Virtual College Tours: Brown University
CollegeAdvisor.com presents its virtual college tour series on Brown University in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with college students and alumni. Our CollegeAdvisor panelist will share their insider perspectives on what it is like to be a student at Brown. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2021-05-18 Virtual College Tours Brown University
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar, Virtual College Tours Brown University. 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. Hi everyone. My name is Bailey Peralto. I go to Brown University, obviously, as the slide says I major in public policy and I’m graduating this December, 2021. Because I took a semester off my second semester, sophomore year.
So we’ll go ahead and just give you a great overview of brown university and all my favorite things about it. So brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island. It’s a private school about medium size. I personally didn’t want to go to a really large [00:01:00] school. So brown was the perfect size for me.
It’s an urban setting and Providence, like I said, It’s not a huge city. It’s a smaller city. Like Boston, even on the smaller side of that, but it’s still got that city vibe on that city feel. It’s 146 acres and the student and faculty ratio is six to one, which is really nice. A lot of one-on-one individualized attention there.
So just to give a bit of background of my college application process, I’m a first generation college student. So I taught myself the entire application process. It was completely me going through the entire thing. I had some support in high school, but even my guidance counselor only really knew local colleges.
I’m from Florida. She only really knew Florida schools. And so I spent a lot of time teaching myself what it meant to apply to IVs, what it meant to apply out of state navigating financial aid and scholarship and all that fun stuff. I did all that myself. And with that as a result, the application [00:02:00] process was really extensive.
I applied to five out-of-state colleges and about eight Florida schools. So about half of my application process was simple because I had that guidance from my guidance counselor. But then those five out of state schools really presented a challenge for me, especially the essay portion. But ultimately I ended up getting into the school of my dreams.
Brown was my number one. I actually applied early decision. Didn’t get in, got deferred for regular decision and then submitted a bunch of extra materials and got in regular decision. So like I said, really rewarding ended up at the school of my dreams and was ultimately worth it.
So what ha what factors mattered most to me when creating a college list? The biggest thing was that I wanted flexibility in school curriculum. Like I says, I didn’t want to take classes that weren’t important to me and my career life goals. Most schools have general education requirements that require you to take a certain number of math classes, science classes, et cetera.[00:03:00]
I didn’t want to do math or science anymore. I wanted to continue on it to my major immediately. And that’s the number one thing I was looking for was flexibility at brown, you have the open curriculum, which I’m sure many of about if you’ve searched anything related to brown university.
But yeah, brown has the open curriculum, which is basically means all you have to take is two courses that are writing intensive and then the rest are just your courses for your major. I also wanted to non-competitive and supportive environment. I wanted a school where people would actually work to build each other up rather than trying to compete with each other, trying to one-up each other.
I didn’t want that. I wanted an environment where people were all doing their own things. And they all had their. Their own dreams and goals that weren’t necessarily directly tied to academics in the sense of trying to climb over one another, like crabs in a bucket. I wanted it to be mutually supportive, no matter what.
And then I, even, despite that, I still wanted a culture of high achievement. But I wanted it [00:04:00] to push me to be the best that I can be in a healthy and positive way. Rather than other schools where everybody’s on the same track, everybody takes the same classes ever does the same requirements.
Whereas at brown, there’s more variety because there’s so many options. Why did I choose brown? So like I said, Brown’s open curriculum drew me in immediately. That’s what my wide brown essay was about, was open curriculum, which I’m sure many people did. But it was really what drew me in the most. And then campus culture, it’s very accepting to all identities and circumstances.
So LGBTQ plus folks, undocumented people and immigrants, first gen students with disabilities, there are resource centers for everybody and brown as a whole really tries to be accepting and accommodating for everybody’s situations and circumstances and needs. And ultimately what made me decide on brown was my school tour.
It was one of the only campuses I toward aware the students seem to be genuinely happy to be there. Everybody was sitting on the green and I would walk by and they’d be like, [00:05:00] oh my God, are you like, are you an incoming freshmen? And I was like, no, I’m just touring. And they were like, come to brown. And I was like, okay, great.
This is awesome. People were generally happy to see first years coming in, they were happy to see people touring the campus and they were just, they were so nice.
So let’s do a quick poll. Are you planning on applying to brown?
I can’t see the results, but Hannah so far, we have 19 people saying yes, one person saying no and 11 saying not sure. So I think you have some people to sway. Sounds like it. Yeah, we can continue to chat about it. And of course at the end, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them, especially if you’re unsure on whether or not to apply.[00:06:00]
So first we’ll show a little bit, a little video of the library. Okay.
Yeah, that’s the John hay library. It’s one of the oldest libraries on campus. It has a lot of really cool archives for different topics. I know. I can’t remember. One of them was like about crime criminal history have like certain people that goes back to like really far. And a lot of people who are history majors who do research of the John hay and things like that.
But brown has not just the John hay, but a bunch of other libraries to suit your study needs. There’s a scientist library. If you’ve ever seen a picture or you’ve ever been to Brown’s campus, Infamously it’s famously known as the [00:07:00] ugliest building on campus. It’s just a huge eyesore in the middle of beautiful Providence.
But inside it is actually really welcoming, nice study space. The rock, which is actually the J D Rockefeller. Library we call it the rock is a great place to study as well. That’s where it primarily where I did my studying and then the John hay, which I wish I mentioned. But no matter what, you’re sure to find the right place, you need to focus and get stuff done.
And yeah, my personal favorite was the rock, but everybody has their own personal styles. There’s some where they live on campus and everything along those lines. And then the dining halls.
So that video was actually a combination of dorms and dining hall. So straight ahead as you [00:08:00] saw, it was primarily the on top of the balcony that you might be able to see there is dorms and then below, as you go underground is actually a dining hall called Andrews commons. So yeah, so the left his dorm.
The top of the balcony is storm bottom, where those windows are, is dining hall and then that’s dorm as well. So yeah, that’s what that kind of looks like. Andrews was personally my favorite dining hall because it serves every year, the menu changes, but it serves like from pizza to fi to Curry Pokay bowls.
The famous burrito bowls are served every weekend, Saturday and Sunday mornings. And yeah, every year I heard that they had Tacos one, one year, I heard that they’ve had so many different things at so many different points of my college career and they change it up every year. Other dining options include the ratty, which is buffet style not an appealing name, but it’s an okay dining hall.
The Vita is also buffet-style the Ivy room, which has all a cart and vegan, and vegetarian options. And then the blue [00:09:00] room as well, which I’ll talk about.
Yeah, we can talk a little bit about the dorms too.
So this is Keeney. This is one of the freshmen dorms. I actually lived in where we saw the Andrews commons dining hall. I lived in that dorm and then I had a few friends who lived in this dorm, which is in CUNY. I did live in Piney. I was an RPO, which is the equivalent of an RA in who lives in the first year dorms.
I lived in Kini during my sophomore and junior year with all the first years. So that’s a little bit of what that looks like. Generally speaking, as far as housing options at brown go. You’re paired with a random roommate your freshman year. And then going into your sophomore, junior, senior year, you’re able to select your [00:10:00] roommates.
So you can go in with a housing group and then there’s this really low. Extensive and dramatic housing lottery, where everyone sits in front of their computer and has a certain time where they have to apply for housing. But ultimately most of the time it ends up being worth it. So there’s that opportunity.
And then I personally live off campus right now for my senior year. But you are guaranteed housing all four years. So if you decide to stay on campus all four years, you can do that.
And then my favorite place off campus.
Ceremony is a tea shop. It’s actually quite new. I think it was, it used to be an, a tea place. Teen Sahara or something like that a few years ago. And then they built this new tea shop and everybody loves it. It’s her serves like all these artists and artisinal teas, [00:11:00] as well as Boba and like things like that.
They are located on Thayer street, which is like the main street of campus. It has restaurants and shops it’s right by all the dorms and things like that. And other restaurants include Bajas, which is Mexican food Chinatown, which is Chinese. Blue state, which is a great cafe that I used to go to all the time before COVID hit and then flatbread, which is an amazing pizza place with gluten-free options.
If you need it there too,
and the most beautiful place on campus,
this is the main green. As you can see, people love to hang out and just spend some time on the green there’s wifi out there. So you can do homework. The light poles have like outlets at the bottom. So if your laptop dies and you still are trying to get stuff done, you can plug right into the outlet at the bottom of the light poles.
Lots of events are held on the main green. So there’s spring weekend, which is like every spring. There’s this giant [00:12:00] concert. That everyone likes to go to. And then the annual carnival that’d be also celebrated in the spring. And then commencement ceremonies are held there as well.
The most iconic place on campus, which is where the blue room. So the blue room is in this building. It has the best muffins, the best pastries anywhere on campus. It’s a great place to hang out. Almost the whole building is purely study spaces which is really nice. It also has is the LGBTQ center student events student events center, and then the curricular resource center as well, which is where you can go.
If you want to design your own concentration or take a semester off or anything like that.
The best memory.
Risks in quad is great, simply because you spend so much time there, especially as a first year, because that’s the [00:13:00] ratty straight down the green, one of the dining halls. And you just, you spend so much time there, you run into people. There you stop you chat. It’s just a great place for making so many memories because you’re passing right through all the time Keeney.
One of the freshman dorms is literally. A three-minute walk from rest and quad and from the ratty. And so it’s just a great communal place to gather, sit on the grass where it’s not as busy as the main green. But you still get to spend some time with your friends. That’s also the location of all the fraternities and sororities.
So you saw the ratty straight down the green and then on the sides was all where all the fraternities and the sorority buildings. And yeah, that’s what that looks like.
So a poll, where are you in the college application process? Haven’t started crafting a school list, working on my essays, working on my extracurriculars or almost done. I’ll be very impressed. If there are some people who are almost done already[00:14:00]
looks like most people are crafting a school list working on essays. If you haven’t started, don’t worry about it. There’s still time. No one said almost done. That’s perfectly fine. You have so much time to get things organized. And if you are starting any time around this time of your you’re already ahead of the game.
So a great job there.
My favorite thing about brown. So like I mentioned, people at brown or Jay only happy to be there. The faculty and staff are just super great. They actually care about you as a person. I’ve definitely heard of the experiences at other universities where the faculty just care about your grade and how you are as a student.
They don’t care about you as a person. Whereas I feel like that’s such a different experience at brown. And most of all, the people I’ve met have made the whole experience so much better. I’ve made so many friends I was the kind of person that had like maybe one or two friends in high school. [00:15:00] And then I got to brown and it was like, oh my gosh, I have so many people.
I can talk to so many people I can hang out with. Which made a big difference for me socially. Going into college, it was really easy to make friends.
My least favorite thing about brown. So I’ll preface with like many universities. Brown has its faults. No, university’s perfect. Sometimes it’s easy to go in like really excited, which is totally valid. Brown is a great place, but then, I found myself finding some things that were really challenging for me.
So most notably it’s quite difficult to get financially. You really have to bargain and negotiate financial aid. If you don’t have all of your need met. So I had to go into the financial aid office, like three or four times my freshman year, just to make sure that they were actually giving me the money that I needed.
So that was quite difficult to manage. And then. Despite brown taking up so much space in the Providence community. It doesn’t invest a lot of money or time into the local Providence community as much as it should. And it doesn’t even [00:16:00] pay taxes to the city, which could make such a big difference when it comes to actually like helping the poor and impoverished part of Providence.
But it really doesn’t invest in the community as much as it should. On the flip side, you’ll find a lot of activist communities and brown as well that are trying to hold brown accountable. Which is, I have to say a really big positive because not only do you build community, but it’s also showing you how to build your own values and things like.
What do I want people to know? Yeah. So everybody, every school has its faults, but if there is actually a university that’s made up of people that care about you as a person, brown is that university. I definitely expect it to come into brown and. Have a difficult time in terms of making friends or in terms of fitting in.
And it just was not like that. It was so easy to get along with people. And the people I met freshman year actually ended up being my senior year roommates. So to me, it’s just, it’s this great opportunity [00:17:00] where you can meet people that you actually get along with. Josh should really know. And Brian just serves as a really great community.
Okay. Thank you for that Bailey. 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 handouts tab, moving onto the live Q and a, or read through the questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them in the public chat.
So you can see and then read them out loud before our panelists gives you an answer. As a heads up, if your QA tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, double check that you joined through the join the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page. So our first question is in your junior slash senior year of high school, did you feel like you were ready for what was to come in regards to applying in regards to starting the application [00:18:00] process or applying to colleges and universities?
That’s a really good question. I’ll answer honestly and say, no, I did not feel prepared. Like I mentioned, I started out teaching myself a lot of things and I didn’t really know where to go, but Throughout time. I was able to work on figuring out like I did school tours, which I was fortunate enough to be able to tour new England, even though I live in Florida and that helps a lot.
And then I also just spent a lot of time organizing myself. I used a lot of spreadsheets to organize the schools I was applying to and the essays I was doing and things like that. Starting the application process is really difficult because especially if you just don’t know where to begin. The first thing I would suggest is if you know something that you want to go into, if you’re even vaguely familiar with anything, like if you want to go into psychology search of the best psychology schools in your state see what they look like in terms of academics.
Do you have the GPA that it takes to go there, things like that and start crafting a school list from there. I would also say reach out to [00:19:00] people. So reach out to people who have graduated already, who applied to the schools. You’re applying to reach out to your guidance counselor. If you do enroll, reach out to professors at those schools things like that, and that could help you feel a little bit more prepared.
It definitely took some time to Gained my footing in terms of the application process. And I’m sure it seems a little bit daunting right now. Not even a little bit, I’m sure it seems a lot, a bit daunting right now. But if you feel unprepared, the best thing I can suggest is reach out and then just jump in.
Okay, our next question is what is brown university famous for in terms of majors? That’s an interesting question. So brown is very much known for its dual degree. Bachelor’s and MD programs. So it’s called where you apply before. You apply with your undergraduate degree. And if you get in, you get into both undergrad and med school at the same time.
So you don’t have to do like the M CAD or anything to get into med school. You’re automatically in Brown’s med [00:20:00] school. It’s super competitive. But that’s, I would say that’s probably the top thing that we’re known for a few other popular majors include engineering. We’re also known for our it’s called the Watson Institute.
It’s basically where like public policy and things like that are housed. I think now the major they combined all of those majors into one major called international and public affairs, which is housed in the Watson Institute and were really popular for that. And then our neuroscience program is also pretty popular as well.
Our next question is, does brown have a 100% online program option due to the pandemic? So right now brown is planning on having, so right now, brown is having an online summer. So students have the option to live on campus. But. Everything is online right now, what they did like this past fall and this past spring is if [00:21:00] there weren’t any like COVID breakouts or anything like that, they would allow like small classrooms or small classes to meet in person.
I don’t think they’re at that point in the semester yet, but that’s just for the summer. I don’t know if that will continue into the fall. Like I’m going back in the fall and I don’t know whether or not I’m going to have an online semester and in-person semester. So that just depends a lot on the pandemic.
It depends on vaccine progress. It depends on those kinds of things. But I don’t know that online option will come to.
Our next question is, were many of your classmates from IB or AICE programs and does brown except most IB AP. Or AICE credits. Yeah. So short answer. Yes. Most of my classmates were for IB or ACE programs. I did A’s in high school. That’s I did ACE mostly and then one AP class, because they decided to transition when I was graduating.
But yeah. Most of my friends [00:22:00] and most people that I knew that got into brown were from IB or ACE program. Brown. Just not. So you’re required to take four years at brown, regardless of where you are in your IB or AP credits. So for example, if you have a lot of like biology, IB credits, like you’ve reached the high level of your IB credit in biology.
Brown will accept that credit, but not so that you can take one less class feel accepted so that they can place you in a higher level of biology. The same goes for like a language. So I was placed in to Spanish three instead of Spanish one because of my high school credits. But that didn’t mean that I had to take less Spanish classes.
It just meant that I was placed in a higher level. So yeah, so it’s a little confusing. It’s not if you go to a state school or something like that, you can. For example, I know someone who’s applying to a state school and will automatically have their associate’s degree. Like automatically all those credits will be out of the way at brown.
It just places you in a higher level and you’re still required to complete all those four years.[00:23:00]
Our next question is what is Brown’s acceptance rate and what does the university look for in terms of an application? A big question. Quite a big question. I don’t know. Brown’s acceptance rate currently. I think it’s something below 7%. I think it was 7.2% when I was accepted. And what is it?
That’s such a big question. What does it mean? 7.1 this year? 7.1%. Yes. So very low acceptance rate. Very challenging. And what does the university look for in terms of an application? I would say the university looks for creativity more than anything. Brown really likes when students are exploring their different passions.
So for example if you’re a student who wants to go into engineering, they don’t want to just see that you’re going to engineering. They also want to see that you’re exploring your interest in business. They also want to see that you’re exploring [00:24:00] your interest in volunteer service, by volunteering at an animal shelter.
They want to see that you are. Even if it’s not something that you do all four years, that maybe senior year, you tried something new or you tried something new, they’d like to see that variety in addition to your commitment to your really core extracurriculars. So for example, in my case too, I applied to brown.
I had a really strong like international relations center. I was in model United nations. I was like in all of the politics clubs and things like that. And then I also like. Spent some time doing volunteering. And I also started a business and I also, so it’s that kind of variety that they look for and that’s exemplified a lot in their open curriculum that they want to know that you’ll come to brown and you’ll take the opportunity to explore through the open curriculum.
And so I would say that’s one of the biggest things that they look for. I hope that answers that question. It was such a big question. I didn’t know where to start. You answered this next one a little bit already, but what extracurriculars made you stand [00:25:00] out to brown? Okay. Yeah, so I was in model United nations for all four years.
I did leadership positions. I built my way up in leadership positions from sophomore through senior year. That was my main thing. That’s what I really applied on was my model United nations. And then I also had mentioned, I started a business, so I opened a coffee shop at school. I worked with like graphic design to design a logo, and I worked with computer programming to design a point of sale system and things like that.
And. It lived beyond me, which was nice. The coffee shop lived and continued to exist once I left. So that was great. And then I also was involved in quite a few volunteering clubs. So I was involved with key club, which I’m sure many of you are involved in. And then. I also, what was the last thing I was going to mention?
Oh, I was also in culture club, so I was raising funds for like international travel and things like that. So I had quite a variety of extracurriculars, but like I said, I still had that one [00:26:00] core thing that I did all four years and really built up.
Our next question is if there is no GPA, how do students compete to get into grad schools law, and med schools? That’s a really good point. So I wanted the same exact thing probably for the first two, three years of going to brown. So it’s awesome that you’re thinking about that already grad school and all of that all that stuff.
So as far as I understand, I haven’t applied to grad school yet, but as far as I understand in order to get into grad school, Most of the time you’ll have to take the GRE. So that’s required for most grad schools. And so if you don’t have a GPA at brown, you’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate your academic success to the GRE law schools and med schools.
You have the L sat and the M cat. You have to take those exams in order to get to launch into law and med schools. In terms of GPA, I have heard down the grapevine from my friends who have graduate, who have graduated and gone onto grad school that That grad schools will still pull your grades and calculate the GPA for [00:27:00] themselves.
And so they’ll look at your transcript and calculate for themselves and give you a GPA based on their own measure. And because brown is so renowned, I’m sure everybody has their own tactics for calculating a GPA coming from brown. When Brian doesn’t calculate it themselves. Yeah, that’s what I know about applying to grad.
Our next question is how has Brown’s aerospace engineering slash astrophysics program and are students required to live on campus? And if so, can it be wave two? So I don’t know much about an aerospace engineering and astrophysics. I do know that engineering in general. Incredibly popular incredibly well-renowned.
We have our engineering building Barus and Holley. It was just completely remodeled. There’s whole new facilities. And I know probably. I don’t know, I can’t even put a number to it, but a good percentage of people I know at brown are majoring in engineering. [00:28:00] So definitely a very popular program there and definitely very well-developed in terms of living on campus, first-year students are required to live on campus.
I don’t believe that for sure. It can be waived. Reason being you can apply for, we call it SAS, accommodation, student accessibility services. And if you need. If you need your own bathroom, because you have some sort of condition that requires you to have your own bathroom, or if you need to live in a single or you need substance rehousing, meaning like no alcohol, no drugs, anything like that, you can apply through student accessibility services and you can get your husband needs, needs met, but you’ll still be required to live in the dorms.
Sophomore year, it’s not required. But it’s very hard to get off campus housing because you have to get off-campus approval from brown. And most of the time they still will not approve sophomores, but junior and senior year, that makes it a lot. It makes it a lot easier because upperclassmen get priority when it comes to approving living off campus.
But Brian really likes you to be close to [00:29:00] campus is the point here. They really like you to be able to ask us the facilities, to access the community and things like that, which I think is one of the big reasons why they prefer students to be honoring your time.
Our next question is, you mentioned you submitted supplemental materials when you didn’t get an early decision. What items did you submit? Yeah, so I submitted quite a few things. I submitted basically just a rundown of everything that I had accomplished between my early decision application and my regular decision and regular decision.
And so I submitted like a rundown of my model, United nations awards. I submitted a rundown of my progress with the coffee shop and things like that. It was just like a short list. Just exemplifying the things that I had achieved since applying early decision, just to show that I was still on top of my game, I was still getting good grades and things like that.
And then I also submitted an additional letter of [00:30:00] recommendation and an additional essay depending on the school. Schools, some schools would prefer that you do not submit that much material, but brown didn’t have a limit on what you could submit for materials. So I just went out of my way to submit as much as I could.
And I guess it worked. So
our next question is, do you think it will affect my application if I didn’t take any AP classes? So the important thing that the thing that’ll be important to note here is whether or not your school offers AP classes and how many students take AP classes at your school. So for example, if you’re looking at a student with looking at a student whose school offers a lot of AP classes and the, sorry, my dogs are barking, if you heard that.
But, and you’re looking at a school that offers a lot of AP classes and a lot of students take AP classes, then. It will affect your application negatively. If you haven’t taken AP classes. [00:31:00] If you’re looking at a school that doesn’t really offer a lot of APS or IB or ACE or anything like that, but you’re still taking those higher level courses, then your school is going to consider, or then Brown’s going to consider that.
So it really depends on the context of your school. Brown will never compare you having not taken APS. If your school didn’t offer them versus a student who had a lot of APS at their disposal. So it really just depends on the context, right?
Okay, our next question is, does brown university consider AP classes as an extracurricular? And could you suggest some tips for building your extracurriculars? So that’s an interesting point. So AP classes are just considered as part of your regular course load. So it’s considered. It can go towards your weighted GPA, but it’s not considered necessarily an extra curricular and extracurricular is more what you do outside of class and outside of your workload.
So for example, I did model United nations. I started the [00:32:00] coffee shop, things like that. Those kinds of things are extracurriculars. In addition to like volunteering or participating in any sort of club or anything along those lines. In order to build your extracurriculars. I would say that the biggest thing that you should do is just look around your school and see what you’re interested in and join the clubs that you’re interested in.
For example, like I had a lot of friends in modern United nations freshman year and they were all like, oh my gosh, you’re such a good public speaker. You would really succeed here. And so I joined the club, so that’s another way of getting in is see what your friends are doing. See if you like it, try things out.
A good time to do that is right at the beginning of the school year. If your school has a club fair, or if there are a lot of club meetings, like intro club meetings, the first few weeks, try a few out, see if you like it and then go through.
Our next question is, can you double major at brown? So brown is different from other schools in that [00:33:00] you can’t double you can double major, but you can’t have minors. So you can do two concentrations. So for example, if I wanted to do public policy and Latin American and Caribbean studies, I could do those two concentrations, but I couldn’t.
Major in public policy and then minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies. So you have the opportunity to be able to major in multiple things. I had a friend who graduated with three majors but you can’t minor. So it’s important that if you’re planning on studying two different things and you want certificates or degrees or diplomas for two different things that you consider that not, you’re not minoring, it’s not a small amount of credits.
It’s a full major. For a second degree. So that’s something that’s important to keep in mind, especially during your first few years, if you’re planning on tacking on a second major,
our next question is how did the professors grade coursework? So that’s interesting. It depends on the class. [00:34:00] So for like stem classes, like if you’re taking, if you’re taking neuroscience or if you’re taking statistics or things like that, then it’s just a regular point system. Sometimes there’ll be a curve.
Basically meaning that if everybody. Below a certain amount they’ll bump everybody’s grades up a certain amount that usually happens in the really big classes, like intro to principles of econ intro to neuroscience, intro to biology that usually happens there. In most of my courses, which are primarily writing based, it’s usually based on your ability to argue your ability to present the facts, the quality of your research, things like that.
That said our grading system is different from a lot of universities as well, in the sense that we can, students can choose to take a class for a grade. So for an a of UC, or they can choose to take it pass, fail, which for us is the S slash NC satisfactory or no credit. And basically what that means is that if you want to take a really interesting course, but you think [00:35:00] it will be difficult, but it also won’t count towards your concentration.
You can take it, pass, fail that way. You don’t have to worry about the grade and you can just focus on actually like learning the content and not having to memorize everything. And if you take it for a grade, usually that’s because you want to boost your GPA that you can calculate yourself, even though brown doesn’t calculate it.
You want to boost your GPA or you want to have it. More A’s on your transcript, whatever it is, that’s usually where you’ll take on the class for a grade. But generally speaking, professors will grade coursework based on whether it’s a humanities course, a social sciences or a stem course.
I hope that answers that question.
Okay. Our next question is how does the medical school program work at brown? Yeah. So I assume that whoever wrote the sentence, talking about the plummy program, which is the dual degree program, basically you apply, there’s a separate application for play me. You will apply at the same time as you apply to your [00:36:00] undergraduate applications.
So you’ll just submit some supplemental materials as far as I know it’s just a couple additional essays, a bit more information. And then you’ll submit at the same time as your regular application, but if you are applying dual degree, sorry, my dogs, again, they like to bark when I’m in the middle of a call.
If you’re applying to the dual degree program, sometimes there’s an earlier deadline, so it’s important to look out for that as well. But that’s the gist of what I know about that.
Our next question is does brown give preference to grades from a particular year, junior or senior year when making a decision? So that depends. Generally, if you apply early decision brown looks at your grades from junior year Sometimes they will do like a in the middle of senior year.
So if you’re applying early decision and they want to see where you are, they’ll email your guidance counselor, and they’ll say, Hey, look, we’d like to see your midyear [00:37:00] grades. So that’s something that’s a case where they’ll look at your senior year grades and regular decision is considered a bit more because they’ll be able to see your first semester senior year grades completed during regular decision, which happens later in the year.
Later in the school year, I should say. And then generally speaking it’s important to have good grades all across your application. And it’s important that especially during senior year, you don’t let, senior-itis get to you because they can still see your senior year grades. And it’s just really important that you keep on top of that and show your further commitment to the school.
Our next question is, does brown have a quarter or semester? Brown has a semester system. So we function, it’s usually beginning of September to mid December and then it’s end of January to this year. It was the end of April, but I think it’s usually to the end of may. So yeah, we’re running on a semester system.
What about a month off for winter?[00:38:00]
Okay, we’re going to take a momentary pause in the Q and a, but please keep all those awesome questions coming in. So if you want to work one-on-one with an advisor from our team of over 155 advisors and admissions officers, then you can sign up for a free consultation with us by going to CollegeAdvisor.com and clicking the green chat button in the bottom, right of the screen from there.
Just right in consultation and alive team member, we’ll get back to you to help coordinate your free consultation with us. All right. And we’re going to go back to the Q and a. So our next question is if we’re not allowed to take any minors, how long would it take if we wanted to take two majors?
So depending on how early you plan. You will still take the normal four years to graduate with both of your degrees. But it’ll depend on lot on the [00:39:00] concentration you choose. So for example, I majored in public policy and I only had 10 concentration requirements, which means I only had to take 10 courses of all the courses of my college career in order to meet my major requirements.
If I wanted to double major, I would have to take my 10 courses plus whatever the requirement is for another major. So for example, if I wanted to major in Hispanic studies, then I would have to take 10 additional courses that are required for Hispanic studies. So that’s 20 courses out of my whole undergraduate career.
That has to be dedicated specifically to my major. If you are considering majoring in like engineering, which has like 18 to 20 requirements that will vastly limit the amount of additional concentrations you can add. So it’s just important to look at what are the requirements for what you really want to major in, what are the requirements for what you want to major in kind of secondarily and see how much time it will take you.
But you will still be required to do like everything within that for you.[00:40:00]
Our next question is, what did you write about in your college essays? Good question. So in my common application essay, I basically, so one of the big things that you want to touch on in your college essay is if you’re like writing about a challenge or a struggle or anything, you want to be able to show that you have grown since then, or you learned something from it.
And so I wrote about a conversation that I had with a few people freshman year. And how. Over time, like throughout my high school career, I learned to have conversations that were more open and more civil and more more a conversation rather than a lecture on my part. And so I wrote about basically the learning process of what it means to have open conversations with people, to genuinely hear other points of view and things like that.
Based on an anecdote from my freshman year that kind of showed growth over the four years. That was my main one. And then for brown, like I mentioned, I wrote about the open curriculum. I also wrote about [00:41:00] what does that I read about? I haven’t read my college essays in so long. I wrote about open curriculum.
I think I read about modern United nations. And then I also wrote about growing up as a biracial woman in a primarily white city. So that was a unique experience to me.
Okay. Okay. Our next question is brown university test optional for the class of 2023? I’m actually not sure. I’m not sure about that. Most universities are transitioning into being test optional. I can’t imagine that. Would not be within that group of people who are not, who are test optional.
So yeah, I think there was actually a vote on campus for all the undergraduate students to vote on whether brown should be test optional. I don’t know what the outcome was, but my heart of hearts says that yes, they are test optional, but don’t take my word for it.[00:42:00]
Our next question is, are freshmen allowed to have cars on campus? Unfortunately, no. So freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus. There are no spark parking spots. If you live on campus, you have to find your own parking spots in like the Providence community or, wherever that is. But brown does not rent out parking brown.
Doesn’t none of that. So primarily students will. We’ll bring their cars on campus when they live off campus in an apartment at the hottest parking spot. Rather than having them earlier on in their undergraduate career, that said, you don’t really need a car in Providence. I never really needed a car until I decided I want to go to trader Joe’s senior year.
Which is 20 minutes away. And so that’s like the only instance where I really needed a car. But besides that, like your meals are on campus, there’s a grocery store. That’s 10 minutes away. If you want to cook something or make something. And then everything that you would do in Providence is within like a 20 minute walking distance.
So it’s not super difficult to get to.[00:43:00]
Our next question or statement, I guess is I’d like to learn more about scholarships and financial aid. Yes. Okay. That’s a very good point. I applied to brown because brown and me. 100% of demonstrated financial need. What that means is that you’ll apply to brown and you’ll submit your FAFSA, which is basically just like this giant financial document about taxes and things like that.
You’ll submit that to brown and then that will produce your family’s estimated family contribution. And that basically says, based on your finances and everything, this is how much you can afford to pay for college for my family. That number was less than what I would have paid to go to a public school in Florida.
So it was fortunate enough that I was actually paying less to go to brown versus going to university of Florida or going to university of central Florida. Because brown met [00:44:00] demonstrated financial need. So in order to apply for that, it’s important that you submit your FAFSA ASAP as soon as you can.
And then, like I mentioned in the beginning, if they don’t give you enough money, if they give you like, say your estimated family contribution is $10,000 and they were making you pay $20,000, take that offer into the financial aid office and say, you didn’t give me enough money and negotiate, bring it down to what you can pay for reasonably.
And yeah, that’s the biggest thing that I want people to get out of like scholarship and financial aid advice is Your financial aid package is not set in stone. Most of the time, all it takes is going into the financial aid office and saying, I need more money and they’ll give you more money. But yeah, it’s to take the initiative to be able to do that.
In terms of scholarships, and this is not brown related, but scholarships. I applied to the vast majority of them in my hometown, which is what I would highly suggest doing because a lot of national state level scholarships are really competitive, whereas it’s a [00:45:00] lot easier to stand out on a local level, a city level.
And I got. Quite a few from the local level, there were smaller scholarships, but they, for example, like they bought me a laptop. That’s lasted me all four years. They’ve, I’ve had enough scholarship to waive my student contribution. So that’s like a work study requirement that brown might have.
And yeah, so scholarships can go a long way, even if they’re small amounts, but it’s important that you apply locally. In my opinion,
Our next question is what careers have recent brown graduates gone on to interesting question. So I know one grad student actually she just graduated from graduate school who is she’s in. I don’t even know what the title would be. She’s an activist more or less. She works with a local campaign in New York.
I think that she has her masters in public policy or public health or something along those lines. And. [00:46:00] She’s decided to take her skills from graduate school to come to the community level, to the grassroots level and do activism through that. And then I also know someone who works in consulting.
She works in DC. She works with McKinsey in DC and they work like lots of hours, but it’s really rewarding for her. She’s an econ major. And so it’s really rewarding there. And then I know a lot of Fulbright scholars, which is basically where people. Get the money to be able to go and teach, or do some other work in another country.
So I know someone who’s going to Spain. I know someone who’s going to Somalia. I know people who are going all over the world. A lot of people use the post-grad time, like the year after undergrad to do like a transition stage too. So like I’m taking eight months off before I applied to grad school.
And things like that. There’s a lot that you can do.
Our next question is, are there internship opportunities or summer programs available for current high [00:47:00] school students at brown? So I would say no one internship opportunities, but summer programs. Yes. We have summer at brown which is an opportunity for you to basically take classes at brown and see what the campus is decide whether you really like it or not.
And things like that. So if you’re unsure somewhere brown is a good option. They are doing it this year. I don’t know if it’s too late to apply, but it’s all it takes is a quick search on Brian’s website to see if summer at brown is still moving. I will say, though, that summer at brown is quite expensive.
And you have to pay for your housing. Yes. Pay for meals, et cetera. And because I’d have a lot of students that ask summer at brown does not make a difference in whether or not you actually get into brown. It’s just an opportunity for you to actually decide yourself whether or not you love the campus, whether or not you love the environment and whether or not you actually want to apply.
Our next question is what does brown allow and not allow students to bring to [00:48:00] camp, to bring to campus from home? That’s an interesting question. I, my first thought is they don’t let you bring pets. So you can’t pets are not allowed in the dorms unless they are qualified emotional support animals.
And unless your roommate agrees to it. And that’s a whole additional process for things. I knew someone freshman year who had a cat, but it took three quarters of the year to get approval for the cat to be there. So at that point it wasn’t even really worth it. So yeah, that’s my. That’s that was my first thought was no brown does not allow pets in most circumstances unless it’s for disability related needs.
Bron does not allow students to bring cars again. Like I said, there’s no parking. But pretty much anything else, I can’t think of any like big nose. So for whatever you need for your dorm is fine. And. Yeah, everything along those lines. Obviously one of the big things too, is that you’ll like, if you’re bringing something significant from home, like you’re bringing a mini fridge or if you’re bringing, I don’t know, additional dressers and [00:49:00] like that it’s best to check in with your roommate first.
So like I said, you’ll be assigned a random roommate freshman year. You don’t want to end up with two fridges that where you don’t need one of them. So just like checking in with your roommate is good to see if there’s like anything extra that you need to bring to campus besides like normal dorm things.
If that answers the question. I don’t know if that was the way to just dorms or not, but that was my thought.
Our next question is what is the culture in brown athletics?
Huh. Okay. So I’m not abroad athletics. But generally speaking, I found that there was like a really big community around athletics. Especially women’s athletics. I know that the volleyball team does a lot of like fundraising and a lot of before COVID it was a lot of socials and like the university.
What pay for like catering and things like that. And people could come through and just see like the volleyball players and celebrate them and things like that, which was really nice. I’ve definitely found it to be generally positive.[00:50:00] And yeah, I guess that’s my thoughts there. I’m not super involved in athletics.
I don’t even do like clubs sports or anything like that. So I don’t have a super informed perspective, but that’s just my thing.
Our next question is what are the vibes of the campus and surrounding areas like all good vibes, it’s all good vibes. So Providence is a great place, especially like coming from Florida where everything is so spread out and you need a car to get anywhere. And there’s not a lot. There’s not really a big culture of like entertainment for young people that there’s not even really any movie theaters or like anything like that for them.
Like people in their teens or their twenties to hang out or anything. And, but Providence is the complete opposite of that. You can go out and go to dinner with your friends. You could, there’s all these great food places. It’s a really big food city, which I love. I’m a big foodie. So there’s, if you need recommendations, let me [00:51:00] know.
But yeah, Providence is a great food city. The culture is great. Everyone’s awesome. The, with the whole COVID thing, being from Florida, Nobody wears a mask. Everybody in Rhode Island is really respectful about wearing masks, even outside. If you’re 20 feet away and they are like taking their mascot while they’re running to take a break, they’ll put it right back on when they see you.
So it’s just a really welcoming kind city, in my opinion, like I said, all good vibes. We love to hear it. Okay. I think this is probably going to be our last question, but. Our next question is how is brown different from other great schools and who is the ideal brown student? Another very big question, but also a very good question.
So how has Bron different from other grade schools? The biggest thing for me, I’ve mentioned it towards the beginning of the presentation is that people are genuinely happy to be at brown. Like I said, brown has its faults. It has its difficulties, but. I have [00:52:00] very rarely heard of someone transferring out of brown.
I’ve heard people transferring to brown. So that’s one thing that makes brown a lot different. Obviously the big things are like open curriculum makes brown different, not having GPA’s mixed brown different. And then within that, not having a culture of competitive. It makes it quite different as well, because you’re not all required to take the same classes.
Like even within public policy, I’m required to take four classes and then six classes can be classes of my choosing. So everybody’s on a different track. Everybody, even within the same concentration, everybody’s taking different things and choosing from different options. And so it’s really a non-competitive positive, supportive environment for you.
Reaching, whatever dreams and goals you might have, which I think makes it quite different from a lot of universities, which tends to be a lot more competitive. And then who is the ideal brown student. And I don’t feel like I have the authority to answer that question. I don’t know I think coming to brown.
Oh, thanks. Definitely [00:53:00] something that like I mentioned in the like previously, as you had to be creative and you have to be willing. To explore, like brown is not a place you come to where you know exactly, I want to take these courses. And even if you do come like that, brown will teach you that there’s so much else out there.
Like I remember freshman year coming in and the person who spoke to introduce us all and everything was like, I took this really great Egyptian studies class second semester, freshman year, and changed from biology to addition studies. Like right away. And I was like, oh, that’s not going to happen to me.
And then I basically ended up taking so many history courses that I didn’t anticipate taking. I basically have all of the language requirements that I could possibly need for the next, however many years, taking Spanish courses and studying abroad and things like that. Yeah, I don’t really know what to say about the ideal brown student, but I would say that someone who is creative, someone who’s willing to learn and who’s open to different opportunities makes a pretty good candidate for prep.[00:54:00]
That seems like a great place to end. So thank you everyone so much for coming out tonight and Bailey, thank you so much for presenting. Awesome. This is the end of the webinar. We had a wonderful time telling you about brown university and here is the whole of our may series. So tomorrow is the university of Pennsylvania.