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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:

ABC not only helped me get my stuff done early, but made sure I left with edited essays. While my friends will get their applicantions done late and have them edited by parents and high school English teachers, I left with essays proofread by PhDs, admissions officers and professional college counselors . . . which is awesome! - Boot Camp 2014 student
"It was truly an amazing experience that clarified most, if not all, of my doubts on college application." -S. G., Boot Camp student
"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
"The quick feedback on essays and writing style was key!" - Application Boot Camp student
"M., D. loved the Boot Camp. The entire process was excellent start to finish. Great value!" - G.O., Boot Camp parent
“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 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
"The environment in the Boot Camp meeting room was great and really encouraging. An intimidating process became much more user friendly and the senior mentors helped me overcome my writer's block." - Application Boot Camp student
"Being at Boot Camp is an unmatched experience."-C.K., Boot Camp student
"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
"I know this will increase my chances of getting in by putting me on the right track. The Guide to the Common App 5 on the ABC Student Membership Site was so helpful! I would have been lost!" - Application Boot Camp student
"My admissions report prior to attending Boot Camp helped me plan exactly what to do senior year along with the phone call with M. & M. to discuss colleges I should choose for applications. -N. N., 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
“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
"M. and M., I just found out that I have an unconditional offer from Oxford!" - T.Y., Application Boot Camp student
I finally know how to write a college essay. The one on one time with my senior counselor mentor made a big difference. - I.K., Boot Camp student
Boot Camp 2014 student
"My application process has certainly been a lot less stressful because of Application Boot Camp!" - U.W., Application Boot Camp student
I would like to thank ABC for kickstarting my college app season! It felt fantastic to leave 4 intense days in August with several essays, edited with wonderful feedback. Although I wrote and revised a few more essays at home, Boot Camp got me in the right mindset to do work that many of my peers are still feverishly completing. Now that I have been admitted to the MIT Class of 2019, this holiday season will be the most relaxed in years! Thanks again!!
E.B. - 2014 Boot Camp Student
"ABC made writing college essays far less terrible than it otherwise would have been. The senior counselors really kept me on topic." - Application Boot Camp student
Boot Camp 2014 student

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