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How hard is it to get into Brown?

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Replies to: How hard is it to get into Brown?

  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 1,773 Senior Member
    I'm glad your employer has time to do that sort of analysis. It seems many use hard GPA cutoffs and major requirements to even get through the initial screening, my daughter has found.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,944 Senior Member
    "but I wish that admissions committees in both areas would look more closely at the quality of courses on the transcript,

    They definitely do, med schools calculate a science GPA, most grad schools look at number of pass/fail courses taken.

  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,622 Senior Member
    Of course, the more selective colleges look at more than the gpa box (one line on the student app, one line on the counselor report.) Undergrad, not just post grad. It's not as if running your eye down the transcript is a major time robber.

    Selective preps are not only teaching non stem strengths. I have no idea where that assumption comes from. Nor is Brown just looking for humanities style reasoning and prep. The Open Curriculum means you don't get to say, "Whoopee, now I can study only (my concentration.)" From the U's perspective, they want kids with breadth of interests, to make use of the OC. And again, show, not just say it.

    Don't fool yourselves that top prep kids are either unilateral or that they aren't also gunning for HYPMS and others. The GCs send them in the right directions for the individuals. Look deeper than the claims top BS have an auto "in" and you'll see that.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 9,159 Senior Member
    There are lots of talented kids (HS and College) who just don't want to challenge themselves. And that's fine. But it's not too hard to snuff that out from the resume and the transcript. There are plenty of companies (and plenty of roles) that are perfect for the "contended B student". And plenty of jobs which would be a terrible mismatch for someone who doesn't like to push themselves.
  • Genevieve18Genevieve18 Registered User Posts: 103 Junior Member
    edited January 11
    @blossom, I think a student who is taking many rigorous classes can take some that are lighter, and that doesn't have to be a red flag at all. Your comparison is an easy physics course to a more rigorous one, but it could be another science course that is friendly to nonmajors, like intro geology/ astronomy/anthropology/earth science. Or even if it's an easy physics course, if the majority of the courses are rigorous, why would it be a red flag to take a few easier courses for balance?

    "My employer considers GPA for new hires-- but we look at transcripts as well and over time, get a very good feel for what constitutes rigor at different colleges. In addition to the notorious "gut classes" at various schools, it is clear when a kid is sandbagging academically for the sake of the GPA. A kid gets an A in a grad level course in Econometrics but took a "physics for poets" class to satisfy a physical science distribution requirement? That's a red flag (and don't jump down my throat.... there is no reason that a kid with the math and analytical chops to handle advanced econometrics work should be taking a physics class designed for literature majors who have never taken calculus)."

    You can have a student with serious math and analytical chops who takes a lot of rigorous classes in his major and in other areas, but who does not like lab sciences, isn't that strong in them, and doesn't plan on a profession that requires them. If she has to take a physical science class to meet a distribution requirement, and she's taking other rigorous courses at the same time, why can't it be something she finds interesting that is not as intense?
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    edited January 11
    I agree with @Genevieve18 . Unfortunately my non-US schooling background was such that I didn’t get to take much outside the economics/finance/obviously related fields in my economics and finance degree, but some economists like to hang out with poets and don’t like physics all that much... I could certainly see myself having taken a class like that if it had been offered!
  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 4,915 Senior Member
    But many exclusive prep kids look to Brown as THE private college they want to go to.

    Not to veer off topic, but most of the "exclusive" prep schools are NOT open curriculum at all. They have very prescriptive curriculums with very little room for electives. One of the mantras on the prep forum is to NOT evaluate a school by that massive, shiny course catalog. Your student will be taking four years each of a language, math, science, and English (or writing discipline) along with a sport requirement and will have very little room for those esoteric courses that are not even taught very often due to low demand/time/availability. Our son had room in his schedule for only three elective courses in his four years at Choate. Also, FWIW, Brown is not a popular choice among Choate students (or wasn't while he was there), but I can't speak to other boarding schools. @skieurope?
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 39,480 Super Moderator
    edited January 11
    Also, FWIW, Brown is not a popular choice among Choate students (or wasn't while he was there), but I can't speak to other boarding schools. @skieurope?
    I would not say that Brown was the top choice at my school, but it was in the top 5. I myself applied, but opted not to attend (well, Brown, in its infinite wisdom, made that decision for me, but I ended up OK. :D ).
    many exclusive prep kids whose education so far has been non STEM, liberal, open curriculum.
    I'd like to know where these open curriculum prep schools are, because I haven't seen them. Echoing @ChoatieMom , my school had pretty rigid requirements in all core subjects, plus requirements in art, music, religion/philosophy, and PE. The first three years were pretty lockstep based upon initial placement. Any flexibility for electives before senior year only occurred if one placed into a higher level in a department, and therefore satisfied a graduation requirement earlier than usual.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • Nocreativity1Nocreativity1 Registered User Posts: 668 Member
    edited January 11
    Choatiemom- If I recall correctly your son is serving the country by attending West Point. I suspect Brown, with its open curriculum,wasn't his second or third choice😄

    Having read some of your other posts he sounds like an extremely impressive young man. Well done!!

    Sorry for the digression, and happy to return to Brown fandom.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 9,159 Senior Member
    Genevieve- it's all a question of balance. One or two "less rigorous" courses on an overall strong transcript is not going to raise an eyebrow. Or three or four, frankly, if the transcript reflects a student who has pushed for rigor.

    But a 3.9 or 4.0 GPA (which is what many kids think they need for the "prestigious" internships or jobs) accompanied by a resume which doesn't reflect rigor- at all- is not the holy grail kids think it is.

    I've seen transcripts of kids from Cornell Engineering (a school without grade inflation) that look much "weaker" than the rest of the resumes in the pile. But you dig in- and it's a kid who has opted for hard classes, so of course nobody is getting all A's, every semester.

    Balance is fine. Taking the easiest possible route to a 4.0 GPA is not the way to maximize your education, and many of the companies I've worked for agree with this philosophy.
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 1,381 Senior Member
    Brown is a very popular (and possibly most popular this past year) at my daughter's boarding school. The curriculum...it's certainly not open and because of community expectations and athletics, there would be no room for anything else.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,188 Senior Member
    I think the OP has abandoned this thread...plus most of the posts don’t really address the OPs concerns anymore anyway.
  • filmmomvtfilmmomvt Registered User Posts: 16 Junior Member
    To echo one of the posters who was an interviewer, my older daughter interviewed for Brown back in 2010 for RD and her interviewer stopped interviewing after she didn't get in. She ended up at Middlebury and was very happy.
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 1,927 Senior Member
    @MAandMEmom All good points and agree. My main point is that for some exclusive private preps students, Brown is THE destination. I met several students who graduated from Brown, and even though it’s a small sample, they seemed to be very articulate. I did hear weather is windy and not good. Never visited the location though but may when I am near there.
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 1,381 Senior Member
    @websensation I can tell you the weather as I live just 20 minutes from there:). My D20 swims there often and my D22 goes to school close to the campus. It’s typical NE weather and I’ve never thought of it being particularly windy. I think the draw is the campus location: in the city but not directly in the city; close to a happening street with restaurants, bars, etc.; and in the ebbs and flows of desirability, I believe the current generation of students prefers the work/life balance at Brown. Or, the perceived balance.
This discussion has been closed.