone. Good evening. Uh, thank you so much for joining us tonight for our Brown University Panel. We apologize that we are a few minutes late. Uh, we appreciate you sticking with us. We will still leave plenty of time for questions. Um, but by the way, my name’s Anesha Grant. I’m a Senior Advisor here at CollegeAdvisor.
Um, but I will hand it over to our panelists to get started and to introduce themselves.
Oh, so hi, I’m Katie. Um, I, like I said on the screen, I graduated in 2021. So that’s two years ago during the pandemic and I am currently a second year medical student also at Brown. Um, I was a part of the PLME program, the program and the medical education. And I will be speaking more on that later, if any of you are in.
And I’m Sam Greenberg. Uh, I graduated in 2019. Uh, so now it’s been been a few years, um, and I studied applied mathematics biology, and will also speak a little bit more towards, uh, those programs as well later. Great. Thanks Katie. Thanks Sam. Um, so I wanted to first off get started with, um, a poll really quickly, cuz we would like to know what grade you all are in.
So if you got, if you could take a few minutes to complete this and let us know what grade level you’re in, it’ll help give us some context to the rest of our presentation.
And McKenzie, I will hand it over to you. Uh, apologies again for, uh, folks running late. Have a great session. Y’all um, take care. Have a good night.
Uh, yes. Okay. So it is looking like, um, Which question are we on? Okay. Um, okay. Both of the polls were actually open, so , it’s looking like we have, um, 19% of 10th grader, 19%, 10th graders, 42% 11th graders, 39% 12th graders. And then I will get back to the other poll results, um, in the next round. But YY control sides.
Okay. So I think I’m starting off. So the first question is kind of about my college application process. So I applied to a lot of schools and I don’t necessarily recommend that for everyone. But the reason why that happened for me was I was applied in a lot of state schools. So as you can imagine, California, big state, a lot of schools.
Um, so I applied to a lot of state schools, including UCs, um, As well as some target schools. So that might be like other state schools that I had as well as schools that were in my range, safety schools, Ivy’s such as Brown, as you might imagine. And then also BSMD programs. And for those who haven’t heard of a BSMD program before I was explain it really quickly.
Um, it’s a program where essentially in high school, you apply to your bachelor of science. So your undergraduate degree, as well as your medical school. All at the same time. So like I said, I’m currently in medical school, so that’s kind of like that whole progression. Um, As far as the application process, I don’t, it was like really tough for me.
Um, for me personally, I’m from the, we like, again, I’m from California, so I wasn’t actually able to make it out to the east coast to visit a lot of the schools that I was applying to out here. Um, my mom was very like a proponent of you can visit when you get in kind of mentality, which, um, to each their own, but that was how it was for me.
And so I did a lot of my research through school blogs. Um, and if I make a recommendation now kind of looking back, I would definitely use. You know, the social medias, like the Facebooks, the whatnot, to kind of look at what events are happening around campus. You’d be surprised a lot of students use Facebook events, for example, to invite people to different like plays and things that are happening on campus.
Um, But I kind of wrote school blogs here. Cause I think they are, they are written by students who are at the school and they do give you a good sense of how the, what the school prioritizes, what are some things they think about. And I think it’s a nice way to kind of get some insight into the school.
Um, outside of just the more like formal school website, this is our values as a school kind of stuff. Um, The other part of my college application process, I spent a lot of time drafting and brainstorming essays. Um, so because of the three different kinds of schools, I was applying to meaning like the state schools and the BSMD schools and the Ivy’s.
Um, I actually had a lot more deadlines than a lot of my classmates did. Um, I have the UC deadline, which is in November 30th, I believe, um, the BSMD programs, which range anywhere from early November to end of December, our early action obviously is also in that kind of category. And then the Ivy’s, which for the most part, I applied regular decisions.
So that was like January first-ish for me. Um, so that was kind of my college application process. It was certainly very hectic. It was certainly something that I had to really tamp down, keep organized. And I think like a lot of other students, like here, I saw there there’s a lot of seniors, you will have to work on making a list and then sort of narrowing it down as you go.
As you’re reading through all these essays, as you’re reading through all these school blogs being like, is this the right fit for me? Is it, does it make sense for me to apply here? Um, or is this school where, you know, maybe my school is too large right now? I gotta narrow down or on the flip side, this school, my school is too small.
Ooh. Here’s a school. I really wanna go to, let me expand on that. Okay. So was I considering any other Ivy’s at the time? So, yes. Um, I was strongly considering both Yale and Princeton as well as UCLA by the time a was coming around. Um, those were all schools that I was really, you know, or very amazing top tier schools, um, strong in the fields that I was interested in.
Um, And some of the main things I think to note for me was that Princeton had offered me a, like a, a better financial aid package than the other schools. Uh, UCLA’s a public school. So just was not quite as good as a private school. And Yale had kind of been the school I dreamed of going to, um, and kind of what pushed me over, um, Part of, it was going to be the, like the PLME program, the program in liberal medical education.
Um, and that’s because like, I’ll talk about later, I am a student. Who’s not particularly. who’s interested in medicine, but is not particularly like hard science inclined. So I was never gonna be like interested in engineering. I was never gonna be someone who’s gonna major in chemistry or biochemistry.
That was just never my strength and going to college actually really, really helped me discover what my strengths were, as dumb as that sounds. In high school I was taking the classes that everyone, you know, kind of takes, right? You take your AP courses, you take, you know, whatever courses available at your school.
And Brown was what really let me expand. So when I was applying to the other school, when I was considering them, I think one thing that I noted here, because I think it is important for a lot of students to get, is that yes, like there is kind of this pressure to apply to all of the schools at once. And so one thing I wanted to note was, for example, for me, I actually did not apply to Columbia.
And the reason for that was if you think about it, Brown and Columbia actually have very different philosophies when it comes to like their first year education. So Columbia has the core curriculum, which is very heavily based in like literature and history and philosophy. From my understanding of it versus Brown open curriculum is basically like the complete opposite where it’s like, you have no general ed requirements at all.
Um, and that honestly was what I wanted. I was like, I think I have a sense of what I don’t like. I was like, I know I don’t really wanna take math in college. I don’t really have a sense of what I love yet, but I have a sense of all these things I want to explore. Um, so that for me was a really, really big pro around, um, I think the downside to that, and this is like really knowing yourself as a student is that means that you have a lot of freedom, right?
And so some people are overwhelmed by that freedom. Some people are excited by it for me, like looking through that course catalog every year or every semester at the beginning of the semester. And like looking through that course catalog. Possibly one of the most exciting things of the semester to me, like I really love the course catalog.
Um, and it was something that like, I was like, oh my God, this class and this class and this class. And I would end up with this shopping cart of like 15 classes. And so that’s really something that drew me to Brown was that. Ability to follow and kind of like make my own academic path and really be able to take a little bit of everything everywhere.
Like I could take classes in different departments and just kind of flow with it as much as I wanted. Um, so now having graduated and I think Sam and I now can have like pretty, both. Unique or more interesting takes on it. Cuz we can look back and say, oh, we’ve graduated from Brown. Here’s kind of what made us decide and why we are, why we still love it and why we give this talk every year?
Um, I can say that it really shaped me into the human that I am today and kind of the doctor to be that I am today. Um, I was really, really fortunate to have. um, just kind of a course of education that allowed me to explore things that are not typically in your pre-med curriculum. In fact, I really straight away from the pre-med curriculum.
Um, I did study like medical anthropology, but, and that sounds very medical, but you’d be surprised. Like I spend a lot of time thinking about, oh, like, uh, what does like healing in different cultures actually mean? Or what does feeling even look like in all? Um, and I would also say Brown really implanted in me these more advocacy roots that more and more I think are becoming important.
like the nation, I guess, really. Um, but certainly are becoming important at my medical school. I’m still up Brown, but you know, at medical schools, I think across the country, in terms of thinking about what is it, what is the cause that you want to fight for as a professional? Um, and that’s kind of a big part of me moving forward in the professional world.
Okay, so explaining my major. Um, this is always a tough one. So I majored in science technology in society. Um, so this is a major that it is at a couple, I think, a pretty wide ranging level of like Ivy’s. And I know that’s at Stanford, Harvard, but there’s, there’s certainly other schools that have it too. Um, it’s well known to be an interdisciplinary major, which means that it is a major that is not really kind of set in the departments that you might think of.
So it’s not like a history major, it’s not an English major, what it is, however. Is basically a set of general principal requirements, and then you kind of figure it out and forge forward from there. So STS essentially is you have to take some science courses, you have to find a discipline that you prefer and you have to kind of focus.
And those are kind of just like, think of them as like categories and within that you kind of choose. So my major was kind of created off of the fact that I was already taking. For all those, all those of you who might not know, um, you actually don’t declare your major at Brown at many other schools until the end of your sophomore year, which means that what you apply to you were not stuck in whatsoever.
you can. I applied as cognitive science. I am certainly no longer cognitive science major. So you can really change it up however you want. So I was already, I had, you know, three semesters of classes beneath my belt. I was like, Ooh, what are some things I have in common between these classes? What are some of these things that I really, um, was enjoying that I could foresee myself taking more in the future that I was intrigued by.
And what that fell into was okay. Well, I was taking bio biology classes cuz you know, medicine, um, but also the discipline, I was like, okay, I’m kind of getting intrigued by anthropology and by English, those were the two classes that I found myself taking the most of. And then my focus, I really wanted that to be in mental health.
Cuz that ultimately, like I said, as a doctor now is kind of what I am focusing in what I’m good at, what I’m specializing in. And I kind of put that in and was basically able to. It wasn’t forming my own major. It was more like forming my own curriculum if that made sense. And so I basically just got to take the class that I would’ve classes that I would’ve taken anyway and made that into a major.
And so that was really, really exciting for me and was the path for me. Um, a lot of people ask like, oh, if you’re interested in so many things, like, why didn’t you double major? And this is kind of the advice that I got from one of my deans at least was, um, I seriously consider doubling double majoring in like one of the like literature or creative writing kind of facets of, of, of a major or really anything else.
I also consider like psychology, but. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that for me, I was like, we only get to take so many classes this semester. Um, we get to take four or five out of like hundreds that I’m like adding to my cart and that I’m excited to take. And the fact that I would have to take one or two classes in every major that I wouldn’t otherwise be taking.
So for psych that would’ve or co sci that would’ve been statistics in kind of that area. For example, um, those were classes. I was like, oh, I’m not excited about this. I don’t wanna waste like a precious spot of my four years on this class. And that that’s like one way to approach it. And I think many different people approach it in many different ways.
And certainly there were a lot of people who double major at Brown. Um, but that’s kind of my thing. So ultimately what I majored in was medical anthropology of mental health. That was my official title. Um, but I found that the classes that I’ve taken. I speak about a lot, honestly, as a, as a medical student in my small groups and it brings me a lot of knowledge when it comes to how to doctor, um, we have like doctoring classes.
So how to doctor kind of how to practice, um, thinking about all these different social inequities. So, um, I have a lot of knowledge in that. And a lot of the times I’m like citing things or my research, I can be like, oh, I remember this article I read for this one class. Let me go back on the canvas page and like, try to find what the web, like, what that research, uh, paper was.
And I’m gonna check that in this particular paper and that’s really worked out, uh, just, I dunno, really amazingly for me. So, so that was really exciting. Okay. Yeah. So we’re gonna skip this Paul, but I did see some responses. It’s a good mixture of all of the, um, different categories. So some haven’t started researching schools, working on the essays, getting the application materials together and so on.
I am putting some information in the public chat. If you would like to check that out, um, you can’t save it. And I don’t think it’s saved in the recording. So if you want that information, you can just copy and paste it. But, um Sam, you can continue.
Cool. So, um, my process was, uh, a little different, um, so I am the youngest of three kids, so I had two older sisters. Um, and so anytime when they were going through the college process, they went to go see a school. I also went to go see a school. Um, so I kind of just tagged along, looked around, um, as they were also looking, uh, and sort of stored in the, the back of my, uh, head to make sure that I could remember, did I like this?
Did I not like this? What did I like about it? Um, and going from there, um, so I was able to see them go through the process and that was a huge help, um, to me and my parents for understanding, okay, what do I need to be successful during this process? And so one thing that, um, we did was I had gotten a college advisor.
Um, and so this advisor was able to help me. Um, understand sort of what range of schools I should be looking at, um, from like a reach standpoint, similar to like a Brown or, uh, you know, a Princeton or something like that, um, to more sort of, uh, target and safety schools, um, for, for my specific situation, um, I also had someone who was able to, you know, review my essays and, and she was able to, to help me, um, really create a, a well rounded.
Uh, application. Um, and so that was a huge help for me being able to sort of streamline, uh, the process, um, so that I didn’t feel overwhelmed. Right. Sometimes, uh, you know, I tend to procrastinate a little bit and, and leave everything to the last minute. And that is not what you wanna do during this process.
You want to be very on top of it, uh, and sort of set milestones, uh, as you go along. Um, throughout the journey, right. And so that the, this advisor was able to help me with that and create a really organized process. Um, and so that way I was able to, to finish all my, uh, applications by, you know, early December and then the rest of my senior year, I was able to kind of, you know, relax and just wait for, uh, you know, the decisions to, to, to.
Cool. Was I considering other Ivy’s? Yes, I was. Um, I applied early action to Yale. Um, I got deferred and then rejected. Um, and then I applied to, to Penn, Harvard and Princeton as well. Um, these were all my reach schools, right? So these were like the schools that I was just, you know, what kind of hail Mary going after it?
Um, I had a much more well-rounded list, um, that included target schools, such as like Washington St. Louis and Emory and UVA and Michigan, um, as well as a number of, of safety schools, um, that were able to sort of complete, uh, the, the, you know, full sort of gambit of schools that. Looking for, and that I’d be happy to, to have gone to any of them.
Um, and then why did I decide to go to Brown? Um, it really had everything that I was looking for. Um, from a, a size standpoint, it was, you know, the right size. I think it’s about 6,500 ish undergrad students. Um, the main emphasis too is on undergraduate. There’s, there’s a pretty, uh, decent grad school, but the main focus of the, of the university I’d say is, is definitely on undergraduate, uh, programs.
Uh, it was located in the city. Um, some people have, uh, certain opinions of Providence, uh, Providence for what, uh, you know, it is, is, is a pretty nice city. Um, it was a lot better than I, I thought it would be originally going, um, Um, the area is beautiful. Um, Brown campus sits on top of college hill, uh, and has a number of, uh, you know, the picture behind me is part of the campus and that’s university hall on main, uh, green, which is, um, clearly a gorgeous fall day.
Um, and, uh, you have Thayer street, which has a ton of fun restaurants and little, um, things that you’re able to, to go to. And so. The the city itself, um, was, was a lot, uh, you know, I, I consider it a plus of, of the school. And then lastly, um, it’s has a, you know, incredibly strong academic reputation, um, which really helped, uh, you know, make my decision.
And then why did I major in applied mathematics biology? Um, so I always knew I wanted to study some form of math. Uh, I had liked it a lot. And I, you know, found that I was pretty good at it. Um, and then in high school I had taken biology and then AP Bio. And so I also knew I kind of liked that, but unlike Katie, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to med school.
Um, so I was like, okay, I can sort of play the field a little bit. So I have sort of the math stuff and then biology and Brown has a really strong, uh, applied math department. And you’re able to combine concentrations into it. So you could do like applied math, econ, or applied math CS and be able to, um, really create sort of the type of curriculum, um, within your concentration that you want.
Um, cuz even within applied math and biology, they each have specific paths that you can take within those programs. Um, and then. Additionally, right. As, as Katie had mentioned, um, the open curriculum is also a big part around, um, what you’re able to study. Right. So I was able to, you know, I had the classes that I needed to take for concentrations, um, or for the, these concentrations.
And then I was also able to take, you know, English classes and, and archeology classes and classes that kind of, you know, weren’t. Part of, you know, what I was ultimately studying, but things that were, I just found interesting. Right. And so it really created us well rounded, uh, education, even though right.
The, the main emphasis was on the applied math and biology side of things.
Okay, so that is 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, and this webinar is being recorded. If you would like to view more information, uh, or re-watch it again. And we have other webinars.
From Brown panels, as well as blog posts on it. If you would like to find out more information about Brown and the supplements in different parts of the Brown process, moving on to the live Q&A I’ll read through questions you submitted in the Q&A tab and read them a lot before a panelist gives you an answer as a heads up.
If your, um, Q&A tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just make sure that you join the webinar through the custom link sent to your email and not from the webinar landing page. Also knows the website or else you won’t get all the features that big marker. So just make sure you join through that custom link.
Uh, but now we. Started. And again, I am adding some information into the public chat, um, just to get out there, um, Brown as well as every other Ivy league offers. Need based financial aid, which means they do not offer merit scholarships. So if you’re an athlete or a top student, or, um, you do performing arts, your financial aid will not be based on any of those merits, your merits help you get into the school.
Your financial aid is based on your family’s. Financial situation. Um, so that is something to consider. And for student athletes, specifically Brown and every other Ivy league is RD one. Um, so they are competitive, but getting into the school is still based on your credentials. Academically, getting on the team is what, um, is based off of your athleticism and then your money is gonna be based on your family’s financial need.
Uh, so yeah, so that those are just some broad things that I saw in the chat, but moving on to the, um, Q&A, um, our first question. if Brown is test optional, should I submit my, should I submit my score? Um, if it is not on par with the average, will I be at a disadvantage with a slightly lower score compared to other students?
Um, this is a common question we get, I will look it up, but y’all can give an answer if you have one.
Yeah. I don’t want to, uh, sway you one way or another. I’d say though that, um, It really depends. Right? Like if it’s slightly lower, I mean, there is a range, right. So I would just do research into what the sort of 25th to 75th percentiles, um, for Brown are in terms of what test you took and understand sort of do I fall into this range?
If I do. Um, you know, it’s just another piece to the application, right? Like Brown is one of those schools that really takes into account your. Applications, your essays, your grades, your activities. Um, and so it’s, you know, I’m not really giving you a, probably a clear yes or no answer that you’re, you’re hoping for.
Um, but really it, it, you know, Is all about the, you know, full picture. Yes. And going off of that, I do wanna add, I added in the chat on the link to the page, but they are still test optional for this year. And they say that it will not affect your AMI, your admissions. Some schools do have different stipulations though.
Um, that’s. Say that, um, they may look at other parts of your application more rigorously, or that you can submit AP scores, um, or IB scores in place of SAT and ACT. So do look more deeply into their policies, but kind of going off of that, what do y’all feel was a highlight of your admissions process and how do you think that helped you with getting into, um, Brown?
Yeah, so I will say like, certainly things have changed since Sam and I applied primarily COVID. Um, and COVID has drastically changed testing policies at various schools. Um, so certainly do your research and I know like we. Uh, CollegeAdvisor offers webinars with admissions officers and they actually have a really good take on that kind of information.
So certainly attend those as far as my application, I think what helped me stand out, um, I would say are two things. My essays, I think essays are a huge, important factor of getting into like an Ivy league school. Just because a lot of folks who are applying here really do have. You know, strong grades, strong test force, strong extracurriculars.
And so me, for me, the essays are like kind of an opportunity for me to at least shine a light on what I took out of my experiences. Um, so I can say quickly, my personal statement was about, um, volunteering in a suicide hotline. And so I talked a lot about like listening and kind of like words and things like that.
And you can see how that kind of connected really well into my undergrad career. And so a lot of the stuff that I talked about with the classes I would like, I wanted to take as an, as a high schooler, I actually ended up taking, which is kind of wild. I was looking back on that recently. Um, the other factor though, I think for me, was my teacher recommendations.
It’s I, I know it, it’s not, it doesn’t actually account for that much and it comes to your applications, but. You know, there, our missions officers are humans. Like there are people reading your applications and these people are the ones who are fighting for you to get into school. So you wanna give them something to fight for.
I think all humans, including myself, like can be swayed with words at the end of the day. And so my teacher recommendations, I, I actually got to see them after I applied. And my teachers were like, here’s a graduation kid, head recommendation. I don’t know why it was like a tradition at my school. And so I actually read it and I was like, wow.
I think this probably made a huge factor cuz they made me sound like such an amazing person and such a great addition to the campus that I was like, yeah, I. Like, honestly, even me reading it, I was like tearing up. It’s like any, I think any human reading that would be like, yeah, this, it sounds kind of great.
Like I would want them here or why not? Um, so that’s kind of part of me. Yes. And also in the public chat. Uh, do, can you put in some information or y’all put in some information about the PLME program, a lot of stuff we can do that we’re getting a lot of those questions. Sounds good.
Sam, would you like to respond on your high school. Yeah. So I’d say, um, one of the, there are two things that I think really stuck out in my, uh, application one was I took probably, or pretty close to I’d say like the hardest sort of classes that my school offered me. Um, so I took a pretty rigorous, uh, academic workload, lot of AP classes, honors classes, um, and did well in.
Um, and so that sort of, you know, puts you already like in, on pretty good footing, having sort of good, you know, mix of classes as well as good grades. Um, I’d say the other thing that really helped me is I had a wide, a range of extracurriculars. So I, um, was in, uh, band. So I did was in three different bands at, uh, in my high school.
I. Um, played varsity baseball. I, uh, was a peer tutor and a peer advisor. I, uh, was captain of our quiz bowl team. I did, you know, things outside of the, the outside of school as well. And so I think having all these different, um, aspects that I was able to highlight during my application process, right? A lot of this stuff also, you know, proved good material for essays that I was able to talk about in further.
Uh, detail. And so that combined with, um, you know, the classes I took, I, I think really, uh, helped me, uh, in the process. yes. And y’all can all check out our other webinars on topics, such as what courses to take in high school. Um, how to stand out in the application process, um, what admissions officers are looking for, and basically just different webinars on how different ask.
Fix up your application come together in the holistic process that you’ll hear a lot about, uh, and which parts are more important or maybe less important depending on how you look at it and, uh, how they all work together in your overall application to make you stand out and to show admissions officers, why you would be a good fit for their school, as well as why they’d be a good fit for you.
And if you’re interested in figuring out how a school is a good fit for you, check out our webinar. On, um, fine tuning your college list or other webinars on, um, uh, choosing between schools or researching schools or building your college list and going on to the next question, kind of going back to y’all’s experience, um, just real quick, where is Brown located?
What is the area like? How big is the campus? Is it safe? Yeah. So Sam talked a little bit about this. Brown is in Providence, Rhode Island. Um, it is the ocean state. It is the smallest state in the United States of America. Um, I am currently still in Providence, so I can certainly speak to it. Um, I would say so Brown is located on top of like, Pretty steep hill.
Um, and so that entire hill is pretty much like populated by college students. So I would characterize it as very safe, again, I’m from Los Angeles. And so to me, I’m like, this is really safe to me. Like I feel pretty comfortable walking around at like 2:00 AM, 3:00 AM and the evening, if I really must, um, I will say some, some things that Brown actually has in place for safety, we have those blue lights that you’ll see at every campus that you can.
Bon, if you feel like you’re in danger, but also we actually have a free shuttle that runs, I think it’s from like 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM or something like that in the winters where you can actually call it and it will take you from. Point A to point B so that you can, you know, if you don’t feel safe walking, um, we also just have like regular shuttles that you can, that just kind of circulate around campus that you can also always take in those run until pretty late in the evening as well.
And again, all of these are kind of factors for trying to increase like both just being able to get places as well as, um, you know, feeling safe on campus. Um, so right down the hill is where you’ll find the other, like the graduate school. So the medical school and the public health school are both down here.
I’m currently down the hill. Um, and it’s beautiful. Like you have a river, um, we have new construction, new architecture actually recently built where you kind of overlook it. Um, I was spending a lot more time with like Providence locals because I’m now down the hill and it’s been really nice. Like people here really nice.
And again, like this area I would characterize as pretty safe. Again, I do sometimes study until pretty late in the evening and I do feel pretty comfortable actually walking just back home and it’s been totally fine. Um, Yeah, I hope that kind of answers that question and it is a smaller city, but it is the capital city.
Sorry, I wanna clarify. Um, so there it’s actually a restaurant city, apparently. So you, you can get a lot of food here, um, and you can actually walk or bus most places while you’re still an undergrad student. Once you’re a little older that possibly could change.
Yes. Um, Sam, did you have anything you wanted to. Uh, I guess the, the only thing that I’d add is, uh, touching upon the, the restaurant piece. Uh, there’s a part of, uh, Providence called federal hill that, um, is a little bit, um, away from campus, but it’s still, you know, within, uh, you know, maybe 15, 20 minute walk, uh, from campus.
And it’s literally one long road that’s restaurant, Italian restaurants on either side. some of the, some of the best Italian that you’ll have. So small little perk of, uh, of Providence, uh, going on to the next question, I’m gonna kind of combine these sort of talking about academics and community. Uh, so would you say that Brown is cutthroat and then, or, and how would you describe the vibe of the schooling community?
And then another student was asking, um, do you feel Brown is more heavily geared towards humanities students or more STEM? So on this Sam for like your major particularly, but I will say so as far as my understanding of, you know, this was actually a big factor in me, actually, when I was choosing my schools, I probably should have brought it up.
But, um, because I knew I was applying pre-med I was like, I really, really don’t wanna go to a school where the pre-meds are pitted against each other. And by that, I mean, like, I do not want to go to a school where the grades are handed out such that only like a certain percentage of kids get an a cuz that really just fosters a really tough environment.
People are not interested in sharing notes, obviously, cuz you really are like, everyone wants that. A so everyone’s kind of like out for themselves. Brown is not like that. And I’m very, very happy to say that. We have, in fact, a lot of the times, um, I would say like, like a 90 or 89% is typically an A around here.
Um, they will curve in your favor. So if everyone like flunks a chemistry exam, which sometimes happens, um, the, the grade is adjusted such that it makes sense. It’s not like everyone’s failing. Um, And the other thing I would say amongst the premeds is I honestly felt like a lot of us studied together and a lot of us did share notes and just kind of like hung out together and you’ll see like droves of the premeds right before like a neuroscience exam or something studying together in the libraries.
Um, so at least for me personally, I felt like it was, um, pretty non-competitive. Everyone certainly is driven. Everyone certainly is like doing a bunch of things all at once, but it never felt like we were actually pitted against each other. That’s really what I was looking for personally. Yeah. And I, I totally agree with that.
Um, for me, it was not cutthroat at all. It was like, it was, you know, obviously everyone cared, right. Like everybody cares to do well, and everybody wants to do well. Um, but it was much more, you know, building each other up then, then tearing each other down. Um, I think there’s a lot of, you know, Group activities and exercises and projects, um, especially, um, in a lot of the bio classes that involve labs, you’re always working with, uh, you know, your lab partners and, and making sure that, you know, everyone’s on the same page.
So I think, you know, it’s not really cutthroat, um, even, you know, despite sort of, you know, the, the types of people that are going there in terms of. It’s academic, you know, reputation. Um, and then as far as whether it leans stem or humanities, I think I’m a little biased cuz I spent most of my time in stem.
Um, but I do think it’s pretty balanced. Um, I, I know that, um, you know, I know a number of people who, who did humanities and, and loved it and loved the professors and the, the environments that they, uh, uh, created there. Um, I think on average, I would guess, um, is that the stem, some of the stem programs, especially like CS and applied math are typically ranked a little higher, uh, compared to the humanities programs.
Uh, but on average, um, you know, all of the, the departments are pretty solid. Yeah. And I forgot to answer that question. Sorry. I feel like with, like, with every school, there are a couple of programs that are like super well known. So I would say like APMA Brown, CSF Brown, and then neuroscience at Brown are like the top like stem majors and then the humanity side.
But I can say is history. Our history program apparently is like top, top ranked, um, literally arts. We’re really good. Good at, um, those are off the top of my head. That’s what I can think of, but those are kind of like our like standout like program. Yes. And, um, for those in the room who aren’t already working with us, we know that the admissions process is overwhelming for parents and students alike, especially when trying to figure out what schools to add on your college list, how to get into these Ivy league institutions and really trying to figure out how to make your application the best application possible.
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So again, you can scan this QR code, um, but now back to the Q&A, uh, going on to the next question, uh, students are wondering. Where did it go? sorry. Um, students are wondering, um, what is it, the work life balance like, and, um, how do you manage school and academics and then even athletics. And then also for you, Sam, a student was asking if you played baseball at round and, uh, how you, if you did, how you were able to go about balancing that with academics.
Yeah. So I did not play baseball at Brown. Um, I did club baseball for a. Um, and then a lot of, uh, intramural sports. Um, but those are obviously not on the same level, as playing a varsity sport. Um, but from a work life balance standpoint, I did a number of activities. I was in the Brown band. Um, I did, um, beam, which is Brown elementary after school mentoring, where once a week you’d go, uh, to an elementary school in Providence and run after school programs, uh, for the student.
Um, I was a Meikle John, which is a peer advisor that, um, each student each, uh, first year student gets when they, uh, come to the school. It’s someone who’s, um, either a sophomore, junior or senior is able to give you, um, advice about, you know, what classes you should take and, and, um, just general acclimation to, uh, you know, a new environment in the school itself.
Um, and so. You know, I, I had a pretty good time being able to manage that. Um, Brown, um, only requires I say only, but requires you to take, um, four classes a semester. And so I feel like between, um, there’s some schools that require five, um, which is why I mentioned that. And so being able to take four, um, plus they offer you the option of being able to take certain classes or every.
Pass fail. You shouldn’t take every class pass, fail, unless you want to, but you have that option. Um, if you really wanted to. And so being able to, to balance, uh, those, uh, classes with the activities, um, you know, really, you know, they, they want you to be able to do out other things outside the classroom. So they encourage that and find ways that you can, um, be able to do that.
Mm-hmm . Yeah, I would say, yeah, kind of echoing that. I think extracurriculars are certainly like a very important, and I think central part of being a Brown student, I think what you’ll notice is coming here really coming to any like AMA like kind of amazing undergrad institution is that the kids here.
Um, know how to prioritize, so they know, you know, how to study hard and you also know when to not study hard and that’s like a balance that I’m sure all of you guys will find when you go to college. But that was certainly a huge part. I think of just like the vibes of like any of these academic institutions is like, when people are studying, they go hard and people are not sitting.
They’re they’re chilling. Um, As far as, yeah. So we do a lot of extra there’s like so many clubs also on campus Brown, like offers financial support for them. So like, I was able to help organize a bunch of things for campus, like including social activities, like a carnival every spring, but also like, you know, advocacy kind of things and just bring like community based oriented kind of activities.
And also student groups Brown provides funding for that. So you can AC you actually have like the backing of school to. Fudge, fudge it out and kind of make it into the thing that you want it to be. Um, so I think some minor examples of kind of this like work life balance. Um, I always went to, like, they always had free musicals and free plays, held by students, directed by students and written by students on campus.
And I was always like, why would I not go? This is a free, like into the woods musical showing I’m there. Um, Or like the carnival I was talking about was a really good, fun social sport. We have like traditions, like we have the naked donut run during finals, which I saw for the first time where we’ll have like chicken finger Friday.
And so these are all things that like the kind of the community comes together in bond. So it it’s a 6,000 person school about. And so it’s like a medium size school, meaning. Kind of like explain it this way. Like when I walk across campus, I’ll typically see at least one person whose face, I just like know and recognize, like I know their name from somewhere.
Um, but it’s not small enough that like every single person I cross is someone I know and can say hi to, um, or that like, or large enough that like I can walk across campus and not have a single clue who anyone is. So that’s kind of right in the middle, if that helps. Yes. And so our webinar is coming to a close, so we’ll.
A mesh of questions on just student life in general. Um, but, um, one, oh, and for anyone looking for the other webinars, you just go to app.CollegeAdvisor.com/webinars, and then you type in the keywords for whatever topic you’re looking for. And then you’ll be able to find our other, um, webinars on those topics.
Uh, but kind of going to the next part. Um, Katie, you sort of mentioned this in yours, um, but what supports or resources does Brown have for students? Uh, that you think are most helpful. And then also there are some questions students are asking about, like, can you bring your car? What are the dorms? Like, what is the student life like?
I know y’all touched on, you know, campus and stuff, but, um, yeah, last remarks. Yeah. So I’ll speak really quickly to accommodation. Cause I did do a lot of work in this regard. So like I said, we have the shuttles, um, as far as other supports, um, you know, like when it comes to academic stuff, they do have like academic, deans, I think a big support was what Sam was talking about being a Meikle John.
So Meikle John is essentially, you are an upperclassman who was assigned to a like first. And you kind of help them guide like this whole new world. That is the college that it is. Um, so if that means like, Hey, like where’s laundry and how do I pay for it? Like that, even small things like that are, are there for you?
Um, we do have like a full fledged, like, like accessibility system, um, mental health system. We have a health services that I really enjoy, cuz there is like not a copay and I can just kind of go there. I want a flu shot. Um, so that’s, that’s all kind of, there is a good support. Um, as far as dorm life, there are, I don’t know if you, the Sam, there are a lot of new dorms on campus right now.
They’re like building, I think like three more dorms, which one of them by the one of them is already finished and it looks amazing. I’m very jealous that I was not able to live there, but in general, um, they’re kind of like your typical college housing. They have. Like the typical, like hallway style where you share a bathroom, um, you’ll also have like the common room set up, um, where, you know, you share with your friends, then you guys will have a common room.
So kind of that variation, um, of, of kind of student housing, um, when it comes to food, we have multiple dining halls. I think people, sometimes I think people sometimes feel really good about our food and really bad about our food. So it’s kind of always in between, but in my experience, I don’t know. I visited like the Boston schools while I was here and I thought they were.
Worse than ours. So I was like, I think ours is lovely. Um, we are located right on fair street also, which is like this really one big, like long vertical street. That’s all just restaurants. And there’s also like three Boba shops there. So if that gives you kind of a sense of how big the, the, the street is so that there are enough spaces for three Boba shops.
Um, but also there’s like little stores for like stationary now. Um, there’s a bunch of restaurants, so any kind of like fast food late night from, you could think of, we have that there. Um, so that’s like outside of. Inside of campus. We have a mixed kind of modality, which I’m really enjoying. There’s like a typical dining hall.
You swipe in, you eat all, everything you want. Um, for the time that you’re in there, whatever is whatever’s there is available to you, but we also have like a little cafe system where you can swipe and use your. Like meal plan money essentially to get like a croissant or a coffee or something. And that’s like priced per item.
Um, or like they’ll have like FA they’ll have like skims, they’ll have these kinda like different little things that change from day to day. Um, so that’s kind of our meal plan.
Yeah. And then, um, from a student life standpoint, right. I think we, you know, kind of touched upon it a little bit earlier, right? Talking about sort of that it’s not really like the cutthroat, but from like, you know, a student life standpoint, if you’re looking for, you know, sort of the. You know, big football school with a lot of school spirit, that’s not Brown.
Um, athletics typically, um, take a little bit of a backseat to academics. Um, and the students right. Typically are a lot more, um, interested in, in extracurriculars, in academics rather than the athletic, uh, side of things. Um, but the student life overall, I think, you know, it’s. Typically, at least I like to say a very, very nice student body.
Like people are very kind and, and, and at least from my experience. Um, and so I think, uh, you know, that’s sort of. Little summation of, uh, the student life. Yes. So that is the end of the pre uh, webinar. I hope you found this information helpful. And remember again, that you can download the side from the link in the handouts tab and this webinar is being recorded.
If you would like to view it again on our website at app.CollegeAdvisor.com/webinars, I did put it in the chat if you would like to get that, remember that, that part isn’t saved. So if you want something, get it now. Uh, thank you to our wonderful panel. For all this great information and insight into Brown University.
Here’s the rest of our September series. We’ll we’ll have different, um, panels on various schools. We’re about to have our, um, panel on MIT, if you would like to hop on that in less than 30 seconds. Uh, and then we’ll also be having, uh, other webinars on different aspects of the admissions process and you have access to the rest of our webinar catalog on various topics, if you would like to check those out.
So thank you everyone for coming out tonight and goodnight.