Log In
Get Started

How to write the 2020-2021 Brown Supplemental Essays

by Rebecca Acree, on Sep 8, 2020 4:41:10 PM

Students who apply to Brown must respond to 3 supplemental essay questions, each with a maximum word count of 250. These essays are your chance to show admissions officers who you are as a person and as a student, and why you’ll be a great fit for their school! 

Jump ahead to:

Tell your story to complete college essays with Story2! Try for free!

Read on for our guide to completing Brown’s supplemental essays! 

Brown Prompt #1

Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about an academic interest (or interests) that excites you, and how you might use the Open Curriculum to pursue it. (250 words)

Admissions officers at Brown are looking to admit students who are genuinely excited about learning, and are genuinely excited about learning at Brown. This prompt offers a chance to dig into your academic interests and how they match up with the specific programs available at Brown. You don’t need to know exactly what you want to study in college, so instead of worrying about the “right” choice, just focus on: a) what your real interests are, and b) how those interests fit into the story you’re telling in the rest of your application. What sparked your interests, and how will you continue pursuing them in the future as a student at Brown?

Brown Prompt #2

At Brown, you will learn as much from your peers outside the classroom as in academic spaces. How will you contribute to the Brown community? (250 words)

College is all about new experiences with new people. You can show Brown that you’re up to the task by demonstrating the ways you’ve previously learned from and contributed to your communities. Odds are, you’ve already done this for multiple different communities! Start by making a list of all the communities you’re a part of. This could include a geographic area, a school, a religious group, a gender or sexual identity, or really anything else that involves a group of people united by a shared identity or interest! What’s your role in those communities, and how have you exhibited leadership or contributed positive change? Make sure to find moments that show your character in action, and whenever possible, show the results of your work on your community — both in terms of how the community was benefitted, and how your perspective was changed.

Brown Prompt #3

Tell us about a place or community you call home. How has it shaped your perspective? (250 words)

This question is similar to the prior one, so if you choose to focus on a community, make sure you’re sharing new insights. Using your list of communities, think about key moments that reflect the unique perspectives from those communities that you’ll bring with you to college. What role does each community play in your life, and how has it shaped you into the person you are today? Whether you choose to focus on a community or a place — or perhaps both! — paint a vivid picture for readers, using plenty of detail, dialogue, and description to bring your story to life and help readers understand how you have become the person you are today. 

Ready to perfect your personal statement next? For tips on crafting a great personal statement and examples of what that looks like, check out our guide to personal statements! 


Topics:college admissions