Stanford University: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Stanford University

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Stanford University, a private research institution, is one of the most selective universities in the nation with an acceptance rate of 4.4%.

Founded by Jane and Leland Stanford in 1885, Stanford University is located between San Francisco and San Jose in the Silicon Valley area of California. With over 7,000 undergraduates and nearly 9,500 graduate students, Stanford has a diverse and bustling campus. For its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, Stanford was awarded a chapter of ​Phi Beta Kappa, and its strength in research has earned it membership in the Association of American Universities.

Considering applying to this highly selective school? Here are the Stanford admissions statistics you should know.

Why Stanford University

  • Location: Stanford, California
  • Campus Features: Stanford's 8,180-acre campus is home to nearly 700 buildings, many built in the university's striking Romanesque Revival architectural style. 93% of students live on campus.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 5:1
  • Athletics: The Stanford Cardinal compete in the NCAA Division I Pacific 12 Conference.
  • Highlights: Stanford ranks as one of the top universities in the U.S.; its selectivity rivals Harvard. The university has strengths from the arts and humanities to engineering, and its $26 billion endowment gives it ample resources for financial aid.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, Stanford had an acceptance rate of 4.4%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 4 students were admitted, making Stanford's admissions process highly competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2017-18)
Number of Applicants 47,451
Percent Admitted 4.4%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 82%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Stanford requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 69% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75 Percentile
ERW 700 770
Math 720 800
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of Stanford's admitted students fall within the top 7% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Stanford scored between 700 and 770, while 25% scored below 700 and 25% scored above 770. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 720 and 800, while 25% scored below 720 and 25% scored a perfect 800. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1570 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Stanford.

Requirements

Stanford does not require the SAT writing section. Note that Stanford participates in the scorechoice program, which means that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates. At Stanford, SAT Subject tests are optional; applicants may submit scores if they believe they will add to their application.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Stanford requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 55% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (2017-18)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 34 36
Math 30 35
Composite 32 35

This admissions data tells us that most of Stanford's admitted students fall within the top 3% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to Stanford received a composite ACT score of between 32 and 35, while 25% scored above 35 and 25% scored below 32.

Requirements

Stanford does not require the ACT writing section. Unlike many universities, Stanford superscores ACT results; your highest subscores from multiple ACT sittings will be considered.

GPA

In 2018, Stanford University's incoming freshman class had an average high school GPA of 3.95. These results suggest that most successful applicants to Stanford have primarily A grades

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Stanford University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph
Stanford University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex. 

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Stanford University. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Stanford University has a highly competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance rate and high average SAT/ACT scores. However, Stanford has a holistic admissions process involving other factors beyond your grades and test scores. A strong application essay and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen your application, as can participation in meaningful extracurricular activities and a rigorous course schedule. Students with particularly compelling stories or achievements can still receive serious consideration even if their test scores are outside Stanford's average range.

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 (ERW+M) above 1200, and ACT composite scores above 25 (more common are SAT scores over 1400 and ACT scores over 30). It is important to note many students with 4.0 GPAs and extremely high standardized test scores are rejected by Stanford. For this reason, a highly selective school like Stanford should be considered a reach school even if your grades and test scores are on target for admission.