Stanford, CA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 999 total reviews with an average rating of 4.0

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4 College Senior

Academics: All amazing. Some don't know how to teach very well, but if you go to office hours they tend to be much more helpful and always willing to give class/life advice.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Not Much of an Issue – A lot of people can't have fun without drinking though

5 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Absolutely Perfect – Maybe University of Hawaii has better weather than Stanford, but it would be close. It rains about 40% of the time between January and March, but warm sunshine is guaranteed for the rest of the year.

3 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: Buses Are Good, Zipcar Is Better – The Marguerite runs regularly during the week, but isn't convenient enough on the weekends to make use of it. Stanford has plenty of Zipcars on campus, which makes it easy for students without a car to get off campus.

3 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: Not Very Prominent – Only about half of the campus is involved in Greek life, but each residence hall has a decently active social calendar so that Greek doesn't have to carry the burden.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Expensive, Inconvenient – I've never tried to live off-campus but I've heard the cost is very expensive. Plus, it's very inconvenient to live off-campus, even if you have a car -- it saps a lot of time out of your day having to get to campus

4 College Senior

Athletics: Sports Are Excellent for Varsity and Non-Varsity – With a football team ranked 4th nationally, and 16 Directors Cups in our trophy case, athletics at Stanford is incredible. We expect the best from our colleagues in, and out, of the classroom... and on the field/court/etc is no exception. Students attend all home athletic events for free (including football and basketball!) and can often arrange for free tickets and transportation to away events... like Big Game vs. Cal. Fan support for football was significant this year, as we had such a stellar team, and there is always support for dorm-mates on the gymnastics, volleyball, soccer, swimming, and all of the 35 Varsity sports teams. V. athletes are treated very well with trainers, state of the art facilities, education centers etc. Club teams and IMs are also very popular, and frequently win national and local titles. For students, the facilities will be even better by next year. Currently (2011), Stanford offers one large gym (Arrillaga) for all students, staff, faculty etc, and it tends to be overcrowded... however, they are currently breaking ground on a state of the art new gym on the other side of campus. Students can also use the golf course, driving range, swimming pools, climbing wall, basketball courts and dozens of fields around campus, the varsity track and tennis facilities, and the running paths throughout campus. PE classes also let you use varsity-level facilities.

5 College Freshman

Scholarships: I was really worried that I wouldn't get enough aid to go to Stanford, as I fall in the "middle class crunch," but Stanford gave me the money that I needed. They only ask for a fraction of parents' and students' savings per year as well, instead of taking everything that you've saved up. People I've talked to have had good experiences with aid, especially lower-income students who are actually given money in order to buy school supplies and textbooks.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Computers: Every dorm has its own computer cluster, and there are others in other areas on campus. You can usually find a spot, but most people have their own. Printing on campus is $.10 per page. The network is fast and reliable, and you can get wireless anywhere on campus. I've never had a problem. Having a printer isn't necessary (there's one in every dorm and in the libraries), but having your own computer is best, although you could probably get away with not having one.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Stanford seems to combine the best of everything into one great school. The academics are amazing, with tons of opportunities for interaction with the faculty, research, and internships. The faculty are mostly very good and excited about teaching, not just their research. Its location in the Silicon Valley gives us access to great internships and opportunities, and cultivates an entrepreneurial spirit in its students. We're surrounded by innovation. The people are friendly, the campus is beautiful, the weather is nice, and the food (at least at my dining hall, Ricker) is great. Of course, there's a lot of work, especially for the more technical students. Stanford does have its problems, I just don't think they're problems that you wouldn't find at any other major university.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: People Here Are Really Cool – Most guys and girls here tend to be pretty nice, friendly, and down to earth. They seem really normal, but you find out they've done so many amazing things if you stop and talk to them.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: Great Campus, but I Wish We Had a Better Union – The campus is gorgeous, but there's no real central place for students to hang out. Although Tressider Student Union has places to eat, and Old Union has plenty of couches and group study rooms, no one seems to really hang out there. The gym is nice, but way too far away for those on West Campus, like I am. Fortunately, they'll be building a new one on this side of campus that will open in 2013. The libraries have pretty much anything you would ever need or want, but if they don't, they'll get it for you from any number of other universities. It's easy to find a quiet place to study in Green Library, and there are group study areas in Meyer.

3 College Junior

Transportation: Stanford has a free bus that runs around the campus and to the nearby local train station and city of Palo Alto. Unfortunately, the train is really the only method of public transportation around, and it only goes to San Francisco. It's difficult to get to the airport on any sort of public transportation, and there are no Stanford-operated shuttles.

5 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Stanford is a very relaxed campus. RAs do not enforce drinking rules in dorms, and alcohol is allowed in all residences. The school is very strict about cheating and plagiarism when you get caught, but the general feeling is that once you get into Stanford, it's pretty hard to get yourself kicked out.

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Men Are Progressive – Men are generally very athletic, good-looking, and intelligent. In an atmosphere with so many strong, intelligent women, most men have more liberal attitudes towards relationships and gender roles.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Kids Actually Come Here to Learn – Do kids drink? Sure. Do some kids take drugs? Yeah, a select few. But for the most part, people keep their usage under control. No one comes here to get high and party constantly.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Better Than Most, but Not Great – The dining halls are okay, but the real fine dining happens at the co-ops and self-ops around campus. Plus, there are great non-dining hall eateries (Treehouse, Axe and Palm) that are on campus.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Everything Is Top-Of-The-Line – This is Stanford, after all. It's hard to fully realize until you come here how many incredible facilities you have at your disposal, many of which you can use 24 hours per day.

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Frosoco Is the Place to Be – Frosoco is the best freshman/sophomore dorm ever. Our remoteness makes this place great for quiet studying but also lots of mingling and socializing happens, due to the crazy nature of the people here and also all the great events that the dorm sponsors or subsidizes for us.

4 College Junior

Weather: It's 70 degrees in January. What more could you want when it usually rains in Winter?

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Bomb Housing – Stanford's on-campus housing is phenomenal compared to a lot of other universities. In addition, it's great to know that housing is guaranteed for 4 years, rather than 1. The options offered also make Stanford housing great.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Wish There Was More of a City Atmosphere – Stanford is great because it offers so much to do within the bubble. Unfortunately, going out in any of the neighborhoods surrounding campus is boring, though I do love the Stanford Shopping Center. San Francisco and San Jose are close enough to make this less of an issue, but it's different from actually going to school in either city.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: The Superficial Reigns... Spring Is Supreme – I tell people all the time, don't expect to meet your mate at a Stanford fraternity party. Fraternity parties are only enjoyable for the fraternity and sorority guys and the people who are well connected with those spaces. There is a hook-up culture at Stanford, that only some people benefit from. For the most part, there is a lot of going out, hoping to find someone, but finding out that was a waste of your time. I went to frat parties for all of my freshman year, until I eventually started dating a frat boy I met in my best friends dorm.

However, the parties are awesome and they get extremely better in the Spring.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: Fun Yet Chalenging – Professors are available and helpful and the programs are great in pretty much every field. Other students are realy fun, and there are lots of extra-curricular options. The workload is, as is probably true anywhere, as hard as you make it, but the work is not busywork.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: University Avenue Is Great! Downtown Palo Alto has a lot of great places to eat. It's an easy bike ride straight down Palm Drive which takes you right on to University Avenue. There are plenty of fun, delicious places to check out. Some places are a bit expensive, but you can find ones that aren't so bad.


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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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