S
#2 Best Colleges in America

Stanford Admission Requirements

Stanford, California

 6 Reviews

Your chances of getting into Stanford University

Admission Rate & Difficulty

Percent Admitted 

3.9%
Admission Difficulty for Stanford University
Measure Difficulty
Admission Standards Elite 
Applicant Competition Extreme 

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at Stanford is 3.9%.  Its admission rate is the 2nd lowest in California and the 6th lowest the nation.

Admission Selectivity

How hard is it to get into Stanford and can you get accepted?

Stanford is an extremely competitive school to get into and is highly selective who it accepts. You have a very low chance of acceptance even even if you meet the admission criteria. It's critical that you meet their GPA requirements to get past the first round of consideration. Last year, only 2,190 out of the 55,471 who applied were admitted.

The school has exceptionally high admission requirements, generally admitting students who can score in the top 2 percent on standardized admission tests. Stanford University typically accepts and attracts "A-" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.96. Most incoming freshmen graduate in the top ten percent of their high school class or better. Of those applicants who were admitted, 80% elected to enroll. This indicates that the school is the top choice for most students who apply.

Can you get into Stanford?

4% are accepted, can you get in? Use the admission calculator to see if you have the grades and test scores needed to get in. See your admission chances based on your extracurriculars, intended major, background, and more.

Admission Requirements in Brief

To have the best chance of getting into to Stanford University you should:

  • Have a high school GPA of 3.96 or better
  • Earn A- grades in high school
  • Score 1520 on the SAT
  • Score 34 on the ACT
  • Graduate in the top 10% of your high school class
  • Submit letters of recommendation from your teachers

Stanford GPA

GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA 

3.96

Typical High School Grades 

A-

What GPA do you need to get into Stanford University?

GPA Requirements

The GPA requirements for getting into Stanford are to have around a 3.96 high school GPA. You are required to have exceptionally good grades and you should be graduating near the top of your class.

Given the school's very highly selective admissions, acceptance at Stanford extremely difficult and unlikely even with a 3.96 GPA. The school should be considered a reach even if you have a 3.96 GPA. If your grades do not meet the GPA requirements, you will have very little chance of being considered for admission.

Average GPA

The average unweighted GPA at Stanford is 3.96 on the 4.0 scale. 75% of students who get in have perfect 4.0 GPA's in high school. To achieve the average GPA for admission, you need to earn A- letter grades and regularly score around 90-92 percent on tests and assignments in high school.  The school ranks #6 in California for highest average GPA.

Importance of GPA

Since Stanford is a test optional college, extra focus will be placed on your GPA when the school considers your application. As a result, it is very important that you meet the GPA requirements.

See additional colleges accepting applicants in the 4.0 GPA range.

Competitiveness by GPA Ranges

The table below outlines the number of admitted freshmen by GPA range as well as how competitive your GPA will be as compared with other applicants.

High School GPA's for admitted Stanford University students
High School GPA Freshmen Within Range Competitiveness 
4.0 75.1% Avg +
3.75 to 3.99 19.0% Avg -
3.50 to 3.74 2.5% Reach
3.25 to 3.49 1.6% Reach
3.00 to 3.24 1.4% Reach
2.50 to 2.99 0.3% Reach
2.00 to 2.49 0% Reach
1.00 to 1.99 0% Reach
less than 1.00 0% Reach

 What do these chances mean?

GPA Data Source, Peterson's Data 2022

Calculate My Chances 

Stanford SAT Scores

Test Optional

Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required for admission to Stanford University. If you submit test scores, they will be considered with your application, but they are not mandatory. 15% of students submitted SAT scores and 11% submitted ACT scores for admission for the most recent academic year..

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range 

1470-1570

Applicants Submitting SAT 

15%
SAT Scores for Stanford University
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 720
Math 25th Percentile 750
Composite 25th Percentile 1470
SAT Scores for Stanford University
SAT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 770
Math 75th Percentile 800
Composite 75th Percentile 1570
Average SAT Score 1520

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for you to be admitted to Stanford University?

Average Score & Range

The average SAT score at Stanford is 1520 out of 1600 and the range for the middle 50% of accepted students is 1470-1570. Students who get into Stanford University score in the top 2 percent of all SAT test takers..  Stanford ranks #4 in the state of California and #16 in the nation for highest average SAT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

You should target scoring 1520 or above to be most competitive with other applicants. Stanford regularly admits students with SAT scores down to 1470 on a 1600 scale. However, three quarter of admitted students score higher. If you score below a 1470, admission should be considered a reach. Some students may be accepted with minimum SAT's as low as 1420, but scores this low are outside the normal range.

Score Submission Requirements

Stanford University is a test optional school meaning do not have to submit SAT scores with your application. The position on SAT scores from the college is "considered but not required".

View other colleges which accept students in the 1520 SAT score range.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

The table below outlines your predicted admission chances based on SAT score alone. If you are an average applicant with a score of 1520, you have around a 4% chance of being admitted. A 1570 places you well ahead of most other applicants and gives you about a 7% chance of getting in.

Stanford University admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
1570 and Above Good >7%
1520 to 1570 Avg + 4%-7%
1470 to 1520 Avg - 2%-4%
1420 to 1470 Reach 1%-2%
Less than 1420 Low <1%
Calculate My Chances 

Stanford ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range 

34-35 

Applicants Submitting ACT 

11%
ACT Scores for Stanford University
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 35
Math 25th Percentile 31
Composite 25th Percentile 34
ACT Scores for Stanford University
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 36
Math 75th Percentile 33
Composite 75th Percentile 35
Average ACT Score 34

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for students to get into Stanford?

Score Range

The average ACT score for admitted students to Stanford is 34, while the middle 50% of students (25th to 75th percentile) score between a 34 and 35.  The school ranks #4 in California and #26 in the U.S. for highest average ACT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

For the best chance of admission, you should have an ACT of 34. This will place you in solid competition against other applicants. At a minimum, you should aim for a 34 and score in the score in the top 1 percent nationally.

11 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to Stanford University.

Score Submission Requirements

You do not have to to submit ACT scores with your application as Stanford University is test optional. The policy from the school on ACT scores is "considered but not required".

Find other colleges with similar ACT score requirements

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Here are your predicted chances of getting into Stanford for different ACT score ranges. A typical applicant with a 34 score has around 4% chance of getting in. Your odds increase to about 13% with a 35 ACT score.

Stanford University admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
35 and Above Good >13%
34 to 35 Avg + 4%-13%
34 to 34 Avg - 4%-4%
34 to 34 Reach 4%-4%
Less than 34 Low <4%
Calculate My Chances 

High School Class Rank

96% of Stanford University freshman are in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class. For your application to be competitive, you need to graduate at the top of your class.

High School Class Rank for admitted Stanford University students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 96%
Top 25% of class 100%
Top 50% of class 0%
Data Source, Peterson's Data

Applying

Admission Statistics

Admission and enrollment rates by gender are detailed the the table below.

Stanford University admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 27,139 28,332 55,471
Accepted 1,122 1,068 2,190
Acceptance Rate 4% 4% 4%
Enrolled 896 861 1,757
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 80% 81% 80%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Fall 2024 Application Deadline

Applications Due

Jan 2, 2024

Days left to Apply

98

Applicants have 98 days left until the Fall 2024 term applications are due on Jan 2, 2024.

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to Stanford University is $90.

Application Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to Stanford University and what student information is used for admission decisions?

Stanford University Application Requirements
Test Scores Considered but not required
High School GPA Recommended
High School Class Rank Neither required nor recommended
Completion of College Preparatory Program Recommended
Recommendations Required
Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at Stanford University
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit No
Credit for Life Experiences No

Admission Requirements Summary

Because Stanford is extremely competitive, you have a very low likelihood of acceptance. It is critical that you earn at least a 3.96 GPA to have any chance. Additionally, you need to score at least a 1520 on the SAT and optimally 1570 to put yourself in a competitive position. For ACT scores, you should really strive for a 34 to have the best chance of getting in.

Other Colleges to Apply To 

Students applying to Stanford University often consider these colleges

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=243744 IPEDS survey data for Stanford University.

FAQs

Does Stanford University prefer SAT or ACT?

15% of students submit their SAT scores to Stanford. 11% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into Stanford University?

4% of those who apply are granted admission to Stanford. Admission competition is extreme and the college has elite admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for Stanford University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1470 and 1570. The average SAT score is 1520. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for Stanford University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 34 and 35. The average ACT score is 34. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.