Stanford Acceptance Rate

February 12, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Stanford Acceptance Rate: 4.7%

Shortcut to sections offered for Stanford prospective students and Stanford acceptance rate:

Successful Applicant Profile

  • Demographics
  • Majors
  • SAT/ACT scores

Entry Requirements

  • Tuition
  • Scholarships
  • Checklist of Application Requirements
  • Application Deadlines

What Should You Expect

  • Student life
  • Academics offered
  • Athletics offered
  • Notable Alumni

Are you dreading the anxiety-inducing process of applying to an Ivy League university like Stanford, Harvard, or MIT which have set the record for having the lowest rates for admission? Your dread is not ill-found. Stanford Acceptance Rates are some of the lowest in the country.

You may be interested in putting your computer science skills to the test at the heart of Silicon Valley in Stanford University. But, you need to realize that Stanford Acceptance Rate is one of the toughest at just 4.7%. There were only 1,357 students accepted out of the nearly 40,500 that applied in 2019. Stanford Acceptance Rates make it incredibly competitive even if you have great test scores.

Stanford’s acceptance rate for the class 2026

The Class of 2026 admissions statistics will unfortunately not be made public at this time by Stanford. It will be months before the total number of candidates is known. Even so, AdmissionSight believes that Stanford’s acceptance rate for the Class of 2026 will be between 3.5% and 4.5%.

Just 2,190 of the 55,471 applications that Stanford received for a place in the Class of 2025 were approved. The university had never had an acceptance rate as low as 3.95%. To put things in historical perspective, the school’s admission rate last reached double digits with the Class of 2011, which graduated in 1978 with a 31% acceptance rate.

At Stanford University, the current academic year’s admission rate is 4.00%, which is lower than the institution’s 10-year average of 4.99 %. It is extremely difficult for applicants to be accepted into Stanford University due to the institution’s extremely low admission rate. The following table shows the changes in the acceptance rate at Stanford University over the previous ten years (2012-2022).

Year Total Men Women
2012-13 6.61% 6.80% 6.40%
2013-14 5.69% 5.60% 5.78%
2014-15 5.09% 4.81% 5%
2015-16 5.04% 4.70% 5.43%
2016-17 4.81% 4.48% 5.18%
2017-18 4.73% 4.38% 5.12%
2018-19 4.36% 4.24% 4.49%
2019-20 4.34% 3.96% 4.76%
2020-21 5.19% 4.74% 5.70%
2021-22 4.00% 4.00% 4.00%
Average 4.99% 4.77% 5.23%

Although, it’s going to take a lot to stand out amongst the many applicants applying this year, AdmissionSight will help you through the process of determining whether Stanford is the right university for you, and if so, how to stand out as an applicant. For starters, you need to be exceptional and at the very top of your class. You should also have an ACT score of 35 or a SAT score that is close to 1570.

But before you get into the statistics, let’s take a glimpse into the make-up of the students admitted into Stanford University in 2019.

1. Successful Applicant Profile

Stanford is among the oldest schools in the United States. The university was founded by former California Governor Leland Stanford in 1885 along with his wife Jane in the loving memory of their child, Leland Jr. The main campus is located within the northwest section of Santa Clara County in Stanford, California.

This could be one of the reasons why the majority of admitted students are from California. But, it doesn’t matter where you are from or which race you belong to. Stanford believes in giving every bright mind an equal chance even if they do have one of the lowest acceptance rates in the country.

Where are the applicants from?

Stanford has a bustling and diverse campus with over 9,500 graduate students and 7,000 undergraduates.

Stanford students are primarily from the United States with 40% of the student body from the state of California itself. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t get to test your capabilities in a diverse and enriched environment. There are students from over 60 countries studying at Stanford amounting to 11.4% of the body.

Roughly, 51% of all students are male and 49% are females. There are admitted students from all walks of life and ethnicities. The student body is diverse with 38.8% Caucasian, and the remaining 61.2% comprising of African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American students.

Group of students cheerfully hanging out by a pond.

What are the more common programs?

Stanford offers dozens of majors. Applicants tend to declare computer and information sciences as their primary majors. There is also a strong interest among successful applicants for pursuing engineering, law and multi/interdisciplinary studies such as Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences among other programs.

Stanford University was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa chapter for its strengths in sciences and liberal arts. It has also earned a membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities for its tenacity in research. There is no denying the fact that Stanford University has ample dominance ranging from humanities to engineering even though it has only been recognized for a few.

The university’s selectivity rivals Harvard. This is one of the reasons for low Stanford Acceptance Rates. In general, about 4 students get accepted for every 100 that apply. However, when you do get accepted you can be rest assured that you can pursue any major of your choice.

What is the average SAT/ACT score of admitted students?

For admitted students in 2019 who took ACT score:

  • 25th percentile score: 32
  • 75th percentile score: 35

For admitted students in 2019 who took SAT score:

  • 25th percentile score: 1420
  • 75th percentile score: 1570

You need to understand that your test scores are important as well. You can easily compensate for a marginally low GPA with a high test score. Sometimes, it helps to be a diverse applicant, have fantastic personal achievements, or be the child of an alumnus when you are at the lower end.

Other aspects, including athletics, extracurricular and recommendations are also important. They may not make a large impact, but they may go a long way in tipping the scales in your favor. The only way you can get around Stanford Acceptance Rates and their first round of filters is by surpassing their GPA and SAT/ACT requirements.

Without the right scores your chance of getting in are negligent. The average GPA at Stanford to be considered is 3.6. However, this is only the minimum requirement and it is recommended to be above average.

2. Entry Requirements

Even if your heart is set on Stanford, it is important that you apply to a wide variety of schools. This is true even if you are in the 75th percentile so that you know you have a safety net if things go south. Stanford Acceptance Rates are notoriously low.

Take a look at Stanford’s admission requirements to ensure that everything is in order.

A female student in a cafe with her laptop and coffee while writing on her notebook.

How much will it cost to attend?

For the year 2018-2019, first-year school tuition at Stanford totaled $66,696. The university is among the 100 most expensive institutions in the United States.

This cost of attendance figure includes room and board, transit, educational supplies. This is when the national average for private non-profit four year university tuition is just $28,471.

The Stanford Student Budget for the typical undergraduate student breaks down the annual cost of attendance for 2020-2021 as:

  • Tuition – 55,473
  • Student fees allowance – 1,995
  • Room and board – 17,255
  • Personal expenses allowance – 2,205
  • Books and supplies allowance – 1,290

This amounts to a total of $78,218 and does not include travel expenses, which are usually on a need basis. Freshmen are also required to deposit a one-time fee by way of the Document Fee ($250) and the New Student Orientation Fee ($525).

However, that doesn’t mean that Stanford is not worth it. Also, the university makes it affordable for parents and students by offering various financial aid programs.

What are Stanford’s financial aid opportunities?

Stanford offers need-based scholarships ranging from full scholarship to partial scholarship. Eligibility for Stanford Scholarship funds is based not only on family income level, but also on the size of the family, number of family members in college and family assets among other factors.

It can get confusing to calculate Average Net Cost, which is that part of the cost of attendance for which students and their parents are responsible for.

Generally, direct costs such as room and board, tuition, and mandatory fees are included in the calculation. Indirect costs like a reasonable allowance for personal expenses, books and supplies, and round trip travel expenses may also be included in the calculation.

Stanford has a series of nifty interactive calculators to make it easy for students to determine the overall cost they are responsible for and the kind of financial aid they may be eligible to receive.

On an average, need-based aid recipients of freshman class receive Scholarship and Grant from all sources amounting to $58,494. This includes the average scholarship from Stanford amounting to $52,030 along with other grant funds from state, private, and federal resources.

It is important to understand the repercussions and extent of student debt before you undertake hefty financial aid packages. On an average, a Stanford graduate leaves with a student debt of $21,987.

What are the application requirements for Stanford University?

All Stanford applicants are required to submit their Coalition or Common Application along with their scores and school reports.

Here is a checklist of application requirements:

  • Coalition Application or Common Application with a $90 fee (waiver form available) submitted by 11:59 pm EST on applicable application deadline
  • ACT score or SAT score (without writing score)
  • School report including counselor letter of recommendation
  • Official transcript
  • Midyear transcript (by February 15th)
  • Letters of recommendation from two teachers

Start your application on the Stanford site and proceed through application steps for a more detailed explanation of the requirements.

Stack of books with a pink piggy bank in graduate hat resting on top of them.

What are timelines for Stanford application?

Applicants are required to submit their Coalition or Common Application by 11:59 pm PST on the applicable date. Candidates can apply through:

  • Restrictive Early Action
  • Regular Decision

While the selection procedure and evaluation approach is the same for both these options, they come with their own sets of pros and cons. For instance, early action application may be beneficial for candidates seeking an opportunity to make an early college decision, while regular decision may seem like a worthwhile option for those needing more time to fill out the paperwork.

Stanford recommends Restrictive Early Action application for candidates:

  • who have already identified Stanford as their dream school
  • who have completed a challenging academic program in earlier grades
  • who have a head start on their application and can complete it before the November 1st deadline

Stanford recommends Regular Decision application for candidates:

  • whose grades are taking an upward curve
  • whose classes in senior year are more rigorous than previous grades
  • who are considering taking standardized exams
  • who are yet to complete a significant project or activity

Deadlines for freshmen starting fall 2021

Early Action Candidates

  • Application deadline – November 1st, 2020
  • SAT/ACT test – End of October. For ACT, the last acceptable test is for the month of September so that the results can reach the admission office on time.
  • Financial aid – November 15th, 2020

Regular Decision Candidates

  • Application deadline – January 2nd, 2021
  • SAT/ACT test – No later than December SAT or ACT
  • Financial aid –February 15th, 2021

Decision notification

Early Action candidates would be notified by December 6th while regular decision will be intimated of the board’s decision by April 1. All admitted students are required to reply no later than May 1st, 2021.

3. What to Expect

Founded in 1885, Stanford is a private, co-ed university nestled within the heart of the Silicon Valley in California, which is home to the world’s most leading technological innovators. It has also been the school of choice for numerous great personalities.

Situated in the vibrant Peninsula of the Bay Area, cities like San Francisco are just a short drive away from campus, offering access to spectacular hikes to breath-taking views, and access to beaches.

air view of the building

What do students think of life at Stanford?

Aside from the nice cool weather, Stanford has an 8,000-acre campus with seven schools, 18 interdisciplinary institutes, and 81 diverse housing facilities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Three months ago, a current freshman student posted a testimony about Stanford on a college-ranking site Niche expressing that the school was,

“One which embodies free-spirited, unbounded learning. Aside from academics, though, I’d have to say that what makes Stanford unique is its people. Times when I’ve felt inspired, moved, and at home, were in moments I shared with others in discussions or conversations, whether it was academic or truly frivolous.”

Stanford has over a hundred student organizations ranging from a wide array of academic interests, including cultural and racial initiatives, creative and performing arts, gender and sexuality affinity groups, media and publications, and government and political interests.

Some of the more popular Stanford’s student activities include Oceanic Tongues (Asian American Writers’ Workshop), China Rains at Stanford, The Real News Student Newspaper, Black and Queer at Stanford (BlaQS), Project Motivation, Barrio Assistance, Stanford Students for Choice, Adam Smith Society, American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), Big Ideas Club, Arts, and Media and Entertainment (AME), among many others.

Stanford also has an Entrepreneur Club, Food & Agribusiness Club, and Golf Club.

You can get connected with alum and faculty at Stanford by calling the admissions office at (650) 723- 2091 to ask more questions, or by emailing

Important update as of April 2020:

In light of COVID-19, the Office of Undergraduate Admission will remain closed until public health conditions allow them to reopen.

As the situation unfolds, the office will provide ongoing updates about the admission processes through email. Please send questions to No information sessions or campus tours are offered at this time. You can however take a virtual tour.

What academics are offered?

Stanford is a culmination of seven schools in a single campus that offers students countless opportunities to pursue their interests and collaborate on solving some of the most complex world problems. Stanford offers a diverse range of curriculum, allowing undergraduate students to choose between 60 different academic concentrations.

Some of the more interesting majors offered by Stanford include Biometrics, Comparative Literature, Aerospace Engineering, Fine/Studio Arts, Geophysics and Seismology, Drama, and East Asian Studies.

Stanford also offers International Relations and Affairs, Materials Science, History, Political Science and Government, Psychology, Natural Resources Conservation and Research, Systems Science and Theory, Women’s Studies, Science, and Technology and Society as its major fields.

What athletic options are available?

The Department of Athletics of Stanford called the “Cardinal Athletics” offers over 36 varsity sports – 20 for women and 16 for men, with sailing as a co-ed sport. You can also join one of the 31 club sports or 900 intercollegiate sports.

There are 350 athletic scholarships offered each year to senior students who exemplify outstanding talent. Some of the more popular sports offered by Stanford include Basketball, Baseball, Cross-Country, Football, Soccer, Golf, Track & Field, Swimming & Diving, and Wrestling.

Water polo game participants cheering.

Who are some famous Stanford alumni?

From a United States President, to a famed engineer who changed the history of industrial design, to a television news liberal political commentator, to a famous novelist, to the first female astronaut, to the world’s leading golf champion – Stanford University is home to some of the most legendary innovators across the globe.

Some particularly well-known alumni include:

  • Famous painter Richard Diebenkorn
  • Google co-founder Sergey Brin
  • Film director Alexander Payne
  • Actor Sterling K. Brown
  • US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky
  • Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren
  • Television journalist Rachel Maddow
  • Nike founder Phil Knight
  • Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Netflix founder Reed Hastings have also studied at Stanford. Already seeing your name added up there? Then don’t stop here.

Don’t let the low acceptance rates of Stanford scare you. With the proper planning and preparation, and assistance we will ensure you have the best chances of standing out amongst the many applicants.

There is no denying the fact that getting into Stanford is extremely competitive. Even if you get the right GPA and test scores you would still need to show that you are extraordinary in your personal and academic achievements.

If you are looking to attend Stanford University or any other Ivy League University, AdmissionSight has a variety of resources to help you understand how to better stand out as an applicant in the eyes of academic admissions officers.

We are reliable and responsible admission consultants and make use of resources such as college essay editors and one-on-one application assistance to improve your chances of getting admitted to one of the world’s top universities.

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