Stanford Admissions

stanford admissions

Get into Stanford

Stanford University was ranked #5 in the 2017 US News and World Report rankings of National Universities and #2 Best Undergraduate Engineering Program. Stanford has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,034 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 2021, 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. 93.19% of admitted students had a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Out of 44,073 candidates, the largest application pool in Stanford’s history, only 1,329 received letters of acceptance to Stanford’s Class of 2021, in addition to the 721 early action students accepted in December. This year’s admits come from 50 states and 82 countries, and over 18 percent of the accepted students are the first in their families to attend a four-year college. Very few students get off the wait list – that’s because so many students accept Stanford when they are accepted.

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 2020:

At below 5%, this year’s undergraduate admissions rate is the lowest in Stanford’s history and the lowest of the “elite” universities. Out of 43,997 applicants — the largest pool in University history — 1,373 students were accepted to Stanford’s Class of 2020, in addition to the 745 early action students accepted in December. The acceptance rate of 9.52 percent for early was slightly lower than the Class of 2019’s early admission rate of 10.2 percent.

Top Tier Admissions Can Help:

"I'm done with all of my college applications. It's August 19th! How many people can say they finished THAT early?! Mimi, you are the GREATEST motivator!" - C.C., Application Boot Camp student
"The senior counselors were so talented and Mimi and Michele were so accessible!" -ABC Student
"Ultimately, Bootcamp, although grueling at times, was an incredible experience, and it was only made possible by all your efforts. Thank you for everything, and I will be sure to update you in the coming months!” –F.J., Application Boot Camp Student
"My daughter can't stop talking about all of the things she learned and how helpful the camp was. Thank you very much!" -O.P., Boot Camp parent
"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., Application Boot Camp parent
“Thank you so much for all the team’s help at Application Bootcamp! With your help, I was able to produce an application strategy and multiple essays that I am very confident about." –C.Z., Application Boot Camp Student
"Application Boot Camp surpassed my expectations!" -S.F., Boot Camp student
“We would like to personally thank you for your help in preparing P. and S. in the college admissions process. Boot Camp provided invaluable guidance. Those four days were a very productive and extremely worthwhile time. We are thrilled they are starting senior year stress-free in terms of the college application process. Finally, thank you a ton for helping them both from the very beginning and we feel extremely fortunate to have worked with you.” –A.R., Parents of two Application Boot Camp Students
"J.'s in at his first choice school!  Thanks so much for all the help and support.  The admissions person said that his essay was among the first she read and it became the "bar" for all the others.  He is beyond thrilled!" - W.D., Application Boot Camp parent
"I GOT IN ED to Dartmouth! I am so grateful for all your support and the amazing ABC you run. I hope that other ABC students got good news as well! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!! And a HUGE thanks all the TTA staff who helped guide me with my essays! I couldn't have done this without you guys! GO BIG GREEN!!!" - Application Boot Camp student, Dartmouth Class of 2022
"Thank you for the amazing application bootcamp experience! I was accepted to Dartmouth!!! I couldn't have done it without you. Go big green!"– S.T., Boot Camp Student
"It was truly an amazing experience that clarified most, if not all, of my doubts on college application." -S. G., Boot Camp student
"M.--Can't thank you enough! We got a chance to personally thank M. 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., Boot Camp parent
“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 student
"Michele is the BEST editor! Thanks for a great week! It is so great to have editing help and get most of my essay done." - Application Boot Camp student
"ABC made the application process clear and taught me to optimize every chance I have in presenting myself in the best light to colleges." - Application Boot Camp Student
"It is SO nice to be able to get basically everything done in a couple of days! It makes the process a lot less stressful and made me feel really confident about my applications." - Application Boot Camp student
Boot Camp 2014 student
"Boot Camp was efficient, fun, and eliminated stress. Without this experience I never would have thought to write my main essay on my academic interest." -V. P., Boot Camp student
"R got accepted to Dartmouth! We are overjoyed. Thank you for all your guidance and prepping." – Application Boot Camp parent, Dartmouth Class of 2022
"The ABC report and follow up call with Mimi and Michele gave me a more concrete idea of what I should be writing about. Thank you! It was so much stress off me before senior year starts." - Application Boot Camp student

Ready to Apply? Try one these Top Tier options!

Private college admissions consulting starting as early as 8th grade for those students who want ongoing, personalized, unlimited-time access.

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Want to work one-on-one with the best? Try our flexible Personal Boot Camp.

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The original Application Boot Camp®! Helping students prepare the best possible applications for the last 12 years.

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