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Stanford Admissions

stanford admissions

Get into Stanford

Stanford University was ranked #4 in the 2015 US News and World Report rankings of National Universities and #2 Best Undergraduate Engineering Program. Stanford has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,019 students who study on a beautiful 8,000 acre campus about 37 miles Southeast of San Francisco.

Students at Stanford can earn undergraduate degrees in three schools: The School of Humanities and Sciences, The School of Engineering, or The School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. About 80% of undergraduates earn degrees from the School of Humanities and Sciences.

The Stanford admissions office recently reported they employ a staff of 52—dean, assistant deans, admissions officers and part-time readers – that averages to slightly more than 746 applications per reader who spends, on average, 7-15 minutes reading each application. Here are the first lines from a few applications Stanford admissions officers reviewed and accepted a few years ago:

When I was 8 years old, I shocked my family and a local archaeologist by discovering artifacts dating back almost 3,500 years.

I stand on the riverbank surveying this rippled range like some riparian cowboy—instead of chaps, I wear vinyl, thigh-high waders and a lasso of measuring tape and twine is slung over my arm.

I’ll never forget the day when my childhood nightmares about fighting gigantic trolls in the Lord of the Rings series became a reality. Sword in hand and clad in medieval samurai armor, I dragged myself into the battleground as I faced my opponent, a warmongering giant.

Some fathers might disapprove of their children handling noxious chemicals in the garage.

Stanford offers a restrictive early action option for admissions. This is non-binding, but the policy states that an applicant cannot apply to any other early plan (early action or early decision) except those schools that have an early non-binding plan with an early deadline for a scholarship or special academic program. Students may also apply to a school with a non-binding rolling plan or to any foreign school and any public school with a non-binding early policy. So, a student could apply restrictive early action to Stanford and rolling to Penn State, St. Andrews (Scotland) and University of Wisconsin, among other schools.

Stanford is transparent with their admissions data and shares their information from the Common Data Set.

For the Class of 2019, 95% of accepted students were in the top 10% of their class, and 99% were in the top quarter of their high school graduating class. 93.03% of admitted students had a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Out of 42,487 applicants, only 1,402 received letters of acceptance to Stanford’s Class of 2019, in addition to the 742 early action students accepted in December. At 5.05 percent, this year’s undergraduate admissions rate is the lowest in Stanford’s history. Very few students get off the wait list – that’s because so many students accept Stanford when they are accepted. Last year, only 7 waitlisted students were admitted out of the 695 who accepted a place on the wait list. Of last year’s accepted students, 73% had a GPA of 4.0 and above, and 95% of admitted students were in the top 80% of their high school class.

As is the case with most schools, teacher recommendations are best from grades 11 and 12. Stanford requires two letters of recommendation from teachers, though they add that you may submit a maximum of one optional letter of recommendation if there is another person—not a teacher or counselor—who knows you well and will provide new insights about you. We counsel our students carefully on this as colleges really don’t want random recommendations from a friend of a friend or a professor who taught you for 2 weeks in a summer class.

Stanford offers optional alumni interviews once a student has applied. This will depend on your zip code and if they have anyone in your area. If you are eligible to take part in the alumni interview program, an alumnus or alumna will contact you after you have submitted your application.

Admissions Wrap Up for the Class of 2019:

At 5%, this year’s undergraduate admissions rate is the lowest in Stanford’s history and the lowest of the “elite” universities. Out of 42,487 applicants — the largest pool in University history — 1,402 students were accepted to Stanford’s Class of 2019, in addition to the 742 early action students accepted in December. The acceptance rate of 10.2% for early was slightly lower than the Class of 2018’s early admission rate of 10.8 percent. (link to: http://www.toptieradmissions.com/resources/statistics/) This year Stanford announced a new financial aid program where parents with an annual income below $125,000 will not be expected to cover academic tuition. Additionally, parents with an annual income below $65,000 will not be expected to contribute toward academic tuition or room and board.

Top Tier Admissions Can Help:

"P. continues to thrive at Brown. She loves her classes, professors, and friends as well as her internship, teaching assistant and research opportunities. She feels very fortunate to be there and strives to take advantage of all that Brown has to offer. We are fortunate to have found you!" --E.V. Parent of Application Boot Camp student
"I truly believe ABC made a dramatic difference in T's application/outcomes (and will continue to do so as the season unfolds). We were all shocked to learn on Saturday that not only had Tulane accepted him, but were offering almost full tuition, unsolicited, in merit aid with a four year guarantee. Just wanted to say "thanks" and holy cow. You guys really enabled him to put his best foot forward. Thanks again for all you guys did to help him through a confusing, challenging process for teens!" --W.P. Parent of Application Boot Camp 2016 student
“Thank you so much for your advice and help over the past couple of months. I am grateful that I could finish everything in such a short amount of time. My application would not be so polished without your editing and notes! I really appreciate all of your counsel.” --P.N., Application Boot Camp 2016 student
"I write to thank everyone at ABC for all the help with my essays and the Common Application. I really benefited from these past 4 days in Boston and I would be happy to recommend ABC to anyone that asks." --R.L. Application Boot Camp 2016 student
“At the start of this week I was petrified at the thought of college essays and differentiating myself from high school seniors across the nation. Thank you so much for streamlining this process and fine tuning my essays to perfection. I would not be able to keep on track without you! Thanks again!!” --R.Q., Application Boot Camp 2016 student
"I saw your Ad in the Penn Gazette and thought about you with great fondness. It's been almost eight years since our daughter, K.G, worked with you. We came to your Boot Camp sessions in New York with hopes for direction and guidance and we certainly did get it.  K.G. graduated from U Penn and went on to do a Master's in Economics at London School of Economics. She now has an amazing job and is pursuing another Master's at Johns Hopkins University. Because of what we learned from you, we were able to  help, our younger son also got into U Penn and he is now working in Washington DC. "--B.C., parent of Boot Camp student
"To the entire staff of Application Boot Camp: A HUGE thank you for helping me navigate through the entire college process. The incredible support and encouragement from everyone there enabled me write insightful essays for the various colleges that I was applying to. I came back from Boot Camp every day feeling confident in myself and my ability to effectively communicate my ideas and thoughts into my essays and most of all, my entire application. I am so happy to say that I will be attending the University of Chicago this fall!!" --J.W. Application Boot Camp 2015 student
"I will be attending The Johns Hopkins University this fall!! . . . It was one of my top choices, and I cannot explain how ecstatic I am to join the JHU Class of 2020!! Once again, thank you so much for your help. I do not think I could've done it without your guidance. I feel like I have found the perfect school for me." --U.R. Application Boot Camp 2015 student
“The amazing support from your entire staff allowed me to write essays that I was extremely proud of. The advice along the way on how best to showcase my strengths and match that to an overall strategy of where and how to apply was invaluable!” --E.A., Boot Camp 2015 student
"Dear Mimi, Michele and your wonderful team, we are very happy to let you know that O. was accepted at Georgetown!!!! His “dream university." Thank you very much for all your help. We really appreciate it very much! You can imagine how proud we feel!." --P.Y., parent of Boot Camp 2015 student
“I got a lot done at Boot Camp and I came back very relieved, while all my friends were very stressed out trying to finish all their applications.” --F.N., Boot Camp 2015 student
"You helped with all aspects of the application process. I can home confident and with a clear plan of what I was going to do! Can't thank you enough!" --Y.T., Boot Camp 2015 student
"Boot Camp helped me become realistic on my options but still supplied me with confidence about my applications." --E.W., Boot Camp 2015 student headed to Brown
"My number one choice was UVA and I was accepted regular admission!" --R.E., Boot Camp 2015 student
"We wanted to reach out to you and send a heartfelt thanks for guiding us through the college admissions process this past year.  Your direction was incredibly helpful! R. was admitted to Tufts Early Decision!!!  He is grateful for every minute you and your team spent with him and acknowledges the significant competitive edge gained by your insight and experience." --Y.W., parent of Application Boot Camp 2015 student
"Mimi--Can't thank you enough! We got a chance to personally thank Michele afterward, but I wanted to reach out to you as well! You have a special knack for building young people up! At first R. hesitated to sign up for Boot Camp because she felt she couldn't "hang" with the Ivy League hopefuls, but she left with a renewed swagger!" --U.E., parent of Boot Camp 2015 student
"Mimi, your advice and guidance throughout this entire process has been essential, for which my family and I are very grateful." --D.C., Boot Camp 2015 student, accepted to UPenn and Columbia
"Thanks so much for your help with the whole application process! ABC was amazing (and actually a lot of fun as well!)."--W.S., Boot Camp 2015 student accepted to Oxford, Amherst, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Princeton, & Penn
“I believe the essay that you helped me craft was a major deciding factor in my admissions process and I am infinitely grateful. I believe Boot Camp also helped me to grow as a writer.” --S.W., Boot Camp 2015 student, accepted to Haverford
"Understanding what colleges really want to see in my essays was the most challenging thing but definitely the most beneficial part of Boot Camp!" --P.O., Boot Camp 2015 student, accepted to UChicago

Ready to Apply? Try one these Top Tier options!

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