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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3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Either Home Parties or Frat Parties – People either go to private house parties which are usually fun or frat parties that get old pretty fast. The nightlife around Palo Alto is pretty non existent except for a sushi place downtown.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Mostly Too Expensive – We are in downtown Palo Alto, one of the wealthiest cities in the US. Things are very expensive so it is hard to want to spend money in downtown. Most food places are affordable for special occasions. Transportation is fairly accessible and the bus system is great.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Okay but Could Be Better – There seems to be a pattern that the closer you are to main campus the worse your food is. Sometimes the options are repetitive and tasteless. The houses however, seem to have far better food options. Flex dollar locations are expensive and we aren't alloted enough flex dollars.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Stanford is my home away from home... and I come from Hawaii! Honestly, I am happy with my choice and very grateful to have the chance to be here. It's balanced in every regard, and that makes it almost better than home.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Athletics is unrivaled and EXCELLENT. People could be paid for their team spirit, which is tops. All in all, the school treats athletes well so they play at the highest levels and win championships annually. Naturally, the student body gets behind them and the whole school is united in its sports pride.

3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Guys are generally very chiseled and good looking. Females are stereotyped as ugly (i.e. "90% of girls in California are attractive... the other 10% attend Stanford) but IT IS NOT THAT BAD. Realistically, the girls here are quite pretty and hey, they've got it where it counts! (i.e. intelligence, personality, character)

8 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Weather: The weather here is truly paradise. Warm all year round, and sunny for all but a couple weeks in January or February.

4 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: Do What You Do – There is a community for every type of drug consumption. Often it is divided economically but there is not a pressure or necessity to consume if one doesn't want to. Drinking is the modus operandum, but you can find anything if you want.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: Diverse and Interesting – There are many different types of Greeks at Stanford. There are straight up frat... no limit... drink yourself under the table communities, as well as alternative frat-like party scenes. It is never ridiculous... but very possible to have fun in a frat-like environment. You can pick and choose, and that's the great thing. All are open and accepting... meaning nobody would be turned away if they wait in line.

4 College Junior

Facilities: Beautiful, Huge Campus – There are no complaints about the campus. It's beautiful, large, sunny, and well maintained. There are two gyms, 2 main libraries (plus a dozen or so smaller ones), great Greek life on weekends, a large and comfortable student center, and loads of cafes. One downside though is that most of the cafe's don't take meal plan dollars, so you wind up just going to one or two.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Generally Safe, but Don't Be Stupid – I've never really felt unsafe at Stanford. At night, some of the areas around the main quad aren't super well lit, but there's generally lots of people around. Dorms are fairly enclosed areas, and RAs/police respond quickly to any reports of suspicious activity (of which there are few). As long as you're not stupid and don't walk home by yourself at 2 am, I don't think there's anything to worry about, especially since there's an escort service if you do find yourself alone. The only common crime is bike/bike light theft.

4 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Safety Is Good – There is definitely a heavy police presence at Stanford. Mostly to protect the students, and sometimes directed at individual scholars if they fit the profile. Racial profiling is apparent but not prolific. Generally, this campus feels extremely safe due to the isolation of its common places. One only needs fear the bad intentions of other students which is a possibility but not an apparent probability.

5 College Sophomore

Transportation: Great Transport – It's very easy to get around without a car. The Marguerite shuttle system will get you nearly anywhere around campus, and several places in town, for free. And if you want to go further afield, CalTrain and a variety of buzzes can cheaply take you anywhere in the Bay Area. You can take your bike on both Marguerite and CalTrain, too.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: A Very Diverse School in Terms of Race, Ethnicity, Background, Socioeconomic Class, Etc. Diversity in nearly every respect is a part of the Stanford experience. Here, not only do you meet people from many different backgrounds, but you are encouraged to explore and talk about those different backgrounds.

5 College Sophomore

Computers: There are always empty computers in the libraries, although you might have trouble finding one during finals week. There are also a few large computer clusters on campus, as well as a lot of small ones. In fact, each dorm has its own computer cluster room and a student Resident Computer Consultant to help you if you have any problems with the school's computer or your own. The wireless network is very fast and reliable.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: The gorgeous weather, proximity to San Francisco & the beach, variety of classes and extracurriculars, plus all the special programs provide an abundance of opportunities and make for a great campus experience. Stanford has the largest college campus in North America, not to mention at least a dozen or so study abroad campuses. It's easy for undergrads to do research, and it's just an all-around amazing place to go to school.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Awesome Everything – There isn't just one thing that makes Stanford special. Stanford excels in some many ways that what ever you want to do Stanford is probably one of the best places to do it.

2 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Not Used – Almost no one lives off campus, because housing is guaranteed for all students, and living off campus is way expensive in Palo Alto, not to mention you'd miss out on a lot of dorm life.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Lots of Variety, Different Experiences – My dorm was a special program for frosh and sophs, and that made my frosh experience great, with a tight community and a good dining hall. Some of the other frosh dorms are not so great and have a lot more noise and partying, but it really depends on the dorm. Stanford provides housing for just about any experience, whether Greek, co-op community oriented, themed houses, four class dorms etc. The food is pretty reasonable and it's generally a good experience.

4 College Junior

Campus Housing: Many Options – There are a lot of different housing options that would fit anyones preferences. Freshman year you get assigned with a random roommate and can't select your dorm but they do a great job of pairing you with roommates.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Not a Good College Town – Palo Alto is not a good college town. There isn't much to do and everything is pretty expensive.

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: In the Heart of the Silicon Valley – Being the heart of the Silicon Valley provides for an experience unlike any other. It's crazy how sucked into the techie culture everyone gets. In truth, however anti-trust a student may be, most learn to fall in love with corporations like Apple and Google, and probably think it wouldn't be that bad if they took over the world (Facebook is a given for like every college student, no?).

5 College Senior

Overall Experience: Can't Have Picked a Better School – My time at Stanford has been amazing. I've met incredible people and had the best experiences of my life. My fellow students have never seized to amaze me with their curricular AND extra-curricular endeavors. My time abroad through the Bing Overseas Studies Program in Florence was a highlight of my undergraduate career and I am ever so thankful to Stanford for the amazing opportunities it has, and continues, to offer me.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Nightlife: You have your typical frat parties that really are only fun if you're completely smashed and don't have a clue as to how awful that party scene really is (frat parties got old after Freshman Year). Small dorm room get-togethers are sometimes best. Special Dinners can be fun. Thursday Pub Nights are musts for Seniors.

5 College Senior

Health & Safety: Safety: Not an Issue – I always feel safe when I'm on campus. Whether it's in broad daylight or walking back to my dorm from the library at 4 am in the morning.


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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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