The objective of Stanford University, Jane and Leland Stanford wrote in their Founding Grant in 1885, is “to qualify its students for personal success, and direct usefulness in life; And its purposes, to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization, teaching the blessings of liberty regulated by law, and inculcating love and reverence for the great principles of government as derived from the inalienable rights of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

California Governor and U.S. Senator Leland Stanford made his money as a railroad entrepreneur. He made history with the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. He spent multiple millions, however, to build a university and name it for his only son, Leland Jr., who died at 15 of typhoid fever. “The children of California shall be our children,” Stanford told his wife.

Leland Stanford Junior University opened in 1891; its first student was future President Herbert Hoover. Stanford’s first president, David Starr Jordan, told that initial class that “[we are] hallowed by no traditions . . . hampered by none. [Stanford’s] fingerposts all point forward.”

Today, Stanford is recognized as one of the world’s leading universities. It seeks to find solutions to the great challenges of the day and to prepare its students for becoming the next generation of leaders. Stanford undergraduates have the chance to participate in a remarkable range of activities: from academic courses taught by renowned professors and opportunities for research, independent study and public service to an extraordinary breadth of extracurricular activities.

Students who derive pleasure from learning for its own sake thrive at Stanford University. The school particularly seeks distinctive students who exhibit energy, curiosity and a love of learning in their classes and lives. Not surprisingly for a school in the heart of California, Stanford also emphatically seeks diversity in its student body. Stanford undergraduates enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 5 to 1 and the university provides small classes and opportunities to work closely with faculty from the beginning of the freshman year. Many students become involved in faculty research or develop their own projects and discover the excitement of being at the edge of a field and advancing the frontier of knowledge.

The university emphasizes multidisciplinary research and teaching as demonstrated in recent university-wide initiatives on human health, the environment and sustainability, international affairs and the arts. These initiatives offer faculty and students the opportunities for collaboration across disciplines that are key to future success. Stanford University offers three undergraduate degrees – Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Sciences, and Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. Each degree program is designed to achieve balance between depth and breadth of knowledge and between specialization and exploration.


Acceptance Rate

Stanford acceptance rate

Academic Qualifications

Stanford University average GPA and top 10% in high school

SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Stanford University SAT score range

ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Stanford ACT test score

Application Deadlines

Early Action
Restrictive Early Action application deadline: November 1.
The notification date is December 15.

Regular Decision
Regular decision deadline: January 1.
The notification date is April 1.

Transfer application deadline: March 15
The notification date is May 15.

Admissions Criteria

Freshmen Admissions
Number of applicants: 47,498
Enrolled: 1,701
Yield: 82.5%
Acceptance rate: 4.3%

Waitlist Admission Statistics
Number of waitlisted applicants: 580
Admitted off waitlist: 8
Acceptance rate: 1.4%

Transfer Admissions
Number of transfer applicants: 2,466
Admitted transfer applicants: 24
Acceptance rate: 1.0%

Academic Qualifications
Average GPA: 3.96
Top 10% of High School: 98.4%

Middle SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
SAT Composite: 1440-1550
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 700-770
SAT Math: 740-800

Middle ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
ACT Composite: 32-35
ACT English: 34-36
ACT Math: 30-35

Standardized Test Requirements

Stanford does not require the SAT/ACT SAT/ACT not required

Stanford does not require the writing portion Writing portion not required

Stanford does not require the SAT Subject Tests SAT Subject Tests not required

Score Card

Graduation Rates

Stanford graduation rate

Loan Defaults and Rhodes Scholars

Stanford score card

Salary After Attending

R&D Expenditures

Campus Safety

Score Card Information

Graduation Rates
4 years: 72.9%
5 years: 89.5%
6 years: 94.4%

Loan default rate: 1.0%

Total Rhodes Scholars: 105

Salary after attending: $94,000

R&D Expenditures: $1.158 billion

Campus Safety
Sex offenses: 39
Robberies: 2
Aggravated assaults: 1
Burglaries: 52
Car thefts: 30

Financial Aid

Net Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance

Stanford financial aid

Average Net Price By Income

Student Debt

Additional Information

Tuition, room and board (2020-2021): $72,728

Total estimated cost of attendance (2020-2021): $80,218

Net Cost
Average: $16,779

By income
$0 to $30,000: $0
$30,001 to $48,000: $1,145
$48,001 to $75,000: $1,959
$75,001 to $110,000: $10,631
$110,001 and more: $45,693

Graduates with student debt: 17%

Average student debt at graduation: $22,897

Student Body

Student Residence

Undergraduate Class Sizes

Stanford undergraduate class sizes

Student to Faculty Ratio

Stanford student to faculty ratio

Student Population

Additional Information

Student to Faculty Ratio: 5 to 1
Women: 50%

Undergraduate Class Sizes
Under 20: 69%
20 to 39: 16%
40 to 99: 11%
100+: 4%

Student Population
Total: 17,249
Undergraduate: 6,996

Student Residence
In State: 33%
Out of State: 54%
International: 13%

Stanford student population

Stanford seal

Stanford University

This page was last updated in November 2020.