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A Visit to Brown University!

STARS Program Flies HHIS Student to Brown University
A Visit to Brown University!


Are you interested in college? What about an Ivy League college? Ivy Leagues may seem intimidating and you may think you don’t stand a chance at surviving in one. I thought that too before I was accepted into Brown University’s

Small Town and Rural Students (STARS) fly-in program and I got to see all that they offered and what it was like being a student there. But before you continue reading this, keep in mind that schools like Brown are looking for high-achieving, curious, determined, academically strong students. If this is not you, I wouldn’t recommend applying to this rigorous, prestigious school. As I describe Brown and why it is an amazing school to attend, keep in mind I am not saying everyone should apply here because you may not be what they are looking for and they may not be what you are looking for. Choosing the right college all depends on the right fit for YOU. Do extensive research into colleges you are interested in and weigh your options and decide for yourself if that college is the right fit for you. So, back to Brown. If you don’t already know this, Brown University is located in Providence, RI.

I spent three days at Brown University with 29 other students from all around the country (I was the only student from Hawaii). Brown paid for all of our flights to the university and back home (It was a very long trip for me, I was shocked I didn’t experience jet-lag after crossing so many time zones). All thirty of us students were high school juniors and we all flew independently without a parent or chaperone to Brown. We all stayed in the Omni Hotel (which is a very fancy, expensive-looking hotel). We each got our own rooms too! It was my first time flying alone and it was also my first time traveling to the East Coast, so it was an incredible learning experience and definitely formative for me.

While at Brown, we engaged in financial aid and college essay writing workshops. One of the activities involved all of us students getting into 3 large groups and pretending we were admissions committees. Each group reviewed a student’s application (a fake one) and we all discussed and argued on whether the student should be accepted, denied, or wait-listed. We then presented our information, thoughts, and group decision to the other committees. It was really fun to step into the shoes of an actual admissions officer and experience their responsibilities. We also got to eat in the largest dining hall on campus (they have an ice cream machine and a bunch of topping choices!) and talk to and befriend current students at Brown. 


We, of course, also took a campus tour. After dinner on the second night, we got into groups and did a scavenger hunt. My group was very chaotic and competitive so we were sprinting (not, jogging, not running, we were sprinting) all over the campus trying to find the locations we had to go to on the paper we were given. Since this was done after dinner, it was dark outside, so just imagine a group of loud, chaotic high schoolers running around a college campus at night.

You can imagine how crazy we looked and we definitely received many curious glances.  Of course, the coordinators of this activity just had to embarrass us in public, so one of the scavenger hunt tasks was to sing the Brown University Anthem under the Faunces Arch (a short tunnel on campus) while current Brown students passed by. We also had to go up to strangers and ask for pictures with them and also ask for directions to the different buildings

we were supposed to locate. So, naturally, we ran into the Dean of College (yes, THE DEAN) and of course we had no clue who he actually was and we ended up having a casual chat with him as we tried navigating our way through the campus. He thought we were very amusing and he even agreed to get in a photo with us.

So now that you know the summary of my adventure, I would like to talk about the opportunities Brown offers. Yes, like any other Ivy League, Brown has very high expectations for its students (especially academically) with a low acceptance rate of 5%. Yes, they have a high tuition. But before you flip out, let me share with you all I have learned about Brown’s financial aid and opportunities. 

Like all other Ivy Leagues, Brown does not offer or allow Merit-Based Scholarships. They accept outside scholarships as long as it is not merit-based. Instead, Brown and the other Ivy Leagues are heavily based on financial aid. Brown covers 100% of your demonstrated financial need. Whatever your family cannot afford to pay towards your college costs (even if they can’t afford to pay a single dime), Brown will cover it completely in the form of scholarship grants (no loans, so you don’t have to repay!)

The Dean of College is on the left side wearing the white dress-shirt and black trousers with glasses.

This elimination of loans in their financial aid is called the Brown Promise. (Click on the link for more information.) Brown also offers scholarships like the $0 Parent Contribution Direct Cost Scholarship, the Middle/Moderate Family Income Initiative, the Health Insurance Scholarship, Book/Course Material Support, and the Veterans Initiative. 


Check out this link for more information: 

Additional Initiatives Unique to Brown




One of the things I love about Brown University and what makes them so unique is that they do not have majors! Instead they have concentrations. You can choose to take classes from a bunch of different areas. Brown does not limit you to one area of study, they want you to explore all your interests. You can basically build your own college degree. There was a student who graduated from Brown with a degree in happiness! So yes, anything is possible at Brown!

Brown has 60 public service groups and over 500 clubs! During my time at Brown, the tour guide (a current Brown student) said that the largest club at Brown is the Taylor Swift Club!


Click on these links to check out campus life and all the activities Brown has to offer: Campus Life and Student Activities.


“One of my favorite things about the program was meeting kids from so many different areas in the U.S. and learning about how our experiences in life and school are different and similar. I think I definitely would [apply to Brown] because the students all seemed really nice, especially the ones who showed us around. Also, with all the pretty sights and nice cool weather, I feel like it’s the kind of environment I’d want to attend school in.”

– Nico V. Brown fly-in student from New York


“What I love most about Brown are the opportunities available and the people, because they are always so incredibly supportive and do such interesting things. It’s what made me love Brown when I did the rural fly-in program because the students here create such an amazing atmosphere here. And the rural fly-in program changed my life. I wouldn’t be here without it. So, I want to help organize it to help current rural high school students realize that they too can attend Ivy League schools and I want them to also fall in love with Brown like I did. I work hard to ensure that they have the best experience here!”

-Cameron Goodreau, current Brown student (Senior)


“I loved being able to meet new people from different backgrounds and areas.” 

-Lily McEvers, Brown fly-in student from Illinois

“The many individuals I got to meet and the friendships I developed

Lily McEvers (right side), Gracie Garcia (left side)

were my favorite aspects of the fly-in program. The campus provided a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It made me truly happy.”

-Gracie Garcia, Brown fly-in student from Texas



Brown University is a beautiful, diverse campus and I am so grateful I got the opportunity to see it. If you are interested in going to college, I highly encourage you to apply for fly-in programs so you get to explore campuses in person too! There is so much to learn and you get to network and make new friends. It truly is an amazing and insightful experience and you learn to gain independence as you get closer to adulthood. 

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  • L

    LenaJan 30, 2024 at 3:47 pm

    So happy to have read about your time at Brown, Kaylee! I can tell you really paid attention to detail and made sure not to leave anything out.

  • P

    Princes Hanah SubiaDec 13, 2023 at 5:14 pm

    I enjoyed reading your adventure! It felt like I got to experience it with you. I feel more comfortable and excited to go on trips like these in the future.

  • A

    ariDec 12, 2023 at 9:37 pm

    I loved reading your journal about your time at Brown University! It’s so lovely to see my friends have an amazing time it makes me smile. I’m so proud of how far you’ve come I wish you the best of luck getting accepted!

  • E

    EliaNov 25, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    This looks like an amazing and fun opportunity. Something that surprised me was the amount of financial aid that is offered to those in financial need (especially for an Ivy League school). It’s nice to see articles about colleges and people’s experiences with them. It just helps to get a better idea of the different options we have as students.

  • K

    kaiaNov 22, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    It was fun reading about your experiences and knowing more about Brown.

  • H

    H-2028Nov 18, 2023 at 1:48 am

    Honestly loved reading about the adventures you had at Brown! Even though I’m only 14, I’ve begun my hunt for universities for a while. I’ve recently come across a Brown brochure and was really interested in learning more about it, so what a coincidence to come across this! In the years to come, I do believe this is one of the articles I’ll always refer back to for inspiration or motivation. 🙂

  • H

    HeatherNov 13, 2023 at 1:23 am

    So proud of you kaylee! Love reading about your experiences