Brown University alumni Aysha Shoman and her brother Omar have donated $25 million to the university to help BU reach its goal of “need-blind” international student admission.
Currently, Brown is only need-blind for domestic applicants. When an international student applies, their financial status is taken into account for their admission decision.
This donation will allow Brown to reach their goal of being totally need-blind, and only accepting students based on their aptitude and skills.
“We want to be able to admit exceptional international students to Brown, regardless of their financial resources, and the generosity of Aysha and Omar Shoman will enable us to do that for many students for generations to come,” Brown University president, Christina H. Paxon, said.
The Shoman siblings graduated from Brown in the early 2000’s and have since continued to be involved with the university. The Shoman Scholarship Fund was created in 2007 and since, more than $3.7m has been awarded to “high-achieving” international students.
Omar and Aysha focus on international student aid because they believe their time at Brown was made better and more diverse by the presence of international students.
“Meeting incredible people from all over the world played a major role in my time at Brown,” Aysha Shoman said.
She added that when her and her brother were still enrolled, they noticed there were few options for low-income international students which is what drove them to create their scholarship in the past and just recently, to donate $25m.
“When you’re in class and living together every day with people from different backgrounds, different cultures, it widens your perspective and can make you more open and willing to try new things,” said Omar Shoman.
“It widens your perspective and can make you more open and willing to try new things”
Omar also shared that he hopes their donation will allow for Brown to have the representation it needs from all over the world.
Panetha Ott, BU’s director of admissions for international recruitment, said, “I am so excited that … Brown is moving in the direction of accepting international students without regard to socioeconomic background.”
Ott has worked with international students for over 30 years and believes the gift will not only benefit the students, but the Brown community as a whole by helping BU reach the goal of an accessible Brown education for all.