Brandeis University - 9/8/14 & 9/7/16

Brandeis University

Waltham is a city but feels more like a town - residential, suburban campus. 9 miles outside downtown Boston. Commuter rail will take 25 minutes

3500 UG- friendly, inclusive place, great sense of community

What sets them apart: liberal arts and research - unusual for a school their size. Great if you have multiple interests, 40% double-major; most students partake in 3 internships a year

No need to apply to a specific college or program; 3 advisors from the moment you arrive: A faculty advisor, academic advisor, and undergraduate peer advisor (junior or senior) Faculty advisor for each department you study in

Distribution requirements (not called core) - not exact but a breadth of courses across disciplines. Many courses cross over three departments so you can check multiple boxes by taking one course

Pre-professional advising (pre-med, nursing school, pre-law, etc.) also available for certain tracks. 99% accept rate into Law Schools, 71% into med schools

Social justice is important on campus - founded with social justice background

3 semesters of foreign language but students can test out with lots of APs.

Largest organization is community service based

40-50% of students study abroad junior year; pre-med students can go during the summer if  they don't want to miss the sequence of courses; They have 350 approved study-abroad programs in 65 countries. 

Variety of majors/minors makes for an interesting student body. Collaborative environment. 98% courses taught by full-time faculty.

Can do engineering certificate with Olin

No cars on campus until junior year

Free shuttles to Boston; campus one mile from downtown Waltham

Admissions: read applications holistically. Transcript/rigor most important; upward trend is looked at; test optional so students can either submit ACT or SAT scores or 3 SAT Subject Tests or a graded analytical paper.  One of the SAT Subject Tests needs to be math/science, one social science/English, and the 3rd something else.
 
33% overall admit rate for regular decision applicants; 45-50% admit rate for students who apply to one of their two Early Decision programs. ED 1 has a November 1st deadline and ED 2 has a January 1st deadline. Their regular decision deadline is also January 1st. They will roll over a few of the ED 1 students to the regular pool but most will get a final decision by mid-December.
 
92% of their admitted students are in the top 20% of their high school class. 20% of their student body are international students.
 
Interviews are optional and you have to have submitted your regular decision application before you apply for an interview. If you apply ED, you can have started your application and then request an interview. 

They want involved students, contributors, leaders

Short supplemental essay (1 paragraph - 250 words) - can choose between four questions. "Why Brandeis?" is one of the choices and if you pick that, they want to see something unique in your answer and not just that they are near Boston and have a certain enrollment. Show that you've done your research! Or you can choose one of the other three questions on Social Justice/issue or fun, quirky question. Creativity is nice to see if you pick one of the other three supplemental questions.

 Financial Aid: majority of resources go to need-based students; 50% are on need-based aid. Average package is $35,000. CSS Profile and FAFSA required

Everyone who applies is considered for merit scholarships - for top applicants - usually top 10% of their graduation class ($10-$15K a year); Need blind; average indebtedness is $20K.

 As of 2016, they have a new President who came from Middlebury College.
 
Our rep, Sara Lodgen, is a Brandeis alum and graduated from there in 2014. She reads applications for Northern California applicants.