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Overall Score: 80.29

Brown University

Providence, RI
This Ivy League school boasts a graduation rate of 95% and gives students an unusual amount of academic freedom – the only course requirement is they must take at least two writing classes. Otherwise, undergrads can choose whatever courses they like at Brown or just down College Hill at the Rhode Island School of Design. Grades are optional, too – any class can be taken satisfactory/no credit, which essentially amounts to pass/fail. Plus, students can design their own concentrations. Brown students can expect a lot of personalized attention with a student-faculty ratio of 6:1. The university has produced dozens of award-winning writers in fiction, journalism and theater. Aside from liberal arts, Brown is known for strong science programs, especially in medicine, math and computer sciences. Like its Ivy League companions, Brown claims an impressive list of alumni, including U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and CNN founder Ted Turner. Students go on to earn median earnings of nearly $79,000. Among the highlights of the social calendar are the concert-filled Spring Weekend and the elegant Campus Dance on the main quad to kick off commencement weekend. And even though students call the main dining hall "The Ratty" – it's short for Refectory – the food isn't bad.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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