Undergraduate Financial Aid

Sidney E. Frank Scholars

Provides financial assistance for the neediest undergraduate students at Brown University.

In September 2004, Sidney E. Frank, a member of the class of 1942, made a gift of $100 million to Brown University—the largest gift in the University’s history—to establish an endowed scholarship fund that will provide financial assistance for the neediest undergraduate students at Brown University who could not otherwise afford the full cost of tuition and other costs of receiving an education at Brown. Recipients of the scholarships from this fund will be known as “Sidney E. Frank Scholars”.

“Frank Scholar” Eligibility and Selection

Undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens and who enter Brown through the Early Admission and Regular Admission process will be eligible for consideration as Frank Scholars. Students who entered Brown prior to Fall 2005 or who enter Brown other than through the Early Admission or Regular Admission processes or who are not U.S. citizens will not be eligible for a Frank Scholarship. There is no separate application required. Students who meet the criteria will automatically be considered, assuming that all financial aid application requirements and deadlines are met. 

Sidney E. Frank Scholars are selected by the Financial Aid Committee and represent students with the greatest financial need from diverse and economically disadvantaged  backgrounds. Students selected as Frank Scholars will be notified through a financial aid offer letter, sent by the Office of Financial Aid.

How Frank Scholars Differ from Other Aid Recipients

The scholarship portion of the student’s financial aid package provided by the University will be supported through the Frank Scholarship fund. First-year Frank Scholars will not have campus employment or federal work study as part of their standard financial aid packages. Additional scholarship funds (University Work Scholarship) will replace any academic year work expectation that would normally have been part of the student’s financial aid package. This is a one-time benefit for first-year Frank Scholars only. All other University need-based Financial Aid policies will apply to Frank Scholars.

University Work Scholarship

Brown University does not include the expectation that a Frank Scholar work during the academic year in his/her first-year financial aid package. All first-year Frank Scholars whose financial aid packages would have included a work expectation will receive a one-time replacement of this work expectation with "University Work Scholarship." 

Typically, students have a work-study component in their financial aid package. Students often work during the year to cover their indirect expenses (such as books and supplies, personal expenses, and travel). These expenses do not show up on your student account/bill. For first-year Frank Scholars, Brown is replacing the work expectation, typically used to cover these expenses, with scholarship funds. 

For example, if your work expectation was $2,950, that $2,950 will now be applied to your account (50% each semester) as a $2,950 credit through University Work Scholarship. The balance due on your student account, for your freshman year, will now be $2,950 less.

Future Work Expectation

Currently, the average work expectation for sophomores, juniors and seniors is $2,950 per academic year. Money earned from working during the academic year can be used for the indirect expenses described above, such as books, supplies and personal expenses.

If you decide not to work in future years and your offer includes a work expectation, remember that you will need to budget money to cover your indirect expenses. Some students work more during the summer, take student loans or simply try to spend less during the academic year in order to make up for not working during the school year.

Working During your First Year

There is nothing to prevent a first-year Frank Scholar from working if she/he so chooses. The policy was designed to allow for greater student participation in the numerous extracurricular activities at Brown. However, we recognize that working can also provide an excellent opportunity for personal growth and skill-building. If you choose to work during your first-year at Brown, there are numerous on and off-campus employment opportunities available through the Student Employment Office web website, a division of Human Resources.

Policy Impact on other Components of your Financial Aid Package

All students are required to report the receipt of outside scholarships to our office in accordance with federal regulations. These scholarships are considered a financial resource and must be included in your financial aid package. Outside scholarships cannot be used to replace a parent's contribution.

During your sophomore, junior and senior years, you will be able to replace your work and summer earnings expectations with outside scholarship. However, during your freshman year, you will only be able to replace summer earnings expectations with an outside scholarship, since your financial aid package will not include a work expectation. Outside scholarship amounts in excess of your summer earning expectation will result in a dollar for dollar reduction to your Brown University Scholarship.

If you receive outside scholarships that exceed your total eligibility, we suggest that you consider one, or both, of the following options that may help compensate for the reduction to Brown University Scholarship:

1.Use the outside scholarship to fund the purchase of a new computer. Brown will allow you to use an outside scholarship one-time during your four years to purchase a computer. This first year may be a good time to take advantage of this opportunity and make the most of your outside scholarship award. Simply provide our office with a copy of the computer purchase receipt.

2. Consider asking the scholarship agency to defer the scholarship in excess of your summer earnings expectation until a later year. This will allow you to use the scholarship to replace the academic year work expectation you will likely have as a sophomore, junior and senior.

Renewal of the Frank Scholarship

Frank Scholars will be eligible to receive their offer throughout their undergraduate years at Brown based on their continuing enrollment and their demonstrated financial need as evaluated by the Office of Financial Aid.