Acceptances lower next year due to COVID?

I wanted to start a discussion regarding the prospects of both first year and transfer applicants to Brown for next year, based off this year’s transfer applicant stats. Despite Brown’s transfer webpage suggesting that they try to take 100-200 students each year, they’ve taken fewer than 80 this year and the acceptance rate decreased drastically (from ~9% to ~3%). Given this, as well as the many first-years getting off the waitlist (because of the first years who are now taking gap years and will be enrolling next fall), is it likely that overall acceptance rates will go down for both first-years and transfers for the 2021 admissions cycle?

Unless a person works for Brown admissions, we’d just be guessing.

Disclaimer: I’m an incoming First-Year at Brown, and my ADVICE is somewhat based on a more “normal” admissions cycle. Also, I do not know much about transfer admissions as I applied for First-Year admission.

I agree with @happy1 's words of wisdom. At the end of the day, Brown’s difficult to get into, and no one but the Admissions Office knows precisely what factors go into an applicant’s acceptance or rejection OR the impact of Class of 2024 students taking gap years on students applying this year. If you LOVE Brown, definitely apply (ED if you can afford Brown and are applying for freshmen admission,) but also make sure to apply to a wide-range of safety, match, and reach schools, with at least one safety that is affordable, you would enjoy being at, and admits students on a rolling basis.

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

If 200 incoming freshmen from the class of 2024 deferred and took a gap year it seems like a reasonable assumption that there will be less spaces available for freshmen in the class of 2025. It depends on whether the incoming class size is of typical size, because they replaced people who deferred with other applicants from the waitlist. If the class of 2024 is smaller than average then perhaps there is room for a larger class of 2025.

@River65 According to the Brown Daily Herald, which is Brown’s Student Newspaper, the Dean of Admissions stated that they intend to utilize their wait-list more this year; this is likely to achieve as close to a class of 1665 First-Years as possible (~1700 with transfers included.)

It likely isn’t possible for Brown to have a larger class one year, given that it would cause increased demand for the introductory concentration courses that First-Years typically take, such as Chemistry, Public Health, Computer Science etc. At the end of the day, no one but the Admissions office knows EXACTLY how the current circumstances will affect their intended enrollment numbers for next year, so rather than speculating how the admissions process will be different next year, prospective students should focus on whether Brown is the right fit for them, both academically and financially.

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

You don’t really have to speculate too much to realize that with deferrals and gap years taken by upperclassmen that there will be less spots for freshmen in the class of 2025. However your advice is very solid!

Thanks @River65 ! I definitely agree it is a very likely possibility, but given how stressful the college application process already is, most applicants are probably better served by focusing on writing as best of an application as they can than worrying about factors beyond their control :smile:

Good luck to everyone applying to Brown this year, and if you’re admitted, I look forward to meeting you at Brown next year!

There will also (likely) be many fewer study abroad programs for the next few years. More kids on campus (although fewer international students?)

Yeah @twoinanddone , I believe Brown cancelled all study abroad programs for the Fall, and today, decided that most students will study remotely for the first month or so of the semester. Also, due to the three semester plan, most of the introductory courses taught in the Fall semester are now taught in the Summer, when First-Years are on-campus. So there might be increased demand for those classes (such as public health etc) that a upperclassman is unable to take given that they are not enrolled for that semester (only Sophomores, possibly, will also be enrolled in the Summer.)

But again, there’s nothing we as students or as applicants can do about how next year might look, other than just do our best in the current circumstances. :smile:

I’m looking at a graph showing, from 1969 to the present: Brown applicants, admits and matriculants. The latter two are more or less flat lines hugging the bottom of the chart, while “applicants” is a hockey stick-shaped line shallowly increasing at the lower-left corner ('70’s), more so in the middle, and finally heading skyward towards the upper-right corner starting around the late '90’s). From the perspective afforded by this graph, admit deltas related to things like changes in gap-year numbers would be just one more squiggle in a line composed of squiggles from various factors. It all works out to “Not very many applicants to the Class of 2024 were admitted, and not very many applicants to the Class of 2025 will be admitted.” (look at fancy me, making use of the two upper-level Statistics courses I took).

brownredblue’s transfer-student numbers are a bit surprising, in particular 9% going down to 3%. But that “population” [ok, now I am using AM 115!] is a lot smaller, so things will tend to bounce around more just from that. Mostly though, I’m guessing it reflects everything from a tactical decision on the part of Admissions to practice risk management in any number of ways, plus some effect from visa and other international travel-related headaches. In either case, no particular reason to think the result will be the same next year, with possibly a different set of circumstances in play.

The “lower acceptance next year” concern is based on the assumption that the 2021-2022 academic year will be completely normal, and COVID will be all behind us. This, however, seems a little optimistic, according to the face of the current crisis, Dr. Fauci.