Brown University, one of the Ivy Leagues, has a highly competitive applicant pool with a 9.3% acceptance rate for the class of 2020. The short answer questions in this ivy league application provide you with the opportunity to stand out from the rest and explain how you would contribute to—and benefit from—the academic, social, and extracurricular activity at Brown.
Below we provide some advice on how to approach each question in the application.
Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated in our Member Section, earlier in this application? If you are “undecided” or not sure which Brown concentrations match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or modes of thought that engage you currently. (150-word limit)
Based on notes from Brown admissions officers, the university looks for self-direction in learning. This means that your goals are intimately tied to your academic pursuit. Explain the connection between them.
We all exist within communities or groups of various sizes, origins, and purposes; pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. (150-word limit)
Your surroundings shape your perspective. Sometimes you can pinpoint moments that have had a lasting impact on your understanding of the world. What are the salient factors that contribute to your identity (interpret broadly).
Tell us where you have lived – and for how long – since you were born; whether you’ve always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. (100-word limit)
As an expansion to the previous prompt, describe the space(s) you’ve grown up around and how they relate to who you are. These can be geographic areas or any other settings where you grew up.
Why Brown? (200)
This is a very straightforward “why us” question that requires research on aspects specific to Brown that match your interests, rather than just ivy league essays in general. Show that you have done some research on academic programs, professors, courses, clubs, or traditions, and mention your extracurricular activities that prove your interest in those specific Brown areas. It is important to talk about both Brown and why you would be a good fit.
Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated earlier in this application? If you are "undecided" or not sure which Brown concentrations match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or modes of thought that engage you currently. (150 word limit)
Cybersecurity is a fascinating intersection of two of my passions: computer science and political science. It is relevant to every aspect of society today, from the military to the medical sector. For example, simply typing a few lines of code can cause devastating denial-of-service (DOS) attacks that can shut down websites. Enigmatic and constantly changing, cybersecurity enchants me with the possibility of understanding it. I want to harness the opportunities that Brown offers to help investigate the political and economic impacts of cybersecurity. Through multidisciplinary classes like Cybersecurity and International Relations, I’ll have the chance to study Edward Snowden and the Sony hack. Outside of the classroom, I hope to join Brown’s Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge team, the only undergraduate team who has ever won the elite cybersecurity policy competition. With the experience and knowledge I gain at Brown, I hope to contribute to a stronger global understanding of cybersecurity.
Why Brown? (100 word limit)
Brown’s open curriculum will allow me to explore classes I wouldn’t usually take as a Computer Science concentration, such as The Economic Analysis of Political Behavior, in order to craft an experience that’s interesting and unique to me. When I asked one of my fellow summer interns about Brown, she told me that students and faculty in the Department of Computer Science are very close-knit and supportive. The prospect of joining a family of intellectual explorers is very appealing to me, since I work best in a team and I love to be challenged.
Tell us where you have lived - and for how long - since you were born; whether you've always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. (100 word limit)
I was born in Berkeley, California, and my family lived in the nearby town of Walnut Creek. When I was four, we moved to Hinsdale, Illinois, a suburb just outside of Chicago, and stayed there until I was nine. Then, we moved back to the Bay Area of California into a neighborhood called Danville. Four years later, my parents divorced, and my dad moved to a town ten minutes away called San Ramon. Now, my siblings and I live at both houses, and we drive between Danville and San Ramon every one or two days.
We all exist within communities or groups of various sizes, origins, and purposes; pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. (100 word limit)
I am a proud member of a highly trained sisterhood of mental and physical warriors: my varsity volleyball team. My fierce loyalty to the other girls on my team stems not from the fact that we are athletically superior to other teams, but from the fact that we lean on each other's shoulders inside and outside of practice. For example, after my teammate told us her mom had breast cancer, we organized a team sleepover to give her a break from her stress. While the season may be over, I am proud to belong to a family of unconditional support.
M, Samantha. "Brown Short Answers" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 26 Jun. 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2018. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/brown/brown-short-answers/>.