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 A Comprehensive Examination of Stanford University’s Acceptance Rate”


Stanford University acceptance rate 

With palm trees swaying in the California sun, the rustic sandstone buildings of Stanford University epitomize the laid back yet luxurious ambience of America’s west coast. But behind the sunny facade lies one of the most prestigious and selective universities in the world. Boasting top programs in business, engineering, law, and medicine, Stanford turns away dozens of valedictorians, investment banking interns, and research prodigies for every one it accepts.

So what are your chances of donning a cardinal red cap and gown come graduation day? 

Well, let’s just say that getting into Stanford makes battling Klingons on the Starship Enterprise seem easy. Here’s a deep dive into the acceptance rate data and admissions process 

This Blog post contains all what’s a student needs to know and also a good details of all admission requirements, acceptance rates and talks about the tuition fee for a prospective student. And also a link to the school portal at the end of this article. 

Overview of Stanford University

Founded in 1885, Stanford University is located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley. It revolutionized the California education system by being among the first co-educational and non-denominational institutions. 

With over 16,000 students and 2,100 faculty members, Stanford is one of the most prestigious research universities in the world. It consists of seven Schools focusing on Business, Earth Sciences, Education, Engineering, Humanities & Sciences, Law, and Medicine.

Stanford boasts nearly unmatched innovation and entrepreneurship. Its faculty and alumni have founded companies like Google, Instagram, Nike, Netflix, Hewlett-Packard, and SpaceX. Companies born at Stanford generate trillions in revenue.

The university manages an endowment of over $37 billion and has raised over $6 billion in donations. With abundant financial resources, Stanford offers top academics and endless opportunities for students. Its application process is notoriously competitive.

Stanford Acceptance Rate Over the Years.

Stanford’s acceptance rate dropped to a record-low 4.69% for the class entering in 2022. This means Stanford rejected over 95% of applicants.

Here is a glimpse at Stanford’s acceptance rates over the recent years:

  • Class entering in 2022: 4.69% 
  • Class entering in 2021: 4.34% 
  • Class entering in 2020: 4.35%
  • Class entering in 2019: 4.36%
  • Class entering in 2018: 4.31%

As you can see, Stanford’s acceptance rate has stayed extremely competitive, in the low single digits. With numbers like these, even students with perfect SAT scores and 4.0 GPAs face rejection. 

For the class applying in 2023, Stanford is expected to once again have a freshman admission rate under 5%.

Stanford International Student Acceptance Rate

Stanford welcomes applicants from around the world, but competition is intense for international students seeking admission. Here are some key data points:

  • For the Class of 2026 (entering Fall 2022), Stanford accepted 4.69% of applicants overall. But the acceptance rate for international students was even lower at 3.04%.
  • In 2021, Stanford accepted 4.34% of all applicants, while only 2.87% of international applicants were admitted. 
  •  In recent years, Stanford’s international acceptance rate has ranged from around 3-4% significantly lower than the overall admission rate. 
  • Over 20% of Stanford’s student body is international, representing over 90 countries. However, thousands apply for limited spots.
  • Academically, Stanford expects international applicants to be among the top performers from their country. Test scores, national exam performance, and transcripts are evaluated in local context.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for non-native English speakers. Competitive scores vary by country.

While admission for international students is highly competitive, those who can demonstrate academic excellence, impactful extracurriculars, and strong contributions to diversity are viable candidates. Emphasizing the unique perspectives an international background provides can help applications stand out.

Stanford University Admissions Requirements

Gaining admission to Stanford requires superb academic performance in high school, including:

  • Excellent grades across rigorous, college-prep courses
  • High SAT or ACT scores – middle 50% ranges 1470-1570 for SAT, 33-35 for ACT  
  • Meaningful extracurricular activities showing leadership and impact
  • Strong letters of recommendation from teachers and mentors
  • Compelling essays and short answers that reflect the applicant’s personality, interests, and intellectual vitality
  • Interviews are highly recommended but not required

Successful applicants excel inside the classroom and beyond. Stanford seeks engaged, enthusiastic learners who will positively contribute to the campus community.

Standford University GPA and SAT score requirements.

  • GPA: Stanford does not publish an official minimum GPA but successful applicants typically have a GPA of 4.0 or very close to it. The middle 50% of admitted students have GPAs between 3.93-4.0. Competitive applicants take the most rigorous courses offered and perform exceptionally well in them.
  • SAT: The middle 50% of admitted students score between 1470-1570 on the SAT. The 25th percentile is 1470 and the 75th percentile is 1570, meaning 75% of admits score 1570 or below. The average SAT for admitted students is around 1520. Stanford recommends but does not require students take the SAT Essay.
  • ACT: For the ACT, the middle 50% composite score range is 33-35. The 25th percentile ACT score is 33 and the 75th percentile score is 35, meaning 75% of admitted students have ACT scores of 35 or lower. Competitive applicants aim for a 34 or higher.
  • Stanford also accepts SAT Subject Tests but they are recommended, not required. Applicants with subject test scores tend to submit Math Level 2 and a science or humanities test. Competitive scores are 700+ in the chosen subjects.

While test scores are important, they are considered in the context of the rest of the application – grades, course rigor, essays, extracurricular activities, and other factors. There is no absolute SAT or ACT score that guarantees admission to Stanford given how competitive it is. But these score ranges provide an indication of what typical admitted students achieve.

Stanford University admissions 


  • Students apply online through the Common Application or Coalition Application. Stanford has supplement essays specific to the university.
  •  The application includes academic history, extracurricular activities, honors/awards, test scores, essays, and recommendations. 
  • Students select one academic program to apply to, such as Engineering, Humanities & Sciences, or Earth Systems. 
  • Standardized tests like SAT/ACT are recommended but optional. TOEFL/IELTS required for non-native English speakers.


  • Applications are evaluated by regional admissions officers based on academic excellence, extracurricular impact, intellectual vitality, and personal context.
  • A committee reviews applications holistically to build a diverse freshman class aligning with Stanford’s core values.
  • Academic rigor, grades, test scores, essays, activities, recommendations, and interviews are all considered.


  • Admissions decisions are released in mid-December for Single-Choice Early Action applicants and by March 31st for Regular Decision.
  • Applicants are admitted, denied, or deferred to the Regular Decision pool. 
  • Admitted students have until May 1st to accept Stanford’s offer of admission.


  • Admitted students submit their enrollment deposit and housing application.
  • Orientation programs acclimate students to campus in the summer before classes begin.
  • Move-in day is in late August when dorms open for the new academic year.

The selective Stanford application requires showcasing academic excellence, passion, and intellectual curiosity. With holistic review focusing on the whole student, the process evaluates both objective achievements and subjective personal qualities.

Standford University admissions deadlines

  • Regular Decision application deadline is January 2nd. This is the main application deadline that the majority of applicants submit by. 
  • For the Regular Decision deadline, Stanford received over 45,000 applications for the class entering Fall 2022. 
  • Out of the 45,000+ Regular Decision applications, Stanford admitted 1,921 students for an acceptance rate of 4.69%.
  • So for students applying Regular Decision in the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, Stanford’s acceptance rate was 4.69%. This was a record low admit rate.
  • Stanford also has an earlier Single-Choice Early Action deadline on November 1st. This is non-binding. 
  • For Single-Choice Early Action, Stanford admitted 756 students out of 10,086 applications, for an acceptance rate of 7.49% in Fall 2022.
  • So students who applied Early Action had a higher admit rate at 7.49%, versus 4.69% for Regular Decision. 
  • However, both admission rates are extremely selective. The competition is high regardless of when students apply. 
  • Stanford releases its admission decisions in mid-December for Early Action and by March 31st for Regular Decision. 
  • Admitted students have until May 1st to confirm their enrollment. Stanford’s class is made up of admits from both Early and Regular rounds.

To this effect, the Regular Decision deadline of January 2nd sees over 45,000 applicants for around 2,000 spots, leading to acceptance rates in the low single digits. Applying Early Action boosts chances slightly but admission is still highly competitive.

Undergraduate tuition and fees at Stanford University 

The estimated total cost of attendance at Stanford for 2022-2023 comes out to $75,808 per year including tuition, room and board, and fees. Tuition alone is set at $57,703. With Stanford operating on a quarter system, this annual tuition gets billed in installments of around $19,234 per quarter. 

Tuition rates are the same for in-state and out-of-state students. Costs rise 3-4% annually – for 2021-2022, tuition was $55,473 before going up to $57,703. Beyond tuition, mandatory fees like Student Services, Campus Health, and document fees add a few hundred dollars per quarter. 

The good news is over 20% of students receive financial aid, with the average package covering $54,000 per year. Stanford meets 100% of demonstrated need, so cost does not barrier qualified admitted students from attending this world-class university.

Stanford’s undergraduate admission portal.

The portal website is 


This is where students can start an application, submit required materials, check status, and manage their account.

  1. To begin, students create an account with a username, password, and email address. This allows them to work on their application over time before submitting.
  2. Through the portal, applicants can submit items like test scores, transcripts, recommendations, essays, and extra materials.
  3. The portal has separate logins for freshman applicants vs transfer applicants. 
  4. Students can track the status of their application and see whether items like test scores and recommendations have been received. 
  5. Once decisions are released, applicants learn if they are admitted, denied, or placed on the waitlist through the portal.
  6. Admitted students use the portal to accept their offer of admission and pay their enrollment deposit.
  7. Guidance is provided on next steps like applying for housing, registering for classes, etc.
  8. Help desk and contact information is available for any technical issues with the portal.

The intuitive online portal streamlines submitting, tracking, and managing all parts of Stanford’s application process from start to admission to enrollment. It serves as the central hub for applicants throughout the admissions journey.


Stanford has an extremely selective acceptance rate around 5% each year. While admission is highly competitive, students should still apply if Stanford is their dream school. The admissions officers are looking for remarkable applicants who can showcase their authentic selves and unique experiences in their applications. Though the odds are steep, admission is not impossible for students who are a great fit for Stanford. With passion and perseverance, prospective students may find themselves attending one of the top universities in the world.



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