Founded in 1764, Brown University is a private research university with an urban campus located at the top of College Hill in Providence, Rhode Island.
A highly sought-after institution of higher education, Brown is one of the eight elite Ivy League schools.
Like all Ivy Leagues schools, Brown University is known worldwide for the extraordinary level of academic excellence the school cultivates and the unprecedented number of career opportunities accompanying an Ivy League degree.
Another aspect of Brown University that makes it worthy of inclusion in the Ivy League is its extremely low acceptance rate, which has dropped into the single digits. According to the most recent data, Brown admits a mere 8% of students who apply.
According to the 2022 edition of US News and World Report’s annual ranked list of the best colleges in the country, Brown is tied for fourteenth place among all American universities.
The school’s average first-year retention rate, a widely acknowledged indicator of student satisfaction, is 97%. This means that nearly all Brown students return for the second year of study after their first year.
Brown’s student-to-faculty ratio is 6:1, allowing students to benefit from an intimate classroom experience and the tight-knit community atmosphere with small class sizes.
In fact, 69.8% of classes offered at Brown have a total of fewer than 20 students. As of the fall of 2020, total undergraduate enrollment at Brown University was 6,792.
For those who are prepared to commit to attending Brown University, applying to the school under their early decision program may be a great idea.
Read on to learn more about applying to Brown via early decision, including the average acceptance rate, the deadline for submitting the application, when to expect notification of acceptance, rejection, or deferral, and more.
Brown Early Decision Acceptance Rate
According to the most recent data, the acceptance rate for early decision applicants at Brown is 14.58%.
The school received 6,146 early decision applications for the first-year class of 2026. 896 students from this applicant pool were given offers for admission.
This acceptance rate is nearly twice the acceptance rate for regular decision students at Brown.
On the other hand, the most recent early decision acceptance rate has decreased compared to previous years — it has fallen about 2.92% over the course of just one admission cycle.
For example, one year earlier, Brown received 4,562 early decision applications for the first-year class of 2025.
Eight hundred of these applicants were admitted to the college, which makes the early acceptance rate for this year 17.5%.
Since the average first-year enrollment at Brown comes to about 1700 students, the school accepting these 800 early decision applicants means that this group within the applicant pool makes up nearly half of Brown’s freshman class.
Brown Early Decision Decision Date
Those who apply to Brown under their early decision plan can expect to hear back from the college regarding their admissions decisions by around mid-December.
There are three possible decisions that early decision Brown applicants may receive. In addition to acceptance or rejection, applicants may also learn that their application has been deferred.
Students who are denied admission under the early decision plan are not permitted to reapply to the school under the regular decision plan and instead must wait until the next application cycle the following academic year.
Accepted students will be required to withdraw any applications to other universities.
Their spot in Brown’s first-year class is guaranteed, as long as they finish out the remainder of their senior year with strong grades.
If the application is deferred, that means that the student will not receive a final decision on their application until it is reviewed a second time during the regular decision admissions round. Regular decision applicants do not receive an admissions decision until early April.
After the application has been completed and submitted, students will receive access to their own Brown Applicant Portal, which is another place to find the admissions decision once released.
Brown Early Decision Deadline
The deadline to apply to Brown University under their early decision plan is November 1 of each year.
For regular decision applicants, the deadline is on January 5 every year, giving these students an extra couple of months.
Once the school has received the Common Application, students will receive a confirmation email from the Office of College Admission.
Although it is essential that all required components of the application are submitted to the school before this deadline, Brown states that it is permissible if some of the student’s supplemental documents, such as transcripts, test scores, and so on, are not received until the following week or so.
Does Brown Have Early Decision 2?
Brown University does not have early decision 2.
In fact, none of the Ivy League schools do.
One reason that some colleges do choose to offer early decision 2 is that it allows for higher yield rates.
The more spots in a first-year class filled through binding early decision plans, the more students will accept their offers for admission.
A high yield rate indicates that a school is desirable since it suggests that students who receive offers for admission are eager to accept and enroll at the university.
However, being the very prestigious Ivy League university that it is, Brown is already well-known for their highly selective admissions process. They, therefore, have no significant incentive to offer early decision 2.
Brown ED Deferral Rate
The deferral rate for early decision applicants to the first-year class of 2026 at Brown University was 25%.
This same year, the early decision acceptance rate was the lowest in the school’s history for the fourth consecutive year. Additionally, the early applicant pool was the largest in the university’s history.
The most recent application cycle is also different from previous years in that there has been an increase in the number of students who were rejected rather than deferred for review during the regular decision admissions cycle.
Brown rejected 60% of early decision first-year applicants and deferred another 25%. One year earlier, the number of early decision applicants who were deferred was 30%, or 5% higher than the following year.
How to Apply to Brown for Early Decision
In order to apply to Brown University under their early decision plan, students must first complete the Common Application online.
In addition to filling out the application information, applicants will also need to respond to a set of three Brown University-specific short answer questions.
These responses should be between 200 and 250 words long and can be found on the college’s website.
Students who want to apply to the eight-year Program in Liberal Medical Education or the five-year Brown | Rhode Island School of Design Dual Degree Program must also complete special program essays.
Mandatory supplemental materials include an official high school transcript and a school report, both of which must be submitted to Brown by a school counselor or other school official.
Students will also need to request that a school counselor complete Brown’s counselor recommendation on their behalf.
The application also requires that students submit two teacher evaluations/recommendation letters.
These must be written by teachers who have taught the student in major academic subject areas, such as mathematics, science, English, or a foreign language.
For students who are interested in concentrating in a STEM first or in the Program in Liberal Medical Education, letters of recommendation should be written by a math or science teacher. All teacher recommendation letters must be submitted to Brown either through the Common Application or by email or fax.
Early Decision applicants must also have a high school counselor submit their first quarter or trimester grades to the school as soon as they are available.
Because Brown’s early decision application plan is binding, early Decision applicants are required to complete an early decision agreement form, which must be signed by the student, a parent or guardian, and a school counselor. Submission of this form confirms the applicant’s commitment to enrolling at Brown if they receive an offer for admission.
For all first-year applicants during the 2022 to 2023 admission cycle, SAT or ACT scores are not a required component of the Brown application.
The school adopted this policy as a response to the ongoing difficulties for standardized testing set forth by the COVID-16 pandemic.
There will be a non-refundable processing fee of $75 due at the time of applying. This fee can be paid by credit card through the Common Application.
Alternatively, fee waivers are available for any students for whom the fee may create financial hardship. To make the application process more accessible, Brown even offers automatic fee waivers for certain groups of students.