How to Get Into Stanford - Acceptance Rate and Expert Admission Tips


How to Get Into Stanford - Acceptance Rate and Expert Admission Tips

Stanford university is a prestigious place to study in the USA. Of course, knowing the Stanford acceptance rate, it's quite difficult to become accepted in this university, but if you have a big dream and are ready to do anything to make it true, there is almost nothing impossible! 

Read our article and use effective tips on applying to Stanford successfully. We know some applicants think there are low chances to do it, but if you know the main secrets and prepare well, everything is possible. Do you know what this university expects from its applicants and what's the Stanford acceptance rate? Follow our advice and make your dream true!

Stanford Acceptance Rate – Class of 2023

There were over 47,000 applications for the Class of 2023, and only 2,000 were accepted successfully. It's easy to count the acceptance rate (4.3%). Lately, Stanford has a low acceptance rate. If we will remember old times, for example, the Class of 1978 had 31%. 

Here are some facts based on statistics (Class of 2023):

  • Compared to the Class of 2022, the number of African American students was increased (from 98 to 116).
  • Fewer students compared to the Class of 2022 (from 870 to 750) were added to the waitlist.
  • The SAT math section score increased compared to the previous year (from 720 to 740).
  • 83% of freshmen (2019-2020) got the SAT score of 1400 and higher.

Stanford Admissions – SAT, GPA, and Class Rank

If we see the statistics for the Class of 2023, we can notice the next things: for freshmen, the SAT range was 1420-1570, and 32-35 for the ACT. About 86% of freshmen got 700 and higher on the SAT math section; 80% of freshmen got 700 and higher on the reading. About, 86% of freshmen have a GPA of 3.96. And over 95% of students had a GPA of 4.0 and even higher. 

What Stanford is Looking For in Applicants

Of course, Stanford is a famous university that is searching for smart and talented people in various areas, including business, court, writing, politics, science, etc. There are many famous people who have graduated from this university: Kennedy, Phil Knight, Breyer, and others. 

Please keep in mind that you will not impress the Stanford committee by 5 or even 10 activities. They usually choose people who are great in just a couple of areas. Apart from this, we suggest having your special "hook" to impress the committee. Of course, only extraordinary people with great abilities and talents in a certain area have higher chances to get accepted. But it's not enough to have skills and talents! You have to show them to the admission committee and prove that you deserve to become a freshman.

How Stanford Evaluates Applicants

Stanford ranks the following nine categories as being “very important” to the admissions process: application essay, recommendations, extracurricular activities, rigor of secondary school record, class rank, GPA, standardized test scores, talent/ability, and character/personal qualities. They rank zero factors as “important” and seven as “considered.” These are: interview, first-generation status, legacy status, geographical residence, racial/ethnic status, volunteer work, and paid work experience.

In terms of extracurricular activities, it is vitally important to have some type of “hook” when applying to Stanford. For example, Stanford has the top athletic program in the entire country, hosting 36 varsity sports teams. Of the 900 students participating in intercollegiate sports, more than 350 are on athletic scholarships. If you are a star player being heavily recruited by a coach at Stanford, your chances of admission rise exponentially, particularly if you are “in range” academically. If you are less athletically-inclined, perhaps you are a star orator and future member of the Stanford Debate Society or possess talents and an ethnographer, playwright, cellist, poet, scientist, robotics engineer, app designer, or community organizer.

Who Actually Gets Into Stanford?

If you're interested in statistics, you can find it in this paragraph. We will see the numbers of the Class of 2023. Demographically, 35% of all students came from California, 52% from other states, and only 13% from abroad. There are students from 78 countries and 48 states.

As for ethnic, Stanford has accepted 32% white people, 23% of Asian America, 17% of Hispanic, 7% of African American students, and 1% of American Indians. There are 11% of international freshmen and 9% of people with 2 or more races. 

According to the type of school, 59% of students were studying in public schools, 27% in private, 14% in international. Only 1% of all students were homeschooling. As for gender, there is an equal quantity of men and women (50/50).

Tips for Applying to Stanford

We have analyzed statistics and other facts and gathered some useful hints that will be helpful for every potential applicant to Stanford University. Hopefully, these tips can improve your chances to get accepted into the university of your dream!

  • You can pass an interview optionally. It's not necessary to interview every applicant, but we suggest pursuing this part and passing the interview. Usually, applicants are invited by volunteers in emails. There are two options to pass the interview: via chat (with videocam) or in-person.
  • You need to have good SAT and ACT rates to get accepted. Of course, high rates are not just enough to get accepted, but this may increase your chances compared to other applicants. 
  • Remember that only good grades are not everything if you are applying to Stanford. You still have to demonstrate your skills and talents to impress the admission committee and convince them to accept your candidature. 
  • When you are working on the admission paper, you may try to find and read successful Stanford essays that worked, but you have to remember that the future paper must contain only your own voice and ideas. Do not take thoughts from other essays, it won't help.
  • Make sure you have worked enough on short questions. In 2019-2020, there were eleven of them. Of course, you need to spend a lot of time writing good answers.

How to Get To Stanford If You're Good in STEM: 3 Tips

If your strong point is quantitative, then that's a great advantage. After all, Stanford is engineering tilted! Even more to your advantage, I personally got into Stanford following this path, so I will have much more refined strategies for you here, including naming specific programs to try.

Tip 1 - Make Sure You Have Academic Excellence in STEM Fields

Since you consider yourself a strong STEM candidate, it's important to be absolutely amazing in STEM as a whole. That means earning an A or A+ in every one of your STEM courses, with only the very occasional A-.

You should also be taking the most difficult STEM courses offered at your school. In other words, take APs when they are available and, within APs, try to choose the harder option (Calculus BC instead of AB, for example). For the AP exams, aim for a 5 in each of these fields. If you're naturally talented at STEM and are taking the hardest courses, there's a high probability you'll get great grades; however, you want to turn that high probability into a certainty.

The biggest reason that naturally talented STEM students perform at just a mediocre level in STEM courses is a lack of diligence. Many students who are strong in STEM want to focus on only what they're interested in at that moment. It's important to see the benefits to your STEM education that are possible if you get into Stanford, and to convince yourself it's worthwhile to put in the grind that's often necessary to get good grades in school.

Tip 2 - Develop a Good Academic Baseline Outside of STEM

The next step is to ensure your academics outside of STEM meet at least some baseline of quality. This doesn't mean you have to be great in the humanities, but it does mean you'll want to keep the Bs in the humanities to a minimum. While you don't need to take any AP classes in the humanities, taking them and getting a 4 or 5 on the AP tests and an A/A- in the class will definitely benefit you in the end.

Standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT are a great way to prove how well rounded you are. They're difficult enough that getting a sufficiently high score signals you're in the 95th percentile or above in all the US - certainly enough to qualify as well rounded. That being said, the ACT/SAT isn't specialized enough to be your spike.

If you're a little weaker on the humanities side, shoring up your SAT/ACT score is the fastest and most effective way to improve. You should aim for an SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score of at least 650 or ACT Reading and English scores of at least 28 each. I firmly believe that being great quantitatively correlates with being smart in general.

Your test-prep strategy will center around the fact that the SAT/ACT is an analytical test. The same skills you used to become good in quantitative subjects will be useful in mastering these standardized tests. Since you're only targeting a 650 (or 28) or above on these sections, you don't need to stress as much about the last few problems and being careless.

You do, however, need to memorize all the most common SAT grammar rules and learn how many questions you can afford to get wrong without sacrificing your score goals. You can do this yourself or take advantage of our online SAT/ACT prep program, which will automatically identify these weaknesses for you.

Tip 3 - Focus On Your Spike

Now that you've achieved good SAT/ACT scores and have a well-rounded base of activities, it's time to build up that final factor that will get you in: your spike! This is where you really get to show off your STEM skills.

When it comes to spikes, the name of the game is to be highly ranked in recognized fields.

One of the most natural environments to be ranked in is a competition. Now, obviously, the more recognized the competition, the better. As you might imagine, the most well-known, difficult, and participant-heavy competitions are the most prestigious.

For your Stanford application, it's better to rank in the top 1,000 of one of the most prestigious competitions than it is to rank in the top 100 of a competition of middling prestige. This means you should try to aim for the most prestigious competition you can actually do well in. You should consider competitions from highest prestige down in that order whenever possible.

How to Improve Your Chances of Being Accepted

You need to do well on the ACT or SAT and consider taking them multiple times to ensure you submit the best score to them. Remember: the higher the score the better. Take practice tests, hire a tutor, and make sure you know the expectations of the test and how it’s graded. More students submit the SAT to Stanford than the ACT, so keep that in mind and decide which test shows off your strengths more.

Here’s where it gets tricky: getting into Stanford is about more than just numbers. If you look at their history, a lot of their applicant pool over the last five years brought a 2400 SAT score to the table. Before being remodeled, that was the highest score possible on the SAT. The shocking part? 69% of those perfect-scoring SAT applicants didn’t get accepted. So while preparing academically is important, it’s not going to guarantee you an acceptance letter.

Stanford is looking for students who can contribute to their community and what that looks like varies from year to year. One thing is for certain though: the admissions committee constantly looks for someone with passion. The evaluation process is holistic, meaning it takes everything you provide them into account and then some. They look at how you fit into campus as a whole and where you will fit in within your incoming class. It’s all about fit and community. All you do is the best you can with the hard data and be yourself for the rest of it.

Summary / Conclusion

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