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Brown University scholarships, student loans and grants

How financial aid works at this Ivy League school.

Brown University might be expensive, but it offers an entirely need-based financial aid package for low- and middle-income students. But high achievers and athletes are out of luck: Your grades and sportsmanship won’t help you get a better deal — at least not through Brown.

How much does it cost to go to Brown University?

Cost of attending BrownAnnual cost
Room and board$14,670
Books and supplies$1,595
Other expenses$2,071
Total cost for the 2018-2019 academic year$73,892

As you can see, going to Brown costs more than just the tuition and fees. There’s housing, meal plans, transportation and other expenses to consider.

How much debt do Brown students graduate with?

Brown students graduated with an average student debt load of $25,471 in 2016, according to the Department of Education. That’s about $10,000 higher than other top-tier universities like Harvard and Stanford — but more than $10,000 lower than the national average. You can offset this debt by applying to multiple grant and scholarship programs.

Does Brown offer a tuition payment plan?

Yes. Brown offers an Installment Payment Plan (IPP) that allows students and their families to pay tuition, fees and room and board in four or five installments. It costs $75 to enroll per semester, and parents must sign up to have payments automatically deducted from their bank account.

Payments are due on the 10th of each month and start in July or August for the Fall semester and December or January for the Spring semester, depending on the number of installments you request.

Brown University scholarships and grants

Like several other top-tier and Ivy League schools, Brown covers 100% of what it considers to be the financial need of each student. How much aid you receive largely depends on your parent’s income. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any merit-based or athletic scholarships at this time.

Need-based scholarships, work-study programs and grants

Students with a family income under $60,000 and assets under $100,000 get a full ride. Still, students whose families have higher incomes are also eligible for need-based scholarships, grants and work-study programs. Here’s how it broke down for the Class of 2022:

Family income range Percent qualified for need-based aidAverage aid amountRemaining cost of attendance
Under $60,00098%$71,569$2,323
$60,000 to $100,00097%$57,970$15,922
$100,001 to $125,00097%$52, 374$21,518
$125,001 to $150,00091%$45,646$28,246
$150,001 to $200,00087%$38,843$35,049
Over $200,000 35%$24,100$49,792

Students are generally expected to work over the summer and contribute around $3,000 toward their cost of attendance. If you can’t work, don’t get paid enough or take on an unpaid internship, you might have to turn to other sources of financing.

Are there other scholarships and grants available?

There are, though not through Brown directly. You might want to look into federal or even private scholarship and grant options if your financial aid package still leaves you with a sizable bill.

State scholarships are typically available to residents of that state, rather than students attending school in that state — sometimes you have to be both. Rhode Island residents might have the most state-funded scholarship and grant options.

Student loans to pay for Brown

Students who can’t cover their costs with scholarships, grants and work-study might need to apply for student loans. Generally, the federal government and most private lenders recommend that students first apply for federal loans by filling out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) before considering private loans.

Brown 20th Century Loans

If you can’t qualify for enough federal funding, you can apply for a loan directly through Brown University. While not as flexible as a federal loan, you might be able to qualify for a more competitive rate than you would with a private lender.

Here’s how it works:

  • Loan amount: Determined by the Brown Office of Financial Aid
  • Fixed interest rate: 6.9%
  • Term: 10 years
  • Grace period: 6 months

If you need a large loan, these repayment terms might not be as flexible as private student loans. Use the table below to see how it stacks up to what private student loan providers are offering.

Compare private student loan providers

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product APR Min. Credit Score Loan amount Loan Term
College Ave undergraduate student loans
0.94% to 12.99%
Not stated
Starting at $1,000
5 to 15 years
Rates start at 2.84% for residents of all 50 states.
Sallie Mae® Smart Option Student Loan for Undergraduates
1.87% to 11.97%
Not stated
Starting at $1,000
5 to 15 years
Choose from over 8 different options for undergraduates, law students and more.
SoFi Student Loans
1.89% to 11.98% with autopay
Starting at $5,000
5 to 15 years
Undergraduate financing with no late fees to US citizens with good credit.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Brown might have a more generous financial aid package than many other private schools. But its students graduate with a student debt load on the higher end for an Ivy League university — possibly because it only offers need-based scholarships.

Learn more about your options to pay for school with our guide to student loans.

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