Widgets Magazine

Stanford’s admission rate drops to 4.69 percent

A total of 1,318 high school seniors received letters of acceptance to Stanford’s Class of 2020 on Friday. An additional 745 early action students were accepted in December. The 2,063 admits came from a pool of 43,997 applicants, the largest in Stanford’s history. A further 3.6 percent of applicants were given a place on Stanford’s waitlist.

At 4.69 percent, this year’s undergraduate admissions rate is the lowest in Stanford’s history, marking a significant drop from last year’s rate of 5.05 percent. The total number of admits also decreased from last year, following an increase in Stanford’s yield rate.

The decrease in admissions rate follows the trend of increasing selectivity in recent years. The University admitted 5.07 percent of applicants in 2014 and 5.7 percent in 2013.

This year’s admits come from 50 states and 76 countries. Last year, 2,144 students from 50 states and 77 countries were accepted out of a pool of 42,487 applicants. Of the 2016 admits, 15.2 percent are first-generation college students, and just under 12 percent come from high schools outside the United States.

Associate dean and director of admission Colleen Lim M.A. ’80 noted that this year’s applicants were particularly impressive.

“This was an incredibly challenging year for our admissions staff,” Lim said in an email to The Daily.

“Throughout our evaluation process, we met amazing young people from around the world,” she added. “They showed highly developed ability for problem-solving and self-expression. Some brought exceptional creativity and talent, others demonstrated entrepreneurship and the vast majority of applicants were deeply engaged in service to others. We were moved by personal stories of courage, resilience and character. It was extremely difficult to choose so few from among so many impressive candidates.”

Richard Shaw, dean of admissions and financial aid, was also excited for the incoming class.

“We are honored by the interest in Stanford and overwhelmed by the exceptional accomplishments of the students admitted to the Class of 2020,” Shaw told the Stanford Report. “Our admitted students reflect the deep and profound diversity of the world in which we live. We believe these students will impact that world in immeasurable ways.”

Admitted students have until May 1 to accept Stanford’s offer.


Contact Michael Gioia at mgioia2 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Michael Gioia

Michael Gioia was Managing Editor of Opinions from Vol. 250-251; he also previously led the News division. He is from Plano, Texas and studied History and Modern Languages at Stanford. When Michael is not working for The Daily, he can generally be found reading or drinking coffee.
  • wow

    omg this is insane! congrats to everyone admitted.

  • Guest

    Congrats new class… How did it get so fcking low???? Oh right, same reason we had too many GOP candidates… No separation of the wheat from the chaff…. Right?

  • ’12 Graduate

    Relating a school’s admissions rate to the GOP race? Really?

  • rick131

    How many of the 44K students were actually qualified? Stanford is creating an artificially low admit rate by under accepting. They are going to need to take a bunch off the wait list to fill the class. If they get a yield of 75%, that is only 1547 students. The class is now almost 1800. They will need to take 250 or more off the wait list.

  • marcus

    lols.. dude shouldn’t you be on the Crimson with this BS rationalization? man you Harvard guys are getting seriously insecure about second place.. it’s entertaining to watch. we all know Stanford has the highest yield of any university despite only accepting 1/3 of the class EA not 1/2 the class to artificially goose the yield stats.

  • guest

    ^^agree with marcus. It appears in recent years whenever the statistics appear at the end of each admission season…this poster (pseudonym rick131) is in disbelief and comes out sounding more and more insecure about his/her alma mater…with its diminishing luster.

    I’m wondering if this is the same individual on the Harvard Crimson’s article on acceptance rates named “John C” who is also disillusioned and is willing to defend at all costs the “honor” of his/her beloved alma mater.


  • no

    umm last year the yield was 81% and most prob will be higher this year. now where you got the 75%, I don’t know. pls just go to the crimson to be insecure.

  • Guest

    Congratulations to the students who got in…..only wish the University had accepted more…it’s seems it’s trying very hard to increase its ranking thru a low admission rate????? Can’t be any tougher than getting in Princeton…..just saying…..

  • slayer

    what you are saying is wrong. Stanford has a 81%+ yield whereas Princeton has a 68-69% yield. So Stanford will admit much fewer students relative to its target class size than Princeton due to the considerably higher retention rate. Yes getting into Stanford is slightly harder than getting into Princeton (and more cross admits choose Stanford over Princeton).

  • DocBeasley

    I know it is an impressive stat, but I’m still trying to figure out what Stanford is actually looking for. Had three students apply this year and one accepted. The two who weren’t had higher scores (both 36 ACT), both National Merit Scholars, both had great extracurriculars, one even did a Tedx talk. The one accepted had what I considered lower credentials, lower scores, lower class rank, fewer extracurriculars. The most glaring difference was that the two who didn’t get accepted would have needed financial aid and the one admitted wouldn’t. Although Stanford states that they provide financial aid (and it is very generous if you are admitted), it would be easy to think that a means criteria could have been a factor in admissions. Of course, no one would admit to that.


    You mad, or… ?

  • webattorney

    Sometimes it’s just a matter of clicking through your essays with an admissions committee person who will fight for you. This is why I say the best college for you is the one which accepts you.

  • DocBeasley

    Stanford doesn’t post its admission requirements, so a lot more “hope and prayer” kids apply, which reduces its admission rate. I would suspect this is by design to keep it artificially low.