Undergraduate Financial Aid

Need-Blind vs Need-Aware for First Year Applicants

Information for first-year U.S. citizens and permanent residents, international and undocumented applicants

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

All first-year applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States will be admitted to Brown on a need-blind basis. Beginning with the fall 2017 entering class, first-year, first-time undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students will be considered under the University’s need-blind admission policy. In addition, the University will meet 100% of their demonstrated financial need. While admission decisions will be made without regard to ability to pay, students are required to submit financial aid application materials by all published deadlines to be considered for scholarship assistance. Each applicant will be considered on an individual basis and the review will take into account any special circumstances listed. 

Applications will be evaluated each year for need based eligibility. If you do not have financial need in your first year, but demonstrate financial need in future years, your application will still be considered for financial aid. 

Sudden change in financial circumstances

If you experience a significant and unexpected change in circumstances after the application deadline, you may complete the financial aid application process at any point during the academic year. If the change is considered significant and unexpected, your case will be assessed based on the information you provide to our office according to the same guidelines we would use for an on time application. For example, we would consider a parent's loss of job, an involuntary decrease in parent income of 20% or more, or the death of a parent a significant and unexpected change in circumstances. We suggest that all families who believe they may have experienced a qualifying change in circumstances contact our office and speak with a counselor.

Neither voluntary cessation of employment like a sabbatical, failure to receive an expected raise or bonus, nor a change in the number of children in college will be considered. Also, a decrease in the value of your assets, such as stocks or mutual funds, is not considered an unexpected change. Students in such situations can apply for federal loans, federal grants and federal work-study by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In subsequent years, such students can be considered for scholarship assistance with an on-time financial aid application.

International Applicants and Non-US Citizens

We will continue to consider international applicants on a need-aware basis, that is, Brown will take into account their financial need in making admission decisions. However, for those international applicants that we do admit, we will continue to meet 100% of their demonstrated financial need.

International citizens who do not receive financial aid at the time of admission will not be considered for aid at a later date. Foreign citizens must apply for financial aid at the time of application for admission and meet all required financial aid deadlines, if they have reason to believe they will need assistance at any point during their time at Brown.

If you do not receive scholarship assistance upon admission to the University, you will not be considered for scholarship assistance in future years.

I experienced a sudden change in financial circumstances

If you do not receive scholarship assistance upon admission to the University, you will not be considered for scholarship assistance even upon a change in your family's financial circumstances. You must apply for and receive a scholarship award at the time of admission in order to receive scholarship assistance upon a change in circumstances.

I lost funding from my sponsor

Brown will not award scholarship assistance or loan funding to replace lost sponsorship dollars. If you have a sponsor and are uncertain of the sponsor's commitment, be sure to apply for financial aid at the time of admission.

I became a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident

If you become a U.S Citizen or Permanent Resident after you are admitted, you may apply for both federal and university aid. However, you must submit a financial aid application and original documentation to verify your US citizenship/Permanent Resident status by July 1st to be considered for scholarship assistance for the full upcoming academic year (or by Dec. 1st for consideration for the Spring Semester only). If you miss these deadlines, you will be required to wait until the next academic year. U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents may apply for federal loans, federal grants and work-study by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is the student's responsibility to be aware of all published deadlines.

Undocumented Students

Beginning with the class entering in fall 2017, if a first-time, first-year student with undocumented or DACA status is admitted to Brown and is determined to have financial need, Brown will award the student with Brown financial aid funds to meet their demonstrated need.  These funds could include University need-based scholarship and campus employment (DACA students only).

If the status of an undocumented or DACA student changes while at Brown, the components of his/her need-based award may change as well. 

If an undocumented or DACA student becomes a US citizen or permanent resident while at Brown, he/she will be able to apply for and, if eligible, receive federal financial aid.