Stanford University GPA, SAT, and ACT Data

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Stanford University Admissions Standards

Stanford University GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Admission
Stanford University GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Accepted, Rejected, and Waitlisted Students. Data courtesy of Cappex.

Stanford University is one of the most selective colleges in the country, admitting only 5 percent of those who apply. They require SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing test scores.

Stanford requires you to send all of your test scores and they then superscore your results. They consider both the old SAT and new SAT scores, but score the results separately. For ACT, they focus on the highest Composite and highest English and Writing scores.

The middle 50 percent of enrolled first-time students in fall of 2016 had these ranges:

  • SAT Critical Reading: 680 to 780
  • SAT Math: 700 to 800
  • ACT Composite: 31 to 35
  • ACT English: 32 to 35
  • ACT Math: 30 to 35

Of those admitted, 75 percent had a GPA of 4.0 and above, and only 4 percent had a GPA below 3.7. Ninety-five percent of those admitted were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.

How do you measure up at Stanford University?  Calculate your chances of getting in with this free tool from Cappex.

Stanford GPA, SAT, and ACT Graph

In the graph above, you can see that the blue and green dots representing accepted students are concentrated in the upper right corner. Most students who get accepted to Stanford have "A" averages, SAT scores (RW+M) above 1200, and ACT composite scores above 25 (more common is SAT scores over 1400 and ACT over 30). Also, realize that a lot of red dots are hidden beneath the blue and green. Many students with 4.0 GPAs and extremely high standardized test scores get rejected by Stanford. For this reason, you should consider a highly selective school like Stanford to be a reach school even if your grades and test scores are on target for admission. 

At the same time, keep in mind that Stanford has holistic admissions. The admissions officers will be looking for students who will bring more than good grades and standardized test scores to their campus. Students who show some kind of remarkable talent or have a compelling story to tell will often get careful consideration even if grades and test scores aren't quite up to the ideal.

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Stanford Waitlist and Rejection Data

Rejection and Waitlist Data for Stanford University
Rejection and Waitlist Data for Stanford University. Data Courtesy of Cappex.

If you look at the graph at the top of this article, you might think that students with a 4.0 GPA and high SAT or ACT scores would have a good chance of getting into Stanford. The reality, unfortunately, is that plenty of academically stellar students get rejected. As this graph of rejection data reveals, the upper corner of the graph—students with straight "A" averages and excellent standardized test scores—are frequently rejected by Stanford. As a school with a 5% acceptance rate and a very high admissions bar, Stanford is going to reject plenty of valedictorians and academic all-stars. 

Assuming you have "A" grades and high test scores, the admissions decision is going to come down to other factors. What will you contribute to the diversity of the campus? What special talents and interests do you have that will enrich the campus community? Also, you'll want to make sure that your application essay and supplemental essays shine, and be sure to get letters of recommendation from teachers who know you well and can speak about your potential to succeed at Stanford.

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