From Stanford Unversity

Counselor Update

April 2011 Volume 1.4

From the Director

Hello from the Farm,

As you may already know, we received 34,348 applications for freshman admission this year--a number that we see as both welcomed and unwelcomed. We welcomed such numbers as they afforded us the opportunity to review students with a wide range of academic, socioeconomic, geographic, and ethnic backgrounds, giving us flexibility as we created our class; however, it was an unwelcomed number because we knew that we would have to give the vast majority of our applicants disappointing news. Hopefully, we can help you and your students contextualize the decisions they received.

The majority of our applicants are highly qualified for admission, with records that include flawless academics, nearly perfect standardized test scores, and jaw-dropping extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, we do not have the space to admit all of these qualified applicants. This year we were able to offer admission to only 2,427 students for the Class of 2015. In an effort to give as many students as possible a timely final decision, we offered a space on the waitlist to 1,080 applicants. In recent years, as many as 125 students have been admitted from the waitlist. In other years, that number was zero.

It is extremely challenging for us to make these decisions. Our admission officers read each application thoroughly and holistically, and then decisions are made via a committee presentation and vote. Each applicant presents a unique combination of achievement, potential, and intellectual vitality, as well as personal qualities and story. It is the composite of these factors that ultimately influences the outcomes in committee. We too are heartbroken when our favorite applicants don't garner enough votes for acceptance.

Stanford's founding philosophy was to provide an education for all. While we can't offer admission to everyone, we do strive to ensure that there are no barriers to the application process or to enrolling. Our comprehensive review process coupled with our substantial financial aid packages support our core beliefs. We are proud to say that our admitted class has students from all 50 states and over 40 countries, half are students of color, and over 15% will be the first in their family to attend college. We are extremely excited about about this year's class, and we once again thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the lives of our youth.

As we wrap up this admission cycle, we know that many of your juniors are just beginning to embark on their college search. We will continue to provide you with information to aid your students in figuring out if Stanford is a potential fit for them, and we look forward to our continued partnerships.


Bob Patterson
Director of Admission
Stanford University