Nearly 50% of respondents in this semester’s poll were female-identifying, compared to 45.6% of respondents who reported identifying as male. Just under 5% of respondents selected options other than male or female, an increase from 3.3% in last semester’s poll. Because Brown reports gender demographics on a binary scale consistent with federal requirements, we cannot precisely compare demographics of survey respondents to that of the undergraduate population as a whole.
The class of 2024 was most represented in this semester’s poll, with sophomores making up 38.5% of respondents. First-year students represented the next largest group at 32.2%, followed by juniors at 19.8% and seniors at 9.4%.
About 56% of respondents reported receiving no financial aid from Brown, while 32.6% reported receiving grants covering some costs and 11.5% reported receiving grants covering all costs. In October, the University announced that it will cover the cost of tuition for all students whose families earn under $125,000 a year. According to the University’s Common Data Set, during the 2021-22 academic year, approximately 42% of undergraduate students at Brown were awarded any financial aid.
Breaking this data down further, we found that 19% of surveyed legacy students receive financial aid from the University, compared to 48% of non-legacy students. Almost 85% of first-generation respondents receive some form of financial aid from Brown, over double the 37% of non-first-generation respondents who receive financial aid. Only 26% of international students receive grants, compared to 48% of domestic students. While the University currently takes financial status into account for international applicants, the University announced in October that admissions will be need-blind for international students beginning with the class of 2029.
Varsity athlete status
Just over 10% of respondents were varsity athletes. Brown does not report the percentage of student athletes in the undergraduate population. A majority — 63% — of varsity athlete respondents identified as white, compared to 43% of non-varsity athlete students. Financial aid status did not differ significantly between athletes and non-athetes.
Almost 62% of respondents identified as straight, a decrease from the 68% who identified as straight in the fall 2021 poll. About a fifth of respondents identified as bisexual, 7% as queer, 5.5% as gay, 3.2% as lesbian, 2.4% as pansexual, 1.6% as asexual and 4.8% as questioning or unsure.
A majority — 54.6% — of respondents described their race as white, with Asian as the next largest racial group at 33.8%. Nearly 13% identified as Black and 11.3% identified as Hispanic, while 1.5% identified as Native American or Alaska Native and 0.6% identified as Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian.
For comparison, according to the 2021-22 Common Data Set — which does not track the racial or ethnic identities of international students — just over 41% of degree-seeking undergraduates were white, 18.2% were Asian, 11.3% were Hispanic or Latino and 7.6% were Black or African American. The CDS counts those who identify as two or more races separately.
Areas of study
Physical sciences (including mathematics and computer science) was the most popular concentration area among respondents, followed closely by the humanities or arts. Concentrations in the life sciences and social sciences followed, with business (including Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations and economics) the least represented. This mirrors the results of the fall 2021 poll, in which physical sciences and humanities/arts were the most popular concentrations and business the least popular among respondents. Due to a technical error, the first 158 respondents to the survey were unable to select multiple concentrations, so these statistics only represent 875 respondents.
About 13% of respondents were legacy students, meaning they had a parent, grandparent or sibling who attended Brown. Breaking down legacy data by racial group, we found that 70% of legacy student respondents are white, compared to 41% of non-legacy student survey participants.
Approximately 15% of respondents identified as first-generation college students. Roughly 17% of admitted students in the class of 2026 identify as first-generation college students, The Herald previously reported, following a trend of 17% of admitted students in the class of 2025 and 18% in the class of 2024.
Domestic vs International
About 17% of respondents were international applicants when they applied to Brown, slightly higher than the 15% that the University reports. Though the number of incoming international students in the United States decreased for the first time in 70 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown once again increased its number of international students in last year’s admissions, The Herald previously reported. The University also implemented plans to increase admission of students from Afghanistan and Ukraine amid violence in both countries.
Greek life recruitment took place this spring, and our poll found that just under 10% of respondents are involved with a Greek life organization. This year’s Greek life involvement is down from 13.1% in the Spring 2020 poll. This year, the trend of decreasing recruitment numbers continued at the University’s remaining nationally-recognized sororities. The University’s first Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, returned to campus in the fall after being inactive since 2012. There is no significant difference in the proportion of survey participants who receive financial aid among those involved and not involved with Greek life. About 58% of students involved with Greek life identified as white, slightly higher than the 47% of students not involved with Greek life who identified as white.
About 88% of respondents live on campus, while just under 12% live off campus. US News reported in 2020 that around 28% of Brown undergraduates live off campus; the disparity on this poll could be partially explained by the overrepresentation of underclassmen in the survey.