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Reviews 1038 total reviews with an average rating of 4.0

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3 College Junior

Overall Experience: It Sucks Here – No fun social scene. People are pretty fake (well, most Americans are anyways; I try to hang out with fellow internationals). So slow and suburban, too, no cultural life whatsoever --and I'm used to the endless possibilities in a 14 million people city, imagine my boredom! An overall bad experience in terms of anything non-academic. Admittedly great in THAT department, though.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: Materials Science – Materials science is one of the newer/younger engineering fields. Therefore, it's filled with all the latest in energy technology, biomaterials, photonics, and nanotechnology. If you're interested in true innovation, it's the major for you. The department is small so there are plenty of opportunities to meet faculty and it is a close community. That said, some might find the lack of structure in such a broad major a bit troubling.
I've had an amazing experience at Stanford as a Materials Science major since freshman year. I've had the opportunity to conduct research in every summer since coming here, which is a rare opportunity. I have the flexibility in an engineering major to take on a secondary major and also participate in plenty of extracurriculars. It's really a fantastic major, but like anything in college, it's not what they do for you, but what you do for it that makes it all worth while. You'll get whatever you put into it.

3 College Senior

Party Scene: Everything's on Campus! The Campus scene is varied, but it revolves around either frats or more intimate house events. There is not a wild party culture here, and you can't go out any night of the week. Stanford is a Thursday-Saturday party school,but you will find sports teams, etc. out and an about on random nights especially in the Spring. Most frosh and sophs stay on campus all the time since nightlife is strict. As a junior and senior (21+) you start heading off campus more. Senior Pub Night is a big tradition! Rudy's, Nola's, Illusions...

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There are awesome places to get food off campus, though most are very nice, sit down spots. Be ready to pay a pretty penny. The variety is great, especially ethnic restaurants. Great Korean, Middle Eastern, Thai, Spanish, Italian. You can also find a quick-stop "college" type of place if you seek it, but do not think there are hole-in-the-wall-amazing stops all around. If you venture out, though, you can find about anything.

4 College Senior

Local Area: Everything you need is on campus-- including a shopping center complete with Sprinkles Cupcakes, PinkBerry, Kate Spade, and Louis Vuitton. Palo Alto is pricey, but there are awesome cafes and restaurants; University Ave is always a lovely trip off campus. Do not expect your typical college town, though, you will not find that in ritzy Palo Alto. San Francisco is about an hour away, and though most students rarely go to the city, it is always an option, especially for upperclassmen. The beach is also not far away for a weekend trip, and in the winter students go up to Tahoe for ski trips.

5 College Junior

Athletics: We Bleed Cardinal Red. There are so many choices on and around campus including varsity, club, and intramural teams. The facilities are pretty good, the weather is great for outdoor practice, and the help for athletes is excellent. There's definitely a lot of school spirit, especially when it comes down to matches against Cal.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Search With Friends. There are a suite of options off-campus, but the ones in Palo Alto (with the exception of the Dead Houses) tend to be very costly. It's better to search for housing on the perimeters of the campus such as in the faculty ghetto. Especially for the winter-time (i.e. rainy season), transportation to/from campus can be a hassle.

3 College Senior

Campus Food: Best Food Is Found in Self-Ops – self-ops offer the best food hands down because they have chefs. plus the food is cooked in small quantity so the quality is high. these type of houses also have open kitchen, so you can grab as many snacks as you like after hours or whip up your own food if you don't like what the chef made.


problem is that only so many people can get into a self-op house, so most people (and all freshmen) are stuck eating at the dining halls. Regular dining hall food is truly hit or miss, mostly miss. wilbur dining has the best dining hall food in my opinion. furthermore, brunch is usually good across the board at all dining halls.

5 College Senior

Campus Quality: The campus is just one of the most beautiful there is. There is a good variety of libraries to study at, the gym is awesome, the tennis courts are many, the dorms are okay, and the classroom buildings are nice.

4 College Freshman

Scholarships: Everybody at Stanford deserves a full-ride at a state school, so all the money the University gives is needs-based. So if you want a scholarship from the school, get your parents to quit their jobs and live off welfare, because if you do have the need, they'll pay for you to come to Stanford.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Way Too Much Fun – Academics take center stage at Stanford, but if you're here, you're smart enough to realize that's what you're here for. Classes are fun, professors are fantastic and approachable, and the other students are some of the coolest people you'll ever meet. It's not all about the work, though, students here work hard and play hard. Weekends can get pretty crazy, especially for freshmen in all-frosh dorms. Basically if you get in, go to Stanford because it's the best choice you'll ever make.

2 College Freshman

Greek Life: Not a Big Deal – Basically Greek life is if you want to meet new people, there's not really any status or anything associated with it. The houses are pretty cool though, so they have some fun parties.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: One of the (if not THE) most aesthetically pleasing campuses I've been to. Large variety of new and "old" buildings. Facilities are great.

1 College Senior

Parking: Awful: Everything's Taken by 9Am – Super limited parking. Students who live on campus can buy monthly/yearly permits that cost roughly $25/month to get spaces near the dorms. You still have to circle for 10 minutes to find a spot. There are commuter permits, only for employees who live off campus(especially the med school) and these always seem to be in the prime places. Very limited visitor parking and very pricey ($1.25/hour), and enforced 8am to 4pm M-F. Parking is free on weekends EXCEPT where marked in tiny lettering on signs. Stanford must get thousands of dollars every year in tickets, because they are *really* aggressive. I have a friend who parked in a permit spot without a permit for 3 min to turn in a homework assignment, and when he came back he had a ticket. During the summer I would sometimes spend literally 45 minutes looking for a parking spot because all the lots were full.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Pricey in Palo Alto, Cheaper Elsewhere – Downtown Palo Alto is a 10 minute bike ride from campus (and free shuttles run from campus to Palo Alto every 45 min or so). There is a great selection of food for different palates (Thai, Chinese, French crepes, Indian, vegan, sushi, Italian, froyo), but since it is an affluent area prices are high. Expect to spend at least $15 per entree for most of the restaurants. That said, there are a few student-friendly restaurants: Darbar, an Indian restaurant, has student 2-for-1 coupons; Siam Royal is good and relatively cheap Thai restaurant; Pizza My Heart has giant, New York-style pizza slices for $3. If you have a car, you can venture to Mountain View or Sunnyvale or Menlo Park, which have cheaper choices. I recommend Celia's (a local Mexican chain) and Tofu House.

3 College Senior

Parking: Get a Permit or a Ticket Is Guaranteed – Permits are reasonable but the campus police really search for cars without permits so they can ticket them. If you don't have a permit you WILL get ticketed. People usually ride bikes to class so finding a spot usually isn't an issue, but parking in an area where you don't have a permit always gets you a ticket. It sucks.

4 College Senior

Campus Housing: The Row Is the Way to Go – I've lived in a range of housing, from an all frosh dorm to great upperclass housing on the Row. Every year, I've met new, fun people and made great new friends. Living on the Row in an upperclass house has been the best experience for me--we have our own chef, kitchen full of snacks, TV with cable and awesome social events like Special Dinner. I'm also on student staff in the house, which is a ton of fun--planning social events and keeping the kitchen full of goodies are my favorite jobs.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: Professors' Availability for Students Makes All Aspects of Learning Excellent – I'm a Music major with a double concentration in Vocal Performance and History and Theory. My professors have been the best thing about Stanford--they have spent countless hours meeting with me and editing my writing to help me write papers worthy of scholarly journals and prepare me for graduate work. They are very available for students and are clearly interested in working with both undergrads and graduate students. I have learned equal amounts in my one-on-one conversations with my professors as I have learned during formal class time.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: The Marguerite – The Marguerite can take you pretty much anywhere you need to go, and there's a lot of different schedules for your convenience. Also, it's free, which is nice. I mean waiting on public transportation is never fun, but it gets you where you need to go, so it's not so bad. Also, it can take you to the caltrain, which will take you even further. Never order a taxi though, unless you're desperate. They are crazy expensive and hardly even worth it.

5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: There are a million ways to get involved around campus, from student organizations to on-campus employment, to research with faculty. Stanford makes it hard NOT to be involved!

5 College Freshman

Transportation: Everyone Bikes – Biking is a great way to get around the campus, almost no one walks, and cars are really only useful for getting into town. They're environmentally friendly, cheap, and fun!

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: All Freshman Dorm – I live in an all-freshman dorm and I love it! Everybody is so social - we eat our meals together in the dining hall, and we try to leave our doors open when we're in the room so people know its alright to stop by and chat. The RAs are awesome and really chill, as is our resident tutor and RCC (residential computer consultant). The energy in an all-freshman dorm is really exciting and fun. Also, it's great that the dorm is coed (split by every-other room). The bathrooms are pretty nice I'd say, and although its kind of awkward to walk down the hallway in a robe on your way to and from the shower, you eventually get used to it. Also, the location of our dorm is super close to everything on campus which makes it easy to leave 5 minutes before class starts and still make it there on time! A- though because the rooms are kind of small...

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Party Scene: Clubs are available and somewhat accessible but there is always an all campus party on the row. Also there are no rules against partying in your dorm so those frequently happen also.

4 College Senior

Administration: The campus is pretty relaxed and chill. The RA's aren't really policemen, and they're just there to help in tough situations.

5 College Junior

Athletics: No Place Is Better for Sports – All of our varsity sports have been indisputably the best across the board for the last 30 years. Almost every sport is offered through IM and they are competitive. Multiple weight rooms, courts, and pools are on campus.

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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.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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