Making Brown more affordable for students and their families

The best and the brightest students have multiple options when choosing where to attend college. When they think about where they can best develop their skills and realize their full potential, we want them to think “Brown.” Through the BrownTogether campaign, we are expanding upon a series of investments in financial aid that began with the implementation of need-blind admission in 2003. 

The Brown Promise, launched in 2018, raises Brown’s financial assistance programs to the next level by removing loans from all University-packaged undergraduate financial aid awards and replacing them with scholarships. In just three years, it has made it easier for students from moderate-income backgrounds to choose Brown and worry less about accruing debt that might limit their professional choices after graduation.


“ Before The Brown Promise, students from the lowest and highest income levels were matriculating at much higher rates than those in the middle. Now, the distribution is much more even across all income levels. ”

Jim Tilton Dean of Financial Aid

Since the advent of The Brown Promise:

  • More than 1,774 students have had loans removed from their University-packaged financial aid awards.
  • Applications and the matriculation rate of students from moderate-income backgrounds have risen each year.
  • Brown has seen a 68% drop in the number of students incurring debt to cover the costs of attending Brown across all income levels.

The Brown Promise has increased our ability to compete for the most promising students, expand the socioeconomic diversity of our student body, and encourage students to pursue careers based on their interests rather than jobs chosen simply for the purpose of paying back loans. 

The Brown Promise Challenge

Generous current-use giving to support The Brown Promise over the last three years has been the key to implementing this initiative quickly. Now, we seek to complete a $100 million endowment to make The Brown Promise a permanent piece of the University’s financial aid landscape. A group of leadership donors has created The Brown Promise Challenge, which will match gifts of any size 1:1 to The Brown Promise endowment, up to a total of $25 million. The challenge will continue until the entire $25 million match is earned. It will require a collective effort to achieve this goal, but doing so will open the door to a life-changing experience for generations to come.

A Lasting Promise


How we're making it a permanent part of Brown's financial aid programs.

“ Because of the loans in my University-awarded financial aid package, I thought I’d only be able to stay at Brown for one year. But thanks to the Brown Promise, I will now have a career in a field I love and the peace of mind to concentrate on it. ”

Gaby Trevino ’21

For information about specific financial aid giving opportunities, contact:

Shelley Roth P’17, P’20
Director of Development for Academic Initiatives
+1 (401) 863-6162