Stanford, CA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1011 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Best in the World – Perhaps one of the most diverse places in the world. People of all races/ethnicities/nationalities, plus a truly startling number of LGBT students (in a good way).

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Athletics: What Sets Us Apart – What sets Stanford apart from a lot of the Ivies is the athletic presence on campus. Lots of students are athletes themselves, and students who aren't try their best to support their friends in varsity games. For those who aren't at the Varsity level, there are lots of IM and club sports to choose from, as well as pick up games that are either organized by your dorm or are completely spur of the moment.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Parent's Weekend Town – The off-campus dining options are great and varied but Palo Alto is an expensive town. There are student discounts given with ID or with coupons that every student is given at the beginning of the year but the best resturants are the ones you ask your parents to go to on Parent's Weekend not with your friends. The variety and quality is great, the prices are not. Best places for students: Pluto's, Crepevine, The Counter, and countless fro-yo places

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Facilities: Stanford is an awesome school which tries to make the freshman experience a great one. The RAs are trained intensely and freshman in your dorms (whether all frosh or mixed) is really the first group of people that you'll bond with at Stanford. The housing options are all on campus and guarenteed all 4 years and have a variety of options. As for classes, there are professors who regularly make it in NYT or CNN that freshmen can take classes from and research that is being done that is making world news. The people that you will meet at Stanford will change how you think about the world, and are some of the most unique and interesting people there are. It's an awesome school that focuses on community, academics, and social life of students.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Stanford usually touts its Greek community as small, and while a small-ish percentage of students participate, they are active. All major parties are open to all students, but that doesn't mean greeks (especially sororities) are inclusive of non-greeks in most other ways. That being said, many greeks date non-greeks although same-sex friendships between the two are more rare, but not completely uncommon since greek life doesn't start at Stanford until March of freshman year (unlike most schools who start first semester). You definitely don't have to be greek to go to parties or be social so there are plenty of greeks and non-greeks at Stanford who go out a lot.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Dining: Healthy Options and Flexible Meal Plans – Stanford is all about sustainable food and provides lots of options for types of food and there is variety at every meal. A new dining hall just opened on east campus (where most frosh live) that is beautiful and full of healthy food. Stanford, for the most part, tries and succeeds to provide its students with a variety of options that are healthy and flavorful.

4 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: Well Coached and Smart – Coaches care about academics as well as your skill on the field.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Easy to Drink, Don't Cheat – If you get caught cheating, or in some way violating Stanford's honor code, the punishments are very severe. However, besides this, students are given an enormous amount of trust. Freshman can drink freely and don't get in trouble by RA's. If you're underage though, don't walk around campus with a drink like an idiot... there are campus police.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Diversity: Super Diverse – Easily the one of the most (maybe THE most) diverse school(s) in the country. I have friends from just about every ethnic group and background imaginable. Even fraternities and sororities and very diverse and welcoming to all interested students.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Plenty of Options – There is abundance of good eateries in Palo alto, and many, many more along the El Camino. If you don't have a car, which you won't freshman year, it is harder to enjoy this dining. However, if you are willing to make the short drive of campus, your efforts will be rewarded with a bunch of great dining options. Use yelp.com to help narrow it down.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: Lots of Engineering and Science Opportunities – Engineering and science students especially will find themselves in academic heaven: with the top programs in nearly every engineering and scientific discipline, Stanford has a huge abundance of opportunities for studying, working, interning, and researching. Students can get grants to do ground-breaking research, high-level internships at Fortune 500 companies, and access to some of the brightest minds alive.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: We've won the Director's Cup for "best overall athletic program" for the past eighteen years straight. We have over 100 NCAA championships (only school besides for UCLA to do that) and have won a NCAA championship every year for the past thirty-five years in a row. The majority of our teams are always ranked in the top five in the nation -- usually first or second. It's an amazing scene on campus too: all the home games are free for all students, and the student section is always incredibly lively. All games have high attendance and high energy. Away games are broadcast throughout campus, so you can always find a good place to watch those, too. There's no better place on earth for athletics.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Palo Alto Is Restaurant Heaven – University Avenue has every kind of restaurant you could imagine, from authentic French and Italian bistros to award-winning grills -- not to mention at least a dozen different dessert places. What's more, it's only a two minute drive or seven minute bike ride away. The only downside is the price, seeing as Palo Alto is one of the highest income areas in the country. Downtown Menlo Park has some more casual and inexpensive options, like bars, cafes, and diners, and is only a five minute drive from campus.

4 College Junior

Transportation: Buses Are Free! Transportation to anywhere you need to go is nearly completely covered by the Stanford bus. Stanford buses are free! you can ride them and not have to worry about that $1.50 charge.

5 College Junior

Diversity: Native Community – The Native American community has to be the best part about Stanford. Native American students have the best character and there appearance on campus is well-known. it's fun to do homework and even just hang out with them. There is always something going on at the Native American center.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Facilities: Green Library – The library has so many floors and books. There are lots of places to study even if it means just sitting on the floor in the basement level. If you aren't having fun doing homework then you will have a good time just being there. People are courteous when you work and there is hardly craziness that happens which could ruin your study experience.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Health & Safety: Safe but Don't Push It – It gets sketchy when it's dark but you just shouldn't wander in non-well lit places alone.

2 College Sophomore

Majors: Fill Out the Common App – The admissions process is easy to complete but it is extremely competitive to get into Stanford.. I would suggest following your passions and helping out in your local community in order to gain admission

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Peace and Quiet – Study spaces in Green Library are always wonderfully quiet and conducive to the studying process.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Small Town Adventures – Palo Alto is a small town with a limited number of college age venues. The restaurants range from mildly affordable to quite pricey. Overall boring town but very safe

5 College Freshman

Majors: Lots of Interest on Campus – being a Math major at such a technological school like Stanford has its perks. Lots of people, even if they are not necessarily math majors, take interest in the things you are studying/researching because they are in similar fields: CS, Engineering, Statistics, CME and the like. Being in the heart of Silicon Valley also helps since the availability of internships for STEM fields is huge!

4 College Freshman

Academics: Majoring in Math requires a huge commitment! It is not an easy subject (at least for me,) but if you are passionate about it, and willing to do the work, professors will help you and it can be very rewarding in the end.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Great Campus Life – Palo Alto has a lot to offer, but students generally prefer staying on campus since there is so much to do, and Palo Alto can be a bit overpriced. The campus is like a mini metropolis. If people get bored of the same activities though, they prefer heading over to San Francisco and all of its cultural offerings. Stanford can be a bit like a bubble if you let it be, you can easily forget about the outside world with all that is happening on campus.

3 College Senior

Transportation: Bike, Bike, Bike – If you're one of those kids who never took of the training wheels, this probably won't be a great environment for you. It's a huge campus, but you can't get anywhere on campus via car. A car is nice to go grocery shopping or catch a movie, but the bus system run by the school is relatively efficient and can get you through any crises.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: Engaging and Eye-Opening Experience – Stanford has some of the best professors in their respective fields, and they love to teach undergraduates. You will often have the professor's own book as a textbook, and I've had more than one professor say that s/he loves to engage with students who are just eager to learn something new.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Alexandria Butler
St. Louis, MO
Communications, Spanish
View all previous student authors

The verdict is in: most students are overwhelmingly happy with their Stanford experience. The combination of challenging academics, undergrad-oriented faculty, diversity, beautiful weather, and a fairly social campus environment all combine to make for a great four years of college. Students, particularly those in engineering or sciences, might find the workload to be especially heavy at times, but most students are capable and want to work hard in the first place. Perhaps the biggest challenge students face at Stanford is just dealing with the other students, who range from hippies to hyper-competitive pre-meds. It makes for an interesting environment, but also a stressful one. However, if you immerse yourself in it long enough, it will eventually start to feel reasonably normal.

Despite the problems that Stanford students find with the University, they overwhelmingly agree that Stanford is “their place,” and they can’t imagine being anywhere else. It seems all the hype and the hefty price tag are well justified by the experiences that students can, and will, have here. If you’re looking for a university with a big name, vibrant population, and a good balance of work and fun, Stanford University will not disappoint.

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Applicant Status At Stanford University

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