Stanford Admission Statistics

Are you considering of sending an application to Stanford University and wanted to know what your chances of admissions are? You have come to the right place — we aggregated the important admissions data from Stanford’s recent results. In order to be a part of the class cohort that is awarded acceptance, there are several important factors that admissions officers will look into. These variables include SAT score, ACT score, class rank, GPA, SAT II score, extracurriculars, and many others. The decision process is holistic meaning that many factors go into a decision.

Stanford University has an acceptance rate (admit rate) of 4.7%, making it one of the most selective colleges in the US. As you can imagine, the typical GPA and SAT or ACT score Stanford admits have are near perfect.

In the next section, we will take a closer look into the admissions detail and break down the typical scores of successfully admitted students:


Stanford Admissions Statistics

In 2017, Stanford accepted only 4.7% of its students. For the class of 2021, there were 2,085 admitted students out of 44,073 applicants, and 1,708 of these 2,085 ended up enrolling. The average unweighted GPA was 3.94. The average SAT score was 1520. The average composite ACT score was a 34.

Let’s take a look at the percentage of applicants accepted by GPA range:

High School GPA Ranges



Percent of Applicants

Admit Rate

Percent of Admitted Class

4.0 and above 58% 6% 75%
3.7  -  3.99 28% 4% 21%
Below 3.7 14% 1% 4%


For Stanford, the typical GPA for the admitted class was a 4.0 and above, with 75% of the admitted class attaining such a GPA. The acceptance rate for students with a GPA of 4.0 and above was 6% and roughly 58% of all applicants achieved a GPA within this range. This means that it is incredibly difficult to be admitted into Stanford even if you have a perfect GPA.

Let’s take a look at percentage of applicants accepted by High School Rank in Class:

High School Rank in Class


Percent of Applicants

Admit Rate

Percent of Admitted Class

 Top 10% 78% 5% 95%
11% - 20% 13% 1% 4%
21% and below 9% <1% 1%


For Stanford, the typical class rank for the admitted class was in the top 10%, with 95% of the admitted class attaining such a class rank. The acceptance rate for students with a class rank in the top 10% was 5% and roughly 78% of the total applicants had a class rank in the top decile. Therefore, it can be concluded that Stanford almost expects you to have a class rank in the top 10% and you must be extraordinarily excellent in another particular area to overcome this deficit.

Let’s take a look at the percentage of applicants accepted by SAT range:

SAT Reading Score


Percent of Applicants

Admit Rate

Percent of Admitted Class

800 10% 12% 22%
700 - 799 36% 7% 49%
600 - 699 34% 4% 24%
Below 600 20% 1% 5%

SAT Math Score


Percent of Applicants

Admit Rate

Percent of Admitted Class

800 18% 8% 28%
700 - 799 40% 7% 49%
600 - 699 28% 4% 20%
Below 600 14% <1% 2%

For Stanford, the acceptance rate of applicants with a perfect or near perfect SAT score was still extremely low. It is estimated that roughly 5%-10% of the entering class has scored a perfect SAT score. Stanford has very high expectations and it is almost given that a high SAT score is necessary to compete for a spot.

Let’s take a look at the percentage of applicants accepted by ACT range:

ACT Composite


Percent of Applicants

Admit Rate

Percent of Admitted Class

30 - 36 74% 4% 90%
24 - 29 21% 2% 9%
18 - 23 5% <1% <1%


At Stanford, the typical ACT score was in the 30-36 range, with 90% of the admitted class and 74% of applicants  attaining a score in this bracket Thus, it is almost expected that students score an ACT between this range since the admit rate of 4% of students applying with a score between 30-36 is the same as the admit rate in total.

The 50th percentile for ACT scores for Stanford was 32-35. This means that the bottom 25th percentile of accepted students scored a 32 composite score, and the top 75th percentile of accepted students accepted students scored a 35.

The 50th percentile for SAT scores for Stanford was a 1390-1540. The Math section 50th percentile was 700-780. The Evidenced-based Reading and Writing middle 50th percentile was 690-760.

Stanford University Hallway

Stanford University Hallway

For most applicants, aiming for as high of a GPA and SAT or ACT scores should always be the goal. This rule remains especially true for Stanford because of how selective the school is with an admit rate of 4.7%. Very often, many students who have perfect GPA grades and perfect test scores get rejected. Obtaining scores between the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile gives you have a fighting chance at admission, but it should be noted that you should try to have as high a score as possible to maximize chances of admission. It may be helpful for your application if you are a diverse applicant (geography, race, socioeconomic background). Other factors may also boost your probability of admission such as legacy applicant or excellent extracurriculars.

If Stanford is your dream school, we would still strongly suggest you apply to many other schools because nothing is guaranteed. Some students who are admitted into every Ivy League school get rejected by Stanford, and vice versa. Take a look at our strategy on the optimal amount of schools to apply to.


Stanford University Application Requirements

If you wish to apply to Stanford University, you have two choices to apply: single choice early action (EA) or regular decision (RD). The following list of items are required for applicants. Failure to submit all the requirements will result in automatic rejection since admissions will not review your application.

  1. Submit a completed Common Application along with the Stanford Supplement or Coalition Application along with the Stanford Supplement or Universal College Application along with the Stanford Supplement. The application fee is $90, or you may apply for a fee waiver. Students who are eligible for a fee waiver include low-income students or veterans who have served in the U.S. military. Students who are QuestBridge Finalists may also receive the QuestBridge fee waiver.

  2. Because the essay can make or break your application, you should spend time thinking through what message you wish to convey. Take a look at our thoughts on how to write a winning college essay and successful essay topics

  3. Request an official transcript by your guidance counselor or other official from your school.

  4. Submit the School Report (SR) by requesting it from your guidance counselor. The School Report form is available from the Common Application and Universal College Application websites. Your guidance counselor may fill out and submit this form for you. For the Coalition Application, the SR and counselor recommendation are uploaded as one item onto the website.

  5. Ask for a counselor recommendation. Please take note that the SR and Counselor Recommendation are separate items for the Common Application. You must “invite” your guidance counselor or other academic advisor to complete the application. For the Coalition Application, you should invite your counselor to upload both the recommendation and the SR.

  6. Ask for two (2) teacher recommendations. You should ask two of your teachers who you think will write you the best letters in order to maximize your probability of admission. It is recommended that you ask two teachers from different academic subjects. These recommendation forms are available on the Coalition Application, Common Application and Universal College Application websites.

  7. Submit your Mid-year School Report. Ask your guidance counselor or other officials at your school to complete and submit the form when your mid-year grades are available. This form can be found on the Coalition Application, Common Application and Universal College Application websites.

  8. Submit an SAT score or ACT score. Include your writing score. Stanford’s SAT code is 4704. Stanford’s ACT code is 0434.

  9. If you are an international student, you must submit your testing scores for TOEFL, IELTS Academic, or PTE Academic

  10. (Optional) It is highly recommended that you submit two (2) SAT subject tests, also known as SAT II.

  11. (Optional) If you believe you have achieved excellence in a form of arts such as architecture, dance, music, theater, visual arts, or other form, you may submit an arts supplement. However, keep in mind that an arts supplement can hurt you in some situations. 

The deadline to apply for early action for Stanford is November 1. The deadline to apply for regular decision is January 2. If you are submitting an arts portfolio, you must apply by October 15 for early action and December 1 for regular decision. Stanford typically releases their admissions decisions around mid December for early action. The decision is made around end of March for regular decision or deferred applicants.


Stanford Admitted Class Profile

If you are admitted and decide to attend Stanford, you will be a part of a very diverse class. There are many students from across the United States and from a variety different countries. Let’s take a look at some statistics about your classmates:

  1. Students came from all 50 US states
  2. 10.7% of the students are international citizens representing 60 countries including China, Korea, France, Russia, and others
  3. Students spoke 72 different languages at home
  4. 17% of students are first generation college students
  5. 57.6% of students attended a public school, 29.0% of students attended a private school, 12.9% of students attended an international school, and 0.5% of students were homeschooled.

Stanford is also very racially diverse. Take a look at the breakdown below:

Stanford University Diversity


Stanford Tuition Cost

The annual tuition cost for Stanford University is $69,584 per year. This sum can be broken down into 2 categories.

  1. Tuition: $49,617

  2. Room and Board: $15,112

Stanford has a reputation for having a generous financial aid program, with 100% of student need met. The average freshman award is $50,547. The average indebtedness of graduates in 2016 was $21,987.


Stanford Academics

Stanford has a diverse set of academic opportunities. The school has a very large number of majors you can choose to study. The following list includes all the majors you may pursue at Stanford:

Majors by School

Stanford University
Stanford University Church

Stanford University Church

  1. Drama and Theatre Production
  2. Film and Video Studies
  3. Studio Arts
  4. Industrial and Engineering Management
  5. African American Studies
  6. Anthropology and Archaeology
  7. Area and Ethnic Studies
  8. Art History
  9. Asian Studies
  10. Cognitive Science
  11. Communications
  12. Economics
  13. English
  14. French Language and Literature
  15. German Language and Literature
  16. History
  17. International Relations and National Security Studies
  18. Italian Language and Literature
  19. Japanese Language and Literature
  20. Liberal Arts and Humanities
  21. Linguistics, Interpretation, and Translation
  22. Literature
  23. Minority and Group Studies
  24. Music History and Literature
  25. North American Studies
  26. Philosophy
  27. Political Science and Government
  28. Psychology
  29. Public Policy Analysis
  30. Religious Studies
  31. Russian and Eastern European Languages and Literature
  32. Sociology
  33. Spanish Language and Literature
  34. Urban Studies and Affairs
  35. Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering
  36. Biology (most popular)
  37. Chemical Engineering
  38. Chemistry
  39. Civil Engineering
  40. Computational and Applied Mathematics
  41. Computer Science
  42. Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  43. Engineering
  44. Environmental Engineering
  45. Geology and Earth Science
  46. Materials Engineering
  47. Mathematics & Statistics
  48. Mechanical Engineering
  49. Physics

Stanford follows a quarter system instead of the semester system. The Autumn quarter, the first one, starts around September and the last quarter, the Spring Quarter, ends in early June. The school has a heavy focus on arts and sciences. Because Stanford has 18 independent laboratories, centers, and institutes, there are many research opportunities for undergraduates. Additionally, the proximity to Silicon Valley gives students many employment and internship opportunities.


Stanford Student Life

Stanford University Campus

Stanford University Campus

Housing on the university campus is guaranteed for all four years at Stanford. Because of the expensive real estate prices around the Palo Alto area, roughly 90% of undergraduates live in on-campus housing. First year undergraduates are required to live on campus. Living arrangements vary from houses, dormitories, co-ops, row houses, and greek life housing.

Of the different residences, several have been considered “theme houses”. For example, The Academic, Language and Culture Houses include Haus Mitteleuropa (Central European Themed House), EAST (Education And Society Themed House), La Casa Italiana (Italian Language and Culture), Slavianskii Dom (Slavic/East European Themed House), and Yost (Spanish Language and Culture). Focus Houses include Branner Hall (Community Service), Crothers (Global Citizenship), and Toyon (Sophomore Priority).

Stanford also is an NCAA Division I school within the Pac-12 conference. The school is known for having very successful teams competing at the highest level in college sports. Stanford is also home to many Olympians, having won 270 Olympic medals since 1912.

Prior to the “Big Game”, the football game between U.C. Berkeley and Stanford, a number of traditions take place for students. Stanford holds a Big Game Rally on the Angell Field, which is organized by the Stanford Axe Committee. Various student groups and seniors on the football team perform. The rally ends with a performance by the marching band and fireworks.


Notable Alumni

Stanford University has many notable alumni throughout a variety of areas, from business, politics and government, writing, academia, science and technology, sports, and many others areas. These individuals have achieved success, and several notable alumni are as follows:

Stanford University alumni Tiger Woods

Stanford University alumni Tiger Woods

  1. U.S. President Herbert Hoover

  2. Pulitzer Prize winning author John Steinbeck

  3. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

  4. Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback John Elway

  5. Entrepreneur and Investor Peter Thiel

  6. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow

  7. Golfer Tiger Woods

  8. Chelsea Clinton, Daughter of Former US President Bill Clinton