Harvard vs. Brown


Should I go to Harvard University or Brown University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Harvard or Brown is the better college for you.

Harvard Comparison

Harvard University vs. Brown University comparison
Harvard Brown
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Location Cambridge, MA Providence, RI
Setting Midsize City Midsize City
Students 31,566 10,257
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $46,340 $54,230
Tuition (Out of State) $46,340 $54,230
Room & Board $17,160 $14,670
Avg Net Price $17,030 $25,651
Avg Grant Aid $49,870 $42,455
% Receiving Grant Aid 56% 41%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 4.7% 7.7%
Avg High School GPA 4.04 3.94
Admissions Standards Elite Elite
Applicant Competition Extreme Extreme
ACT Range 33/35 32/35
SAT Range 1460/1580 1420/1550
Application Deadline Jan 1, 2020 Jan 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 97% 95%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $136,700 $87,600
Making Student Loan Payments 70% 89%
Median Student Loan Debt $6,500 $15,000
Median Loan Payment $67 $155
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Comparable Facts

  • Harvard University is larger than than Brown based on total student enrollment (31,566 students vs. 10,257 students)

Harvard vs. Brown Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Harvard or Brown?

  • Brown University is 17% more expensive to attend than Harvard for in-state tuition ($54,230.00 vs. $46,340.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 17% higher at Brown than Harvard University ($54,230.00 vs. $46,340.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Harvard University than Brown ($17,030 vs. $25,651)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Brown University are 17% lower than costs at Harvard University ($14,670 vs. $17,160)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Harvard University than Brown University (56% vs. 41%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Harvard University students is 17.5% larger than aid received Brown University ($49,870 vs. $42,455)

Harvard vs. Brown Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Harvard or Brown? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between Brown or Harvard .

  • The average SAT score at Harvard University (1497) is 40 points higher than at Brown (1457)
  • Incoming Harvard students have a 1 point higher average ACT score (34) than students at Brown (33)
  • Brown has a higher acceptance rate (7.7%) than Harvard (4.7%)

Harvard vs. Brown Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Harvard or Brown? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between Brown and Harvard.

  • The graduation rate at Harvard is higher that Brown University (97% vs. 95%)
  • Graduates from Harvard University earn on average $49,100 more per year than Brown graduates after ten years. ($136,700 vs. $87,600)
  • Harvard University students graduate with a $8,500 lower median federal student loan debt than Brown graduates. ($6,500 vs. $15,000)
  • Harvard graduates are paying $88 less per month on federal student loans than Brown graduates. ($67 vs. $155)
  • More Brown graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Harvard students, three years after graduation. (89% vs. 70%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/