The numbers are impressive: Undergraduate financial aid is the fastest-growing part of the University”s budget, averaging 9.4 percent in annual growth over the last decade. Approximately 44 percent of Brown undergraduates receive need-based financial aid,with an average scholarship of $35,823. But beyond those numbers are hundreds of stories.

“Brown students are defined by talent and promise ... not by financial resources.”

So says the homepage at the Office of Financial Aid. Two Brown students — Jo’Nella Queen Ellerbe ’15 and Ryan Gourley ’17 — talk about their paths to Brown, the certainty that that there would be no resources for college, and the life-changing moment when they learned Brown would be possible.

Since the matriculation of the Class of 2007, all domestic undergraduates admitted as freshmen have been admitted under the University's need-blind admission policy — and Brown is committed to meeting 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for admitted undergraduates.

For the 2014-15 academic year, the University's undergraduate financial aid budget will grow to $104.1 million — 9.3 percent higher than the current budget. Students from families earning less than $100,000 do not have loans in their financial aid packages, and most families earning less than $60,000 are not required to make a parental contribution toward the cost of education.

Listen to the stories at the Office of Financial Aid.