How to get into Stanford | Full Guide |

Whenever someone asks me  How to get into Stanford  in the talks or conferences, I ask them, ” Do you believe in intellectual vitality?” Stanford University believes in it, and its curriculum revolves around intellectual vitality.

Let’s dive into this and learn about Stanford compatibility, which will help you draft a good application.

If we look back in history, from 1950, Stanford laid the foundation of entrepreneurship on their campus and most famous Silicon Valley. Stanford believes in creation; it’s the key filter in the admission process. They want to admit students interested in the specific field and eager to invent something new that helps humanity. As per updated statistics, Stanford spends more than 1 billion yearly on research, a significant amount for research projects.

On the Stanford campus, you will see diverse and ethnic students representing 65 countries and 50 states, resulting in some of the bright minds on their campus.

Till now, you understand what type of student community there is at Stanford and what they prefer. In the info-graphics below, I showcase what makes students get into Stanford.

Stanford regular decision deadline

What does Stanford look for

You might be amazed that I haven’t used the term “difficult ” to get admission to Stanford University. I want the students to be involved in the process rather than procrastinating about the difficulties and the results of their goals. 

Stellar, well-rounded academic record

As per policies, there are no minimum GPA requirements to get into Stanford, but having a good GPA surpasses your compatibility with Stanford’s rigorous curriculum. If we look into last year’s statistics, most applicants who have a minimum unweighted 3.95 GPA are accepted. 

In addition, you must have taken the challenging AP classes that match the majors you will pursue at the University.

Performing well in AP Classes will create more impact than taking more classes.

Good standardized test scores 

Last year’s acceptance rate for Stanford was 2%. While ACT & SAT are optional, you need to provide an extra filter to the admission officer to make your comparison with other applicants. It’s good if you perform well in these exams. If we look into last year’s average sat score for Stanford, it ranges between 1500 and 1570, and ACT scores range from 33 to 35.

Start preparing for the ACT and SAT scores from your high school and give ACT and SAT practice tests to evaluate your preparations. If you score well on the practice test (PSAT and Pre-ACT), you will have the chance of winning National Merit Scholar, and along with this, you will start getting scholarships.

It’s your choice. Do you want to take a separate subject SAT Exam to showcase your interest in your major in the application (it is entirely optional)

We're here for you.

GPA and ACT & SAT score is the first filtering option for the applicants to reach schools like Stanford University


Here comes the game-changer. I have used this term because most applicants applying for Stanford know the cut-through competition. To increase chances of getting into Stanford, extracurricular activities play a vital role; they help the admission officer understand your interests apart from academics.

To ease your thoughts about the list of extracurriculars, I have subdivided it into three levels, high, medium, and low, which will help you know which will add more weight to your application.

High Weightage – includes achievements that only some students have, such as Regeneron ISEF and USAMO, as well as competitive Olympiads. Stanford is interested in startups; you can also mention that if you are part of one. D1 athletes are also preferred at Stanford.

You can also mention the scholarship you get after achieving good scores in the PSAT and PACT.

Medium Weightage – includes your active role, such as being a D2 athlete or holding the top position in the community service group, such as Secretary, etc. This category involves your achievements at the state level and the city level.

Low Weightage – This category includes your volunteer role, whether it’s in sports, music events, or community programs. Under this category, you need to spend more of your time.

In conclusion, Stanford looks for students with academics; they must have one extracurricular activity, but in that case, they must be part of the process and make the best of it. I have shared some screenshots of the students who have shared their thoughts on extracurricular activities.

Stanford extracurriculars
requirements to get into Stanford

Solid Essay

In the whole application, the essay is like a Hulk hammer, which has the potential to open the door to Stanford acceptance. You must dedicate proper time to writing essays rather than using the available services in the market. You can get the help of admission counselors with good experience in this education industry. 

To help you write a good essay for Stanford, I have made the listicle with the help of Stanford Alumni and the Counseling Experts. If you consider them, it will help you a lot –

Know Your Audience – Before starting to write the essay, you must know your audience. It will help to address this in a better way.

Stanford University will not examine your essays. Admission counselors are appointed by the University to perform the task. Stanford Alumni are also involved in this process and are in their twenties and thirties.

You need a narrative to stand out from the other applicants in the thousands of essays. I have given you an example you can check

Be Specific

To be specific, in your essays, you need to accomplish small tasks. You need to examine your interest in Stanford and what things the University is interested in. You can efficiently perform this task by spending time on Google and StanfordWho.

Portrait the story for the future

Stanford wants their student to be futuristic and pick any one goal and work on it unless they get the result. Considering this thought process, you must outline what kind of impact you will make after graduating from Stanford University. Few students write about this, so I recommend taking advantage of this. 

See the example below; it is explained well

Application for Stanford

Letter of Recommendation

You should have a good reputation among your high school teachers. Stanford requires 3 recommendation letters – 2 from a high school teacher and one from a counselor. You should contact the teacher who knows you well; I suggest you give the teacher time to write the recommendation letter as they have a tight schedule.

Does Stanford have early decision?

Stanford gives their Applicants the option of Restrictive Early Action (REC), which means you cannot use the options – Early Decision, Early Action, Restrictive Early Action (REC), and Early Notification Plans for other universities.

In the survey, applicants who use REC while applying to Stanford University have a high acceptance rate. You can use this option if you have made all the preparations for the application.


Does everyone get a Stanford interview? Interviews are taken by Stanford Alumni. The interview is only for some applicants; it has been found that students admitted to Stanford sometimes do not call for interviews. You can take it as an optional thing. I found the former Stanford Interviewer’s video sharing the questions and tips.

How to apply to Stanford University 

To apply to Stanford University, you need to use the Common App; the application fee for Stanford is $ 90.

Mistakes to avoid for Stanford Application

1. Planning – To increase your chances of getting into Stanford, apply via Restrictive Early Action. You need to start preparing for essays and other prerequisites early for this. 

I’d like to make a hard copy of the application deadlines of the universities you are applying to and place it on your study desk.

2. Major Selection – As per experts, you should choose the major that matches the interest you will mention in the application and essay.

The second tip is that if your goal is only to get into Stanford, not for specific majors, then apply to the majors with less competition. You know Stanford is known for engineering. But remember, interests mentioned in the application should collide with that major.

3. Wasting Space in Essays – Instead of using jokes and puns, you must be specific. You need to prepare multiple drafts and discuss them with the counselors.

The best thing is that you prepare your essay draft and get a printout of the essay selected by the college, but please remove the student’s name from the essays. Then, organize a small coffee with a group of people, your friends or relatives, and give essay drafts to each one of them. Get their thoughts on which essay they like best and get their feedback.

Remember, humans will read your essays, so getting feedback is best.

 4. Review your whole application from the counselor (who has expertise in this) or school teacher

Guys, I have tried my best to help you learn how to get into Stanford. If I left anything and you want it in the article, Please share via comment or email. We appreciate our reader’s feedback.

Frequently Asked Questions

To increase your chances of acceptance at Stanford, you should have a 3.9 unweighted GPA.

More consideration is given to high school and junior year scores; it depends on the admission officer’s choice to look at freshman grades.

Students who were accepted at Stanford last year have SAT scores ranging from 1500 to 1570.

Most students who were accepted at Stanford have 6 to 12 AP classes. As per my advice, your competency factor is to have good scores in AP classes rather than getting a number of classes.

About the author ....

Hi, I’m Erie Wilson “Think Tank” of this blog. Sharing knowledge related to career decisions since 2020, If you have any doubts related to choosing majors or searching for colleges, you are free to ask in the comments or send me an email.