When students enter the Van Wickle Gates, they are walking into an environment of unparalleled freedom and intellectual discourse. But at every corner, students at Brown encounter fees and additional costs on top of $42,808 tuition.
Before students even matriculate to campus, they already must pay a few major fees. First, they will encounter the $2,861 health care plan, which they are automatically enrolled in unless they provide proof of adequate heath insurance. Then students are charged a $672 Health Services fee, along with a $214 student activity fee and $64 recreation fee. In addition, students are automatically enrolled in meal plan and housing, which together cost $11,258. Students are not allowed to opt out of the meal plan during freshman year and must remain in student housing at least through sophomore year.
The fees do not end there. If students are lucky enough to get a New Dorm suite or a Young Orchard Apartment, they will feel the sting of a $1,290 suite fee. If students opt to live off-campus (something that must first be approved by Brown, which denies students this privilege despite overcrowded dormitories), they will be charged a $658 non-residence fee, simply for not living in a dorm.
Despite Brown’s openness to academic freedom, it maintains a tight grip on students’ financial freedom. Students are forced to buy into student housing and meal plans, even those they are not the most economical options. If student want superior housing, they are charged suite fees, and if they want to live off campus, they are charged a non-residence fee. Brown essentially charges students for not providing a service. Fees such as this are overreaching and should be revoked so that Brown can provide a college experience without extra financial barriers.