On the Early Decision application deadline of November 1st, just three short days ago, students across the country were clicking “Submit” or licking envelopes, and were hoping that their dream school would send them a ‘fat’ envelope instead of a ‘skinny’ one come December. The six weeks between November 1st and D-Day (which in this case is Decision Day, in mid-December) can be nerve-wracking and anxiety-provoking. The phone call and email volume in the Admission Office picks up dramatically, while Admission Officers steadily and surely read through 3,000 applications. There are some common worries that students (or parents) contact the office to resolve; here are some of them, with our best responses:
How and when do I find out my admission decision?
- The Application Summary webpage, for which you’ve been emailed a user ID and password, will allow you to track the status of your application. We will make your decision available online on [edited as of 12/1] December 13th at approximately 5PM EST. Don’t panic if you can’t access your decision at exactly 5PM; our servers are inundated at that time. Try again an hour or two later if at first you’re not able to log in.
How do I know that you’ve received all of my documents?
- It takes us a few weeks to upload thousands of documents into our online reading system. So, we may not mark your teacher recommendation/transcript/scores/etc. as “Received” in our system until well after November 1st. We will notify you if any of your documents are missing.
What is your Early Decision policy? Can I apply to other schools now?
- If you have applied to Brown’s Early Decision program, you may not submit an application to another Early Decision plan, as Brown’s program is binding. You may apply to other schools’ Regular, Rolling, or Early Action programs, as long as they allow you to apply to Brown’s Early Decision program.
What’s the most likely outcome of my Early Decision application? What is your Early Decision acceptance rate?
- The majority of applicants in our Early Decision cycle are deferred to our Regular Decision cycle. Many factors go into our decision process. In recent year, only about 35% of our freshman class was comprised of Early Decision applicants; the majority of students at Brown were accepted during the Regular Decision process.
Should I send in more test scores/news about my accomplishments/samples of my award-winning cookies if I’m deferred?
- If your circumstances have changed significantly, or if you’ve produced an especially noteworthy accomplishment, you may let us know; it is not necessary to completely update your application. We will expect to receive your Mid-Year report from your school’s counselor.
Who’s reading my application? Will the whole thing be read? Do you use robots to weed through applications?
- Your area Admission Officer will do a “first-read” of your application, and it may then be sent on to another reader, and may subsequently be discussed in an Admission Committee. We do read the whole thing, and spelling does count. Real people (Admission Officers) read through every application, though we do have a team of friendly Brown Kodiak bears who scan all your documents with their paws for our viewing pleasure.
When will I find out about my Financial Aid package?
- If you are accepted to Brown, you will receive your Financial Aid award at the same time as you receive your admission decision in the mail.
How do I get an interview?
- We try to offer all our applicants interviews, though due to the limited number of alumni in some areas, we are unable to provide an interview for every applicant. Our alumni network does its best to reach out to as many applicants as possible. You will be contacted by an alumnus or alumna in your area to schedule an interview close to your home by the end of November. If you’re unable to have an interview, it will not hurt your chances of admission. Think of the interview as a chance for you to find out more about Brown from someone who knows it first-hand, rather than as a test of your mettle (or nerves).
If I’m applying to the Brown/RISD program, can I apply to RISD Early Action?
- Yes, though please do be aware that if you are accepted to Brown’s Early Decision program, and not into the Brown/RISD program, you are still obligated to attend Brown. RISD’s Early Action application due date falls after Brown’s Early Decision due date.
Good luck to those of you who have submitted your Early Decision applications, and to those who are working on their Regular Decision applications!