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Reviews 1099 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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3 College Senior

Greek Life: Greek life isn't a huge part of campus. About 10% of students are in Greek life, so if you don't want to join, you're in the majority. Frats do offer a regular source of parties, which is nice, but they are not the only source by any means--there are lots of really great non-Greek parties on campus. Greeks are not viewed in any particularly positive or negative way--if you want to do it, you do it, but if you don't, you don't. It's up to you. Some frats/sororities are housed, which means that they live in their own houses just for members of that group. These houses are the same quality as the rest of campus houses.

4 College Senior

Party Scene: On Wednesdays you can count on Wine and Cheese night at Kairos house (with live music), Beer and Pretzels at Haus Mitt, and Happy Hour (beer) at EBF house. After that, there tends to be a big frat party or two going on Friday/Saturday. There are also other types of parties if frats aren't your scene. Hispanic and Latin American groups/Casa Zapata (Chicano/a theme house) throw some pretty great dance parties throughout the year, and so do the Black Community Center and Ujamaa (black theme house). Freshmen also throw their own parties or just play drinking games/hang out in their dorms. Houses do the same thing. Houses also tend to throw one big all-campus party per year, which range from offering wine and homemade pizza to great live music to scary haunted houses to all-day festivities. If drinking isn't your thing, I'd recommend the dance parties, where alcohol usually isn't consumed on-site. Also, lots of people just like spending the evening with their friends, either going to performances, having a game night, doing something off-campus, or just staying up talking. Cardinal Nights, a group on campus, offers alcohol-free activities often, like trips to the movies/carnivals/ice cream tasting/etc.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Campus Food: Dining hall food is pretty good, especially if you know where to go (Manzanita has good food, and Stern has gotten similarly yummy in recent years). There are also Late-Nite services in Arillaga and Lagunita dining halls (9pm-2am I think), which offer delicious snacks and meals Sunday-Thursday. If you live in a house (different from a dorm, and only open to upper-classemen), then you will either have a in-house chef who cooks meals just for your house (they're usually quite good, and some houses are famous campus-wide for their food) or house residents will take turns cooking meals for the entire house. Whether you have a chef or are responsible for cooking depends on where you live.

There are a few restaurants on campus--Mediterranean, Subway, Starbucks, Treehouse (Mexican/American), The CoHo (coffee and generally healthy meals), The Axe and Palm (wide variety, but famous for its burgers), Coupa Cafe (organic-y/healthy food and great coffee), and a teeny hole-in-the-wall Thai place on the bottom floor of the math building in the main quad, open 11am-2pm M-F, and which looks sketchy but is actually very delicious. There are also food trucks around campus, but you pay for their admittedly tasty food with pretty steep prices.

5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: If there's one thing Palo Alto does offer college students, its food. Lots and lots of varied, delicious food. Students can take a free shuttle to University Avenue and nearby cross-streets, which have a huge variety of restaurants (Indian, Israeli, Thai, American, Chinese, Argentinian, Italian, etc.). Food here can be a little pricey though, depending on the restaurant. If you go further off campus (you either have to have a car, a friend with a car, or rent a Zip Car/Uber for this) there are cheaper options, and just as wide and delicious a variety.

5 College Senior

Administration: The administration is very lenient about drinking. Basically, they assume that a lot of underage students are going to drink in college no matter what, so they have an open-door policy. That means that if you and your friends are going to drink, leave your door open so the RA can walk by once in a while and make sure that everyone is okay and drinking responsibly. However, drinking in common areas of dorms is not allowed (drinking in common areas of houses, which are upper-classmen only, is allowed). Enforcement varies depending on where you live. In freshmen dorms, the RAs tend to watch you more closely and make sure you're being safe. In houses where residents are mostly juniors and seniors, you have more autonomy, because you're expected to be older and wiser by then, and able to self-regulate your drinking. This policy seems to work pretty well, because there are not a lot of alcohol-related problems on campus. The administration is pretty lenient about drug use as well, as long as students aren't clearly using drugs in public places. Stanford has a similar trust-the-student policy when it comes to the academic honor code. Students sign the code saying they won't cheat, and professors are not allowed to be in the room during tests, because they're supposed to trust that students won't cheat. Students are also honor-code bound to report any cheating they see. I haven't seen any cheating in my 3.5 years here. The real law-enforcement bane to students is bike ticketing. Lots of students get tickets from police officers for not stopping at stop signs while riding their bike, or for not using a bike light at night.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: I generally feel very safe on campus. I don't usually walk around the edges of campus alone in the middle of the night, but that's just common sense. The police inform all students of occasional crimes (we get an email notification of an on-campus assault/break-in/prowler incident occurring perhaps once every other month). The vast majority of these crimes occur in non-central campus areas, like around grad student housing or isolated places where undergrad students rarely have reason to go. There are sexual assaults on campus, and most--though not all--are alcohol related at frat parties and such. I don't think there are more assaults here than anywhere else. There has been much more discussion about this issue on campus lately (as well as nationally), so hopefully there is improvement soon.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Campus Housing: There are three dorm options for freshmen--all-frosh dorms, 4-class dorms, and one freshman-sophomore dorm. All-freshmen dorms offer an exciting atmosphere, because everyone's new, excited, and eager to make friends. 4-class dorms are a little more subdued (fewer parties usually), but freshmen get the benefit of easy access to advice and guidance from upper-classmen. Most upper-classmen, especially juniors and seniors, live in houses on campus (there are 30-50 people per house). Some are co-ops, which means that residents are responsible for cooking/cleaning, but have a great deal of autonomy over the house (there are no university staff positioned in the house; students have free reign). A more common type of housing, self-ops, offers slightly less autonomy, but things like cooking and cleaning are taken care of by in-house university employees (no need to go to dining halls). There is also apartment-style housing on campus for students who want to live more independently. Generally, housing is spacious compared to other schools, and the buildings are in great condition!

1 person found this useful Report
College Senior

Scholarships: I did not apply for financial aid.

4 College Senior

Athletics: Stanford sports teams are consistently among the best--if not the best--in the nation. Stanford has won the Division I Director's Cup the last 20 years in a row. The school has stellar athletes and stellar facilities, which are all located on campus--no need to travel around the town. There are multiple gyms on campus, a rock climbing wall, multiple swimming pools, tennis courts, fields, etc. Some dorms have their own basketball courts, volleyball courts, and grass or turf fields for casual play. The only less appealing thing about Stanford sports is student attendance--there's usually a big crowd at the football and basketball games, but because Stanford students are so busy (academics, clubs, social life, etc.), the attendance at other games leaves something to be desired. There's still a lot of school spirit though; Stanford students love their school!

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Local Area: In Palo Alto itself, there isn't much for college students to do. Once you turn 21, there are a few bars and dance clubs that are really fun. Unfortunately, if you're not 21, Palo Alto doesn't offer much in the way of fun things to do. There are a lot of really good restaurants though, along with a couple nearby shopping malls. Also, Stanford offers a handy free shuttle service around town, in case you don't have a car. Mostly students stay on campus, which isn't too bad, considering there are parties, concerts, plays, an art museum, etc.

4 College Senior

Administration: Stanford is very lenient overall. They try to not police around to much or create too much of an authority presence.

6 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Because Stanford is so big, off-campus options are not very likely, unless one has a car.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Party Scene: Row/Frat parties are good at first when you want to get the college scene. For me though, it lost it's aura very quickly and I prefer to do more between-friend parties.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Athletics: The athletics facilities are to notch. They have the latest equipment, very spacious and gym hours can got till midnight. There is also a lot of area for outside sports.

4 College Senior

Campus Housing: Although housing is expensive compared to the rest of the country, it is actually subsidized compared to the local area. There is a variety of housing opportunities and I would say they cover pretty much all types of "personalities". Because it is a lottery, one isn't always guaranteed their first choice.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Academics: Top notch. While there are some courses that can be seen tedious or boring due to the professor's style of teaching, there are a sleuth of fascinating and interactive courses.

5 College Senior

Majors: The academics is one of the best things Stanford has to offer. A lot of interesting majors with incredible professors, and if done well, one can find what one is really passionate about.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Local Area: Palo Alto is not so much for the young people. Stanford feels like a bubble. You have to take a 1-hour train to get to the lively places, such as SF.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: The options are great, if you can find them. It is very hard to find off-campus housing and it can be very expensive.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: Overall, the safety is indeed great. Nonetheless, there have been recent occurrences where it has come to light that the administration does not adequately deal with those who have committed sexual assaults.

College Freshman

Majors: I haven't had any experiences relevant at this time.

3 College Freshman

Administration: police seem to be very positive around here. While drinking outside of the dorms is unacceptable, if you are inside, drinking is completely allowed. I've heard that police are pretty strict in terms of minor in possession stations, however (oh, and biking under the influence is definitely a thing).

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Athletics: The gyms are incredible. They have every machine you could ever want. The teams, are of course, incredible as well. School spirit is less than what I would have expected from a school like stanford but I think that just might be because of the social circle I am in.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: guys range from hot to nerdy but most are really nice. the hottest ones (athletes) generally spend so much time working out that you never really see them (thats a general college thing)

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: My dorm has been the most incredible part of my stanford experience thus far. The community built in the dorms is by far and away the reason Stanford has become my home.

I am in a 4 class dorm as a freshman. I thought I was going to hate it but I couldn't be more wrong. It is so low key and the upperclassmen have made my experience what it is. My closest friends are the people on my hall.

1 person found this useful Report
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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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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