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What You Need to Know Before Applying to Stanford University

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We understand that applying to Ivy League schools is a daunting task for many a prospective student. Whether you’ve been set on applying to Stanford since you were a wee child or you’re just beginning the college search process, CEA is here to give you all the info you need on Stanford University and its many, many admission requirements! Read on to get our full inside scoop.

The Basics:

Stanford University was founded in the area of the same name in California in 1885. (Technically, its full name is “Leland Stanford Junior University,” after the son of the wealthy senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane–but that’s a mouthful!) This learning institution has clearly stood the test of time, with a current student body of nearly 16,500 and over 2,000 faculty members, among whom there have been 83 Nobel laureates and eight Fields Medalists. And the school’s athletic programs are nothing to sneeze at either: the Cardinals’ 36 varsity sports teams have brought home more individual championships than any other university in the country (522 to be exact!).

The Requirements: 

  1. Your SAT or ACT scores. However, there is no minimum score requirement, and if you want, you have the option to not include the Writing section of either test.
  2. One letter of recommendation from your school’s counselor and two from high school teachers.
  3. Both your School Report (your final grades up until this year) as well as your mid-year transcript. Stanford wants to check in on your academic standing in real time!

The Deadlines:

November 1: Restrictive Early Action

This is just another way of saying “Single-Choice Early Action,” but fear not! Though you might be looking dubiously at the word “restrictive,” it’s important to note that applying in this way does not bind you to the school if your application is accepted. It simply means that you can’t apply Early Action to any of the other schools on your list! Also, if you don’t feel like biting your fingernails in anticipation for any longer than you have to, applying Restrictive EA also means you’ll get your admission notification much sooner than Regular Decision applicants.

January 2: Regular Decision

The most classic of the application types! This is the final deadline for all of you Stanford hopefuls to turn in your required application materials for your selected school year.

The Essays: 

Believe it or not, Stanford requires applicants to submit 11 essays and short answers in their application. For more information on exactly what these essays look like and how to think about answering them, check out our other handy resources here: Stanford University Supplemental Essay Guide.

The Application:

You can apply to Stanford through either the Common App or the Coalition App!

The Competition:

Applying to such a prestigious institution is tough, we know–with an acceptance rate of just under 4.3% for the class of 2022, Stanford accepted just over 2,000 students out of the 47,450 who applied. Additionally, accepted students scored between 1420-1570 on the SAT and between 32-35 on the ACT, with an average unweighted GPA of 3.95.

Ready to get started on your Stanford supplemental essays?
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Check out our Stanford University Supplemental Essay Guide!

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