Chance Me Brown ED 2026 (Asian Male)

First post ever so might be a bit messy.

Demographics

  • Male
    -Asian
    -Korean
  • Born and currently living in Oregon
    -US Citizen
  • Upper-middle class
  • High school is a private Catholic School
  • No legacy for Brown

Intended Major(s)
-Engineering Concentration or Engineering/PoliSci dual concentration
GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.99/4.0
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): No idea? I would guess around 4.3 (an AP is a +0.5 weight, an honors class is a +0.3 weight)
  • Class Rank: no ranking system
  • SAT: 1570 (770 Reading/Writing, 800 Math)

Coursework
(AP/IB/Dual Enrollment classes, AP/IB scores for high school; also include level of math and foreign language reached and any unusual academic electives; for transfers, describe your college courses and preparation for your intended major(s))
APs I’ve taken: Compsci, Calc AB, Calc Prep (zero period that’s basically Calc BC), English Language, Physics C E+M
APs I’m gonna take: English Literature, Spanish Language, Comparative Governments, Physics C Mechanics
AP scores: Compsci (4), Calc BC (5), English Language (5), Physics C E+M (5)
Dual enrollment’s I’ve taken: Linear Algebra, Biology (Honors)
Dual enrollment’s I’m gonna take: Multivariable Calculus
Level of math reached: Linear Algebra/Multivariable Calculus (don’t know which is a higher level)
Level of foreign language reached: AP Spanish V Language

Awards
-Selected for All-State and All-Northwest Orchestras
-Science Olympiad State Astronomy Award (2nd Place)
-National Merit Semifinalist (I don’t know what it’s actually called, but the one you get for a high PSAT score. I know it hasn’t officially come out yet, but I got a score that historically exceeds Oregon’s cutoff, so I’m confident I’ll get this award)
-Linear Algebra Department Award and AP Computer Science Department Award
-Scholar Athlete Award

Extracurriculars
(Include leadership, summer activities, competitions, volunteering, and work experience)
Portland Youth Philharmonic (Local Orchestra, we perform at Portland’s concert hall as well as high schools)
35 weeks/year, 12 hrs/week
9, 10, 11, 12
Men’s Tennis Team (varsity, otherwise self-explanatory)
15 weeks/year, 15 hrs/week
9, 10, 11, 12
Model United Nations (Leader for 11th and 12th grade, Committee Chair for 11th grade and probably 12th grade)
27 weeks/year, 5 hrs/week
9, 10, 11, 12
Science Olympiad (A team, got astronomy silver medal in 11th grade, team won 2nd overall at state)
28 weeks/year, 5 hrs/week
9, 10, 11, 12
Volunteering (Working with marginalized communities such as those with disability, those suffering from poverty, those suffering from food insecurity)
3 weeks/year, 30 hrs/week
9, 10, 11, 12
Internship (Intern in the Molecular/Medical Genetics Department at the Oregon Health and Science University. Did loads of Data Analysis using plots, got pretty familiar with R)
25 weeks/year, 10 hours/week
11
Summer Institute of Mathematics at the University of Washington (we did a lot of math, funded by scholarships, taught by UW professors, six different courses)
6 weeks/year, 60 hours/week
10
Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival (lots of music playing, taught by music professors/members of orchestras, master classes and community workshops were offered)
4 weeks/year, 15 hours/week
11
Summer@Brown (I know this is really not prestigious at all but I’m gonna put this on here for the Brown App) (i took a course in alternative energy engineering)
2 weeks/year, 25 hours/week
12
Private tutor (teaching neighborhood kids about math/tennis)
30 weeks/year, 4 hours/week
9, 10, 11
Essays/LORs/Other
Common App:
I wrote one specifically for Brown about my time at Summer@Brown and how I learned the joy in working with other people. I know it sounds corny but I’d say it’s a solid 8.5/10. My counselor, my parents, and my friends loved it, but I think that it might be too corny.
Brown Supplement about Open Curriculum:
I’d say 8/10. I talked about how PoliSci and Engineering are often treated as two separate fields in a traditional education system, and I’m gonna use the open curriculum to mesh the two together. Used MUN as the hook and transitioned into the main topic. Only an 8/10 because right now its a bit wordy so I’m gonna need to cut some words out.
Brown Supplement about being challenged by a different perspective:
9/10. I absolutely love what I wrote but don’t want to rate it a 10/10 because I don’t think anything can be a 10/10. I wrote about how I used to view religion in a skeptical light and just dismissed it because it contradicted science. After a certain class that I took, I learned to look for truth in everything rather than dismissing something that contradicts my personal beliefs. My only concern is that a lot of people are going to write about the same thing.
Brown Supplement about Joy:
7.5/10. Still a work in progress, but I’m getting there. I wrote about LEGOs and how, in a world that values completed products, the process of building is what brings me joy. Again, I’m worried a lot of people will write about the same thing.
Brown video supplement:
8/10. I took the admissions officer watching (who probably knows Brown campus) on a tour of Brown but from my perspective. I call out certain areas and include clips of my time at Brown. I feel like I’m really milking Summer@Brown, so I’d love to hear feedback about that.

Also gonna submit a music supplement
Cost Constraints / Budget
It is an absolute privilege to not have to worry about paying for college, so if your parents are paying for your college tuition, please tell them you love them. No cost constraints.

Schools
This application is specifically for Brown ED so my app for other schools will look a bit different. I would love to know if my stats+ECs hold up for my other schools as well, though!
(List of colleges by your initial chance estimate; designate if applying ED/EA/RD; if a scholarship is necessary for affordability, indicate that you are aiming for a scholarship and use the scholarship chance to estimate it into the appropriate group below)

  • Safety:
    Oregon State University, Arizona State University
  • Likely (would be possible, but very unlikely or surprising, for it not to admit or be affordable):
    Santa Clara University (EA), University of Washington, UCSD
  • Match:
    Northeastern (EA), UC Berkeley (I have legacy here), Boston University, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame
  • Reach:
    Brown ED, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia (sibling), Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Rice, Stanford, UMich (EA), Vanderbilt, WashU, UCLA, USC (Merit Scholarship that gives me half off i don’t know what its called)

I’m looking for my chances specifically for Brown ED, but I’d love chances for other schools too if you feel like it. Please be brutally honest: if you don’t think I’m going to get into a school, please just tell me. Thank you!

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For engineering majors, Washington, UCSD, and UCB are probably more difficult for admission than you may be assuming. UCs do not consider legacy. Washington and UCSD may offer admission as general undeclared (as opposed to engineering undeclared or a specific engineering major), but then getting into an engineering major after enrolling will be very difficult.

Hmm. So would you put Berkeley as a Reach and UW and UCSD as matches?

UCB would be a reach for engineering majors (though selectivity does vary by major; EECS and BioE are generally thought to be the most selective).

Washington admits to a first year engineering undeclared status which is considerably more selective than the school overall. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of detail on the strength of applicants and admits: Freshmen by the numbers | Office of Admissions

UCSD admits to major, or may admit to general undeclared. Engineering majors are generally more selective, but it is not clear how much more selective (though CSE is generally considered the most selective).

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I would not write about Summer@Brown for your common app if you don’t plan to submit that to other schools. I agree that you’re milking Summer@Brown, which is not a prestigious program, at least as viewed by Brown students. However, I love the video idea, so I think common app needs to go. Especially with the open curriculum supplement, it seems like the essay portion of your application is more about Brown than you. They’re not overly worried about their yield rate, they’re more worried about having an amazing class.

GA Tech and Notre Dame are definitely reaches, especially for engineering.

4 Likes

I feel like the supplemental essays should be more directed towards Brown. The open curriculum prompt asks how I’m going to use the open curriculum, so I felt like I should talk more about Brown especially in that one.
My common app essay is weird. I personally think that if I had to keep either the common app essay or video, I’d choose the common app essay because I feel it is much more elaborate than my video. The essay itself isn’t really a retelling of what I did at Brown but more describing the symbolism of a certain room at Brown and how that room transformed me.
As for GA Tech, I agree that it is a reach for engineering and don’t know why I put it as a match. My school has historically sent a lot people to Notre Dame which is why I think its more of a match, but its on the cusp of match and reach for me.

Why apply Brown ED?

Brown is an excellent school but not exactly known for its engineering programs.

Cornell engineering is better than Brown engineering and they take lots of people with similar applications.

Being a non-diverse or legacy engineering student will hurt a lot more at Brown than almost any other ED school on this list.

Basis for this statement?

Brown is a very liberal institutional and cares a lot about legacy status, because it has the lowest endowment in the Ivy League, and are more obsessed with racial diversity than most other schools.

Realistically, I think that it is the best school that I can do ED.
I heard Cornell doesn’t take a lot of Asians for engineering and I’m not confident I can make the cut. Out of the colleges I visited (Duke, JHU, Penn, Brown, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Oregon State), I loved Brown the most because I felt like the atmosphere there was the best.
I know that Brown’s Engineering is not elite but it still is pretty solid and they’re looking to improve. My logic is that, since I’m a decent engineering prospect, their chances of accepting me will be slightly higher than if I applied to PLME or something Brown’s really good at. However, I don’t know if my logic is reality, so I’d love some feedback on that.
As for non-legacy, I heard Brown considers legacy but it’s not at the top of their list. As for the diversity aspect, I feel like not too many Asians apply to Brown. Out of the Asians at my school, I’m the only one who really wants to go to Brown while the rest want to go to Penn or Cornell.

Besides the factual statement about endowment size (which is hardly relevant to a specific student) your other comments seem to be generalizations based on popular stereotypes or reputations.

Have you been involved with Brown or are you speculating? If so in what capacity so the OP has context?

I say this because what you are describing seems contrary to my first hand experience. Lots of kids fitting OPs profile who are at Brown and thriving.

OP you seem like a great candidate. I say this not solely based on credentials but your seeming understanding of what Brown is looking for. Thankfully it sounds like you have spent more time on “the hill” then others who are offering advice.

I know many people who have applied to Brown, engineering or otherwise, and most of the people who got in had connections and the few who got in also had a strong application but got lucky because there are just so many strong White or Asian Males who ED to Brown Engineering and such few spots.

You can’t ED to Brown engineering; you have to ED to Brown University. There’s a little box where it asks you your intended concentration(s).
As for connections, I have one connection but it’s not really that significant. My math teacher (who gave me the department award) is a Brown alum, so maybe that could help? I’m not sure.
With regards to diversity, Brown is not very diverse in comparison to other ivy leagues+t20s. I feel like my race/ethnicity is at best a simple neutral and at worst a slight hinderance to my Brown application.

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I think that would apply to most of the schools on OPs list.

I think it better for students to focus on fit (OP has spent time at Brown and constructed a thoughtful application), rather than trying to employ game theory informed by the speculative and anecdotal experiences of strangers.

Good luck OP and please PM me if I can help.

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Since you are looking at an engineering major, I would drop Notre Dame, Brown, Vanderbilt, and Dartmouth. I would also recommend that you drop WashU.

If you want to ED to a college which has that low an acceptance rate, you should at least do so to one with a stronger engineering program. The colleges with the best engineering programs in your lists are: Stanford, Cornell, GTech, CMU, UMich, Berkeley. Since GTech, UMich, and Berkeley do not have ED, and Stanford is a lottery ticket at best, my recommendation would be to apply ED to Cornell.

100% agree. However, you left out CMU which also has ED. Both are excellent for engineering and have low acceptance rates. Not sure how to decide between the two.

Finally, I noticed OP mentioned UC Berkeley legacy. UC Berkeley does not track legacy so I would move it from a match to reach school.

Cornell attempts to balance enrollment in the engineering school 50-50 male-female, so it is relatively “easier” for female applicants and more difficult for males, but Asians are well-represented overall. A plurality of the female enrollment is Asian and last year there were 90 Asian male freshmen, second only to white males (117).

Rice engineering could be worth a look ED as well. Very good school and a bit less selective than Cornell.

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I like your list - because you have OSU and ASU. You might add U of Az too - lots of merit and great programs.

Ga Tech is not a match. UCB is not a match and legacy/SAT are not relevant (similar to UCSD). I do think you have a good chance at WUSTL - it’s a reach but a good shot.

Personally I think so many reaches are fine if you are ok with Oregon State or ASU or Santa Clara - meaning, if you ended up at those, will you be ok…because many list safeties that shouldn’t be safeties because you have to be ok going there for it to be a safety.

While you say money is not important, realize you are spending $80K a year and likely to get a job similar to kids that go to much cheaper schools. For example, my son is at Alabama (where you’d go for dirt cheap) and worked this Summer on a team with kids from Ga Tech - and he’s the only one they invited back for next Summer.

Put it another way, if you tell your parents Brown or Cornell, etc. will be $80K but Arizona State $30K, etc. or Arizona $20K, are they still going to send you to Cornell?

If the answer is no, then you should change your list and add schools that offer merit like Rose Hulman, Case Western, Miami, Purdue (my son got $10K but it’s cheap even without), etc.

I mention money because you noted the half scholarship at USC.

My parents want me to get into a t20 or so regardless of cost. Below that, it would be nice to get a scholarship or something but that’s not very high on the list of consideration.
I can’t edit my list but looking back I realize I made a bunch of stupid choices. Georgia Tech and UCB are reaches.
You recommended WashU, I haven’t been there but how is it? I would really like to visit but there’s no direct flights from Portland so it’s kinda hard.