Stanford University

Stanford University Student Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Palo Alto, California, Stanford University is a highly regarded 4-year private institution that offers bachelor's, master's, and doctorate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is Stanford University the School for You?

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford University (Stanford) is located 36 miles south of downtown San Francisco, California. Stanford is ranked #6 by U.S. News and World Report National Universities in 2013. Read the information below to find out if Stanford is the right university for you.


  • Ranked Top 10 in U.S. News and World Report National Universities
  • Graduation rate is 56 percentage points higher than the national average
  • Student-faculty ratio is 5 to 1, which is lower than the national average
  • High number of academic programs
  • Student debt following graduation is $10,202 lower than the national average
  • SLAC National Laboratory is located on-campus


  • Total cost is $19,784 higher than the national average for a 4-year not-for-profit university (includes tuition, room and board, and living expenses)
  • Acceptance rate is 58.5 percentage points lower than the national average

About Stanford University

Founded in 1891, Stanford is one of the premier liberal arts and research universities in the nation. Stanford has 71 undergraduate departments, 92 graduate departments, and seven schools of study. Approximately 20,000 students, including 7,000 undergraduates, attend the university annually as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In 2012, the university participated in 5,100 research projects, most of them funded by the federal government (84%). Additional projects were funded in conjunction with the Carnegie Institute for Science and the National Bureau of Economic Research, as well as independent organizations.

Professors at Stanford have received prestigious awards, including Nobel Prizes and Pulitzer Prizes. Many professors are members of national societies in various academic fields. Furthermore, Stanford's website reports that 99% of tenured faculty members hold terminal degrees. There are approximately 2,000 tenured faculty members. Roughly 22% of courses are taught by TAs.

The cost of attending Stanford is high compared to the national average. However, student debt following graduation is $10,202 lower than the national average. By attending Stanford, you are likely to graduate, since NCES reports that the university has a 96% graduation rate. Likewise, 98% of full-time students return to the university and continue studies after freshman year. According to NCES, of full-time first-year undergraduates, 79% graduate within four years.

Getting In & Financial Aid at Stanford University

Stanford is a highly competitive school and roughly 7% of applicants are accepted into the university. In order to apply, you will need to submit an online common application. A complete application consists of official transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, two teacher evaluations, and a $90 non-refundable application fee. In addition, you will need to submit a 500 word personal essay, as well as three 250 word short essay. NCES reports that the middle 50% of applicants accepted in 2011 scored a 670-770 SAT in critical reading, 690-780 SAT in math, and a 680-780 in writing. Additionally, the middle 50% of applicants accepted who submitted ACT scores in 2011 scored a 30-34 composite. Stanford reported that 95% of students accepted in the fall of 2012 ranked in the top 10% of high school classes.

There are various financial aid options available and 82% of students received some form of financial aid as reported by Stanford. Additionally, 52% of students received need-based scholarships from the university in 2011. The average first-year financial aid package is $41,415 as reported by the College Board. Furthermore, in 2011, Stanford reported that 36% of the student body was Caucasian, 23% was Asian, and 14% was Hispanic.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2013-2014) January 1***
Financial Aid Application Deadline (2013-2014) February 15 (priority deadline)***
Notification of Acceptance (2013-2014) April 1***
Application Fee (2011-2012) $90**
Acceptance Rate (2011-2012) 7%**
All Tuition & Living Expenses (2011-2012) $57,755**
Average Financial Aid Package (2012-2013) $40,300****
Percent of Students with Need Met (2013-2014) 83%***
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2013-2014) $16,458***
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 1%**

Living at Stanford University

Stanford's campus encompasses more than 8,000 acres and includes Stanford Research Park, a post office, fire/police services, a shopping center, and more than 690 other buildings. Approximately 91% of students live on-campus and all freshman are required to live in residence halls. You will have the opportunity of participating in more than 650 student organizations, including 35 religious organizations. The Stanford Cardinal's 35 varsity sports teams participate in the NCCA Division I Pac-12 conference. You also may wish to participate in 20 club sports as well as intramural sports.

You can join one of the 28 Greek organizations at Stanford. Roughly 13% of students join a sorority or fraternity. If you enjoy community service, it is worth noting that more than 3,000 students participate in community service programs. The Haas Center for Public Service offers community service internship opportunities.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Suburban**
Student Population (2011) 6,988 undergraduates, 12,957 graduate students**
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 52% to 48%**
% of Full Time Students (2011) 98%**
% of In-state Students (2011) 38%**
% of International Students (2011) 10%**
Retention Rate (2011) 98% (full-time students)**
Campus Housing Available Yes**
% of Students Living on Campus 91%****
Number of Libraries 21*
Extracurricular Activities Over 650*
Noteworthy 57% of graduate students and 30% of faculty live on-campus

Sources: *Stanford University, **NCES College Navigator, ***The College Board, ****U.S. News and World Report.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admission, Stanford University, 355 Galvez Street - Montag Hall, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Phone: (650) 723-2091