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Reviews 1119 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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4 College Sophomore

Majors: Lots of options, you get to pick your major any time before the end of sophomore year. Almost no one declares frosh year. CS is the largest major.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: I'm in Electrical Engineering, and I like the classes a lot. The CME series can be gross though

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Have not had an internship yet because I'm a freshman, but am currently in the midst of the job process

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: We're pretty diverse here and it's much appreciated.

Not much political diversity or religious diversity though, if that's what you care about

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Academics here are great, we are an academic school.

Workload can be a lot at times but classes are interesting etc

5 College Sophomore

Academics: um, do i even need to answer this lol

5 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Very visually pretty. Lots of flowers, lots of grass, all the architecture matches, nice facilities etc

3 College Sophomore

Local Area: Palo Alto/silicon valley are definitely not my fave, but tons of cool things are nearby.

San Francisco is awesome. Half Moon Bay is super awesome. Big Sur is awesome.

It's very easy to get stuck in the bubble. Try taking the Caltrain to the city, or join the outdoor recreation program so you can go camping in the more beautiful parts of California, or beg someone with a car to take you to the beach.

Go get off campus though! It's super important. Stanford is great but it's exhausting.

3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: We decent amounts of attractive people, athletic people, artsy people, etc, and everyone's at least a little nerdy.

Dating scene is AWFUL though. A lot of people opt to hook up with people from their frosh dorm then get really awkward about it afterwards. If you're looking for hookups, you should be able to find them at parties, a lot of people use Tinder because as a campus we seem to be pretty bad at picking other people up and Tinder removes some of the awkwardness. Some people meet a guy/girl their frosh year then date super seriously, but it seems that everyone has either a) sworn off relationships completely and only does hookups and is terrified of commitment or b) dates someone very seriously for most of the course of their college life.

The gay scene is equally bad if not worse. While everyone widely accepts homosexuality/most corners of the sexuality spectrum, most of the gays and lesbians opt to be a part of the lively LGBT community on campus. This is great, except that I have friends who report that its super weird to already know all of the guys on campus you could possibly ever sleep with here on a first-name basis, plus you know all their past hookups, plus its even harder to tread the line between "we had sex once and now we don't talk" and "we're going to be together for the rest of our lives" there since it tends towards the former. Basically, gay-ness is very accepted, but gay couples are seemingly extremely rare.

Tons of people report being lonely here, despite all the friendliness/outgoingness/social life it can be devastatingly isolating to live here at times.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: People steal from the dorms/bathrooms/library occasionally so don't leave your stuff around. Also be sure to lock your bike, always.

People get sexually assaulted in campus and here is no different unfortunately. The jury is still out on whether Stanford handles sexual assault cases well or not. Most sexual assault, as with everywhere else, goes unreported.

Vaden, our health center, is very good about birth control, rape kits, STD testing, and any other sexual health related things you may need to access. They're pretty bad at everything else though - our CAPS program only provides limited therapy, sometimes when you go in when you're ill they'll just give you a gatorade or something and tell you to sleep on it. Coolest thing about Vaden is you get $3.00 (that don't roll over, unfortunately) per quarter that you can spend on subsidized condoms/sex toys/lube/etc. Condoms are 10 cents a piece unless you want fancy ones, male/female vibes are 5-8 dollars, lube is 2-3 dollars. They only take cash.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Stanford is pretty cool but a definite pressure cooker

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Lots of recruiters on campus throwing free stuff at us (especially the CS majors) ALL the time. Career guidance center is pretty solid too

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Meh. We're not really a greek school. Frats provide almost all of the party scene, and people in greek life supposedly have access to a more vibrant party scene. No one is going to judge you for going greek, but no one will judge you for not going greek either.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Gyms are pretty good, not quite as good as you might expect but decent. Lots of facilities/intramurals/varsity teams/club teams all that sort of stuff.

We have pretty solid athletics programs all around. It can be rather difficult to get into club sports due to the fact that varsity sports are so selective that the club sports have really good pickings.

School spirit in the sports department can be quite lacking at times.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Palo Alto is like 75% restaurants and furniture stores. Restaurants can be pricey, but a wide range of options and high quality is available.

Lots of people use doordash to order food from restaurants like CREAM, the Cheesecake Factory, Oren's Hummus, Thaiphoon, various burger places, places that sell boba, etc.

3 College Sophomore

Administration: Most people don't have run-ins with admin over drug use or underage drinking.

Bike tickets get given out a lot, however

5 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Financial aide is good. If you get in, they'll make sure that you can pay to go. Not necessarily that it's going to be cheap or easy to go, but that you definitely can go if you so choose. I'm on 50% financial aide (making it almost comparable to paying for a state school) and have a yearly household income in the very very low 6 digits. A friend I have who has a a single-parent family and a 30,000-40,000ish income pays like 3000 or 5000 a year, I think. Stanford provides ONLY need-based scholarships.

2 College Sophomore

Party Scene: Okay, so I'm not much of a partier, but I know many people who love partying so I feel I can give both sides.

If you enjoy parties: Frats happen (most) every weekend but are by no means reliably good. Alcohol is the most prevalent drug, but marijuana comes in as a very very close second. Frat parties have "themes" like space race, or 80s, or something, and people drink beforehand rather than actually at the frat (not always the case) and then there's a lot of loud music, lights, and grinding. Most people get really drunk as soon as they get a moment to decompress then wind up at frat parties and have a pretty okay time. Big parties like Endless KA or Snowchella or some of the other major all-campuses the frats throw are usually the funnest, everyone seems to enjoy the larger, more publicized frat parties. A lot of people here don't *really* enjoy frat (or frat-style, because row parties at Synergy or French House or whatever are just frat parties without greek letters) parties because they're massive, impersonal, and you have to be a certain level of drunk to enjoy them, but they continue to go to frat parties due to a lack of other things to do. Dorms above frosh level often have to fill out "party request forms" in order to have get togethers (cough cough crothers) but closer, smaller, parties with drinking and friends are usually better when possible. Girls/guys in sororities/frats report party life as being much better due to the progressives that they have with each other/within greek life. Going off campus for clubs/bars/parties is not really a thing.

If you aren't into parties: Cardinal Nights occasionally rolls out a really fun event but for the most part is, unfortunately, regarded as a joke. Most social life/night life revolves heavily around drinking. You have to be really active in finding outside activities or people who don't drink (they do exist!) Good news is there isn't really any pressure to drink or do drugs or what have you if you don't wanna.

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4 College Sophomore

Campus Food: Variety and quality is leaps and bounds above other dining programs at other schools. Today for lunch I had samosas, tamarind chutney, rice and tandoori chicken at Stern Dining and it was delicious. Lunch/brunch tend to be the best meals, dinner is usually good but not *as* good as lunch. The dining ambassador program allows students to ask for specific meals/provide input to the dining staff on food, and usually once or twice a quarter one of the dining halls will throw a massive ethnic-themed dinner with really really high quality food. Wilbur has Lunar New Year, FloMo has Diwali, Stern has Dia de los Muertos and Cinco de Mayo, Lagunita has Mardi Gras. We have had a plant-based protein push in the halls this year, which is a bit disappointing for those of us who really really like meat, but there is always AT LEAST one or two meats each meal and one or two non-meat options.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Campus housing is pretty good. Everyone (well, basically everyone) lives on campus all four years due to ridiculous cost of living in Palo Alto/surrounding areas. Most of the dorms have an RF (Residence Fellow/"dorm parent") who lives in the dorm and advises the RAs that live in the dorm with the students. The Draw is a bit of a pain, but can be circumnavigated by rushing or preassigning to an ethnic house, academic themed house, or co-op. Overall, there are lots of housing options and housing is clean/semi-spacious, provides furniture and a meal plan, and has a good staff that fosters community in the dorm.

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.

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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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