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stanford admitted essays

Successful Stanford Essays

Stanford essays →, stanford mentors →, common app additional info (extenuating circumstances) | daniel.

Common App Additional Info (Extenuating Circumstances) My parents emigrated from Korea to the US and ran a Dairy Queen business in Florida, which unfortunately ended…...

Common App Essay: Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time | Daniel

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What…...

stanford admitted essays

Stanford Supplemental Essay: Imagine you had an extra hour in the day — how would you spend that time? | Yusef

Imagine you had an extra hour in the day — how would you spend that time? (50 words) Relationships are everything in life. With my…...

Stanford Supplemental Essay: Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford | Yusef

Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford. (50 words) Stanford is known for its diverse and ambitious community; this meshes well…...

Stanford Supplemental Essay: When the choice is yours, what do you read, listen to, or watch? | Yusef

When the choice is yours, what do you read, listen to, or watch? (50 words) I am addicted to cooking videos on YouTube. I can’t…...

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Stanford Essay Prompts

Common application essay prompts.

The Common App Essay for 2020-2021 is limited to 250-650 word responses. You must choose one prompt for your essay. Some students have a background,…...

Stanford Short Essay Questions

There is a 100-word minimum and a 250-word maximum for each essay. The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out…...

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stanford admitted essays

How to Write the Stanford University Essays 2023-2024

Stanford University was founded in 1885 by California Senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane, in memory of their son Leland Jr. It’s a private institution located in the gorgeous heart of the California Bay Area. The exciting buzz of start-up opportunities and entrepreneurial spirit permeates student life on campus, with an impressive offering of excellent STEM and humanities majors.

Stanford has become one of America’s most selective universities, with an admissions rate of 4.4% for the class of 2023. However, starting with the class of 2023, they have decided to stop releasing their admissions statistics . They have publicized that this move is “intended as a small step in reducing the outsized emphasis placed on the admission rates at U.S. colleges and universities.”

Other defining aspects include its status as the second largest campus in the world with over 8,000 acres , its undergraduate enrollment of 7,000 students , and ranking as one of the best colleges in the nation and world.

Stanford’s freshman application asks students to respond to 4 different short questions and 3 relatively longer essay questions as part of their admissions process. CollegeVine is here to provide detailed tips and examples to help you approach Stanford’s supplemental essays.

Read these Stanford essay examples to inspire your own writing.

How to Write the Stanford University Supplemental Essays

Short Response Questions (50 words)

  • What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?
  • How did you spend your last two summers? 
  • What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?
  • Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family.
  • List five things that are important to you.  

Essay Questions (100-250 words)

Prompt 1: The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning.

Prompt 2: Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate — and us — know you better.

Prompt 3:  Please describe what aspects of your life experiences, interests and character would help you make a distinctive contribution as an undergraduate to Stanford University.

Before we dive into the specifics of how to answer each of these short prompts, remember that limiting your responses to only 50 words requires writing answers that are straightforward and direct . Be honest with what you write, but also think critically about the different aspects of your personality you are highlighting with each answer. Try to vary the responses so that they don’t all cluster around only one or two activities or themes.

While these answers won’t make your application, they could break it if you use any inappropriate content; be mindful of your audience by choosing tasteful responses. However, overanalyzing what you think the admissions officers want you to write misses the point of showcasing your individuality.

Let’s discuss each question individually.

Want to know your chances at Stanford? Calculate your chances for free right now.

Short Answer 1

What is the most significant challenge that society faces today (50 words).

For this significant challenge question, you might decide to go with a traditional answer but still put a creative spin on it. Avoid picking an obscure or arbitrary topic that is not actually a significant challenge, and also watch out for writing about an issue in overly vague terms. You could write about topics like gender parity, aging populations, skills development, or climate change, but be careful since those topics have the potential to become trite depending on how you address them.

Writing simply about the fact that the challenge exists is also less interesting than if you wrote something referencing momentum in terms of future change, or possibly even past decline. For example, in addressing a topic like pollution, you could talk about how your view is that you believe the greatest challenge will be spreading actionable awareness of the issue to overcome our current apathy, maybe with a brief suggestion on how that could be attained. Doing so would make your answer stand out more than just speaking too generally.

To give another example, if you talked about gender inequality, and suggested focusing on addressing the gender gap within STEM fields more specifically, you would be showing that you think proactively about trying to solve the issue without oversimplifying it. 

Short Answer 2

How did you spend your last two summers (50 words).

Writing about how you spent your last two summers should be pretty direct­­­ — anything you have been involved in is fair game, and showing a variety of interests is again advisable. For example, you could write out a list of the disparate activities like:

“I prepared for and competed in SkillsUSA’s National Skills and Leadership Conference, vacationed in California to visit my family, volunteered at my local food bank, started working at TJ Maxx, hiked with friends, went on family camping trips, tried new cupcake recipes, and helped run a STEM camp for girls.”

This mix of activities allows them to see that you participated in some resume boosters, but also had fun and didn’t just completely restate your activities list section. You could also choose to hone in on just a couple of activities and give them each a bit more explanation instead of solely listing activities. For example:

“Family vacations always feel too long and too short. I melt in the SoCal summer heat, but returning home to cool breezy Washington brings 30-hour retail work weeks, with interspersed respite at the local library. After just finishing SkillsUSA nationals, the challenge to engineer a new invention returns, energizing me.”

This conveys some of the same ideas with a slightly more narrative structure.

Try not to waste space with a lead-in sentence like, “For the last two summers, I have mainly spent my time doing…” because that already uses up 12 of your precious 50 allotted words.

Short Answer 3

What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed (50 words).

If no historical events come to mind after thinking about this prompt for a few minutes, and you’re starting to question whether you learned anything at all in your high school history classes, doing a quick google search of top 100 historical moments is not a terrible idea. However, since many of your peers will likely employ the same strategy to identify their historical event, you should strive to select one that makes sense considering your unique profile and current interests.

For example, if you want to indicate your interest in the techy Silicon Valley, you could write about witnessing the process Hewlett and Packard went through starting their business from their garage because you loved tinkering through your own projects throughout high school. Or if you are interested in history or politics, this is a good place to easily select one of the thousands of moments to tie into your interest. For instance, you could write about the time when Washington rallied his troops and convinced them not to abandon the Continental Army late in 1776, even when things looked just about as bleak as they could get.

The specific moment you choose isn’t extremely relevant, but again remember that if you pick something obscure, it might not qualify as a “historical moment” and may need more than 50 words to describe and add a brief explanation. Here’s an example of incorporating a potential major interest in engineering while going for something out of the box :

“I have always been fascinated by the pyramids and Egyptian culture, although my perception of them has been greatly romanticized by my childhood obsession with The Mummy. I wish that I could have witnessed the pyramids’ amazing and mysterious construction to know the secret of their advanced ancient engineering.”

“When I was a little kid, I was obsessed with NASA. I always had glow-in-the-dark stars above my bed and rocketship sheets. I would love to see the moon landing (especially from the capsule) to experience the awe of seeing a new world.”

You don’t need to directly connect it to a personal reason or specific explanation like these examples did, but noting why you picked this moment allows your response to ultimately feel more memorable .

Short Answer 4

Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family. (50 words).

This prompt gives you a little more space to discuss one of your most meaningful extracurriculars from your activities list.

To pick an activity, think about the one that taught you the most, changed your perspective, or is most unique. If there’s something you haven’t been able to express in other parts of your application, this is your space.

Keep in mind that trying to write about multiple aspects of the activity will be difficult with only 50 words, and it can result in simply reiterating what will already be on your activities list. Pick just one aspect that was most important to you, and highlight that. Feel free to be straightforward rather than artsy, as you have limited space. Also, don’t forget to briefly address what you gleaned from the activity as opposed to simply describing what it was.

For example:

I developed a marketing and sustainability initiative for my family’s grocery store. We gave free monthly workshops on topics like composting and zero waste cooking on a budget, which grew our client base 120%, and spread important ideas. People are interested in living more sustainably; they just need accessible education .

Short Answer 5

List five things that are important to you. (50 words).

This short response question is asking for you to reflect on things that are most important in your life. Keep in mind that these things can be a physical object (like your phone) or a concept or idea (like family or friendship). It’s also important that the items you list relate to ideas that have been represented in the rest of your application to provide a cohesive message across all your application elements. If you were applying for an arts major at Stanford, perhaps you wouldn’t say an important item to you is your model rocketship in your room unless you have previously suggested that your artwork is inspired by space travel and celestial bodies. 

Some questions to help you brainstorm for this prompt include asking yourself: What things from my childhood or daily life bring me joy or purpose? If this thing was missing from my life, would I notice? Why is this thing important to me? What purpose does this thing bring to my life?

You should list out the things that are important to you from 1 to 5. When listing these items that are important to you, you can use any additional word space to briefly describe why the thing is important to you. For example, if you gave your faith as an important thing in your life, you could write “1. My faith: It gives me hope and strength in the face of adversity.”

Here are some additional tips for writing this essay:

  • Be specific. Don’t just say that faith is important to you. Explain what makes your faith so special and why it is so important to you.
  • Be genuine. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. The admissions committee will be able to tell if you’re being fake.
  • Be concise. This is a short essay, so you need to get your point across quickly and effectively.

Essay Prompt 1

The stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (100 to 250 words).

As you approach this first longer prompt, think back on all the hours you spent during class, after school during activities, or at home studying. Try to select an experience where you seriously felt that love of learning . Just writing about this idea or realization should make you feel like an extremely happy nerd (you are applying to Nerd Nation after all!). Whether you are someone who approaches standardized testing like it is a thrilling game, or someone who feels so excited after getting through a test that you poured countless hours into studying for, you can really highlight your own drive and intellect through this prompt.

For example, you could write some sort of introduction about deciding to self-study for the AP Physics C tests, then add some analysis like:

…I began to honestly enjoy learning all the new applications for the calculus concepts I had been learning alongside physics, previously unaware of just how intertwined they were. The relationship between position, velocity, and acceleration through derivatives and integrals tied everything together in a way that made so much sense it gave me chills.

After a few study sessions, I began to devour YouTube videos to prepare for the test, and each time I understood a new concept by learning it on my own, I felt more accomplished and intellectually independent. As I worked through practice problems and self-corrected my way across old exams, I felt driven to stop excusing or dismissing my mistakes, and to instead pull them apart by analyzing exactly why I had made them to target and avoid them in the future. This experience improved the way I study and showed me the value of truly mastering knowledge on my own.

This response shows an authentic passion for learning without overloading on narrative. Another solid example that takes a more creative response could look something like this:

“How do you make pianos?

In 4th grade, I entered and won PBS’s Curiosity Quest question contest, resulting in my co-hosting a Curiosity Quest episode at New York’s Steinway and Sons Piano Factory. There I realized for the first time what can be found beyond textbook teachings. I saw the palpable pride the factory had in the heritage that they displayed, and the stunning beauty of a legacy and its centuries of refined knowledge. After that day, it was as if my consciousness had awoken. I resolved to begin creating my own legacy. I spent early morning hours in front of my piano daily, determined to make it my art — all because my curiosity rewarded me with knowledge that expanded the depth and range of just how far I can strive in this world.

Theory of Knowledge teaches of knowledge’s paradox: The more we know, the more we don’t. In retrospect, TOK put into words what I’ve since sensed — this inexplicable duality of filling a void that is ever-expanding. What began as a simple question of how something was made laid the very foundation upon which I’ve grown to ask questions that dig deeper: Why is there more inequality today than a century ago? What, if any, measures can be taken to end the conflicts in the Middle East? How can I further my legacy through striving to address these issues?

And as always, my quest for curiosity will serve to dually nourish and enlighten me, expanding my world once more.

This response from a Stanford 2020 student majoring in International Relations shows the admissions office a thirst for learning without ever just overtly stating it, especially with tying in the childhood anecdote as an excellent hook.

As you approach your own essay, avoid using basic statements like “This made me excited because…” or “An idea that made me genuinely excited about learning was…” since your writing style is extremely important throughout this essay. Compare the two examples above syntactically to see why the essay becomes more engaging with the style of “show not tell” displayed in the latter.

As with all college essays, do not forget that the emphasis is on teaching the admissions officers something about you and why the idea or experience made you so excited; avoid spending too much time explaining the logistics or trying to use excessively flowery language.

Essay Prompt 2

Virtually all of stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate — and us — know you better. (100 to 250 words).

The point of this essay is to invoke the casual nature of roommate relationships and invite students to take a more relaxed approach to writing about themselves. It brings the application to life by asking you to write only about your own personality, which feels more open than other essays that ask you to answer a specific question like “Describe your community” or “Talk about a mentor who got you through a difficult time.” While answering both of those prompts still offers insight into who the author is, they are fundamentally centralized around another person or topic, which is why Stanford cuts straight to the chase with this prompt to actually get to know you better.

Stanford is looking for an extremely authentic 250-word portrayal of your character that could distinctly identify you from a crowd of essays. If you got to meet your admissions officer in person, and only had 60 seconds to pitch yourself without using anything from your activities or awards, what would you say first? If you were legitimately writing a letter to your roommate at Stanford, what would you want them to know about the prospect of living with you? If you imagine how your Stanford alumni interview might play out, what topics do you hope to steer towards?

Think deeply about these questions and first see if there is something meaningful that you want to convey, and look through Prompt 3 to see if it would best serve answering the question, “What matters to you, and why?” instead of this roommate prompt. If you do have a more serious answer, you can style the essay like a very formal letter or like a traditional 1-2 paragraph short essay without any of the letter gimmicks at all to stand out syntactically.

If you don’t think you have any important topics on the serious side that you want to specifically cover in the space for this prompt (an extreme medical condition, a family hardship etc.), you could also go for another popular tactic by creating a fun, miscellaneous essay.

This prompt can arguably be one of the most entertaining to write and read of all college supplemental essays because of the opportunity to present the admissions office with an amalgamation of weird topics. A previous CollegeVine guide encouraged students to explore their quirky side with this prompt by writing about unique hobbies or interesting personality oddities. It also advises staying away from things like politics (i.e., don’t indicate which party or ideology you tend to support, even through jokes or minor references, since you don’t want to step on any toes).

Don’t sweat too much over the exact way to put the essay in letter format. Starting with something like “Hi! I am ridiculously stoked to meet you!” or any other straightforward greeting that doesn’t sound too cheesy is totally fine. If you decide to, you can essentially make a bullet list of “fun me facts” if you want to include the maximum amount of content. Remember that this essay should be fun!

Since it is usually hard to come up with good material about your own diverse personality while staring at a blank computer screen, try keeping a note on your phone and adding to it gradually as you think of things throughout the day. Think about what you enjoy and jot down notes like:

I love Sandra Bullock movies. I wish I could stop biting my nails, and sometimes I do, but only until I take a test or watch a freaky movie. I hate doing my laundry and the song ‘Drops of Jupiter.’ I planned myself a Cutthroat Kitchen -themed birthday party last year because I love cooking contest shows. My favorite store is the Dollar Tree, and when I’m there I always feel like I’m getting too much stuff, but when I leave I regret putting stuff back. Before I go to bed, I like to watch clips from Ellen or Jimmy Fallon because I think it gives me funny dreams. I’m attracted to buying gift wrap even if I have no reason for it, a trait I inherited from my mom. I love chicken. I sleep like a rock and unfortunately, that means I need an incredibly loud alarm clock, but I also will never be bothered by late night noise, etc.

You can see by how long this section got just how easy it can be to talk about yourself once you get started…

Try to intersperse some facts that relate to activities you could do together or things that would be important for an actual roommate to know to stay true to the prompt. Juxtaposing random facts might not be the way to go if you feel they are redundant with your short answers or too all over the place for you. Putting together just a few key aspects of your personality and typical habits with more coherent elaboration on each and topping it off with a “Love, your future roomie” holds the potential to become an engaging essay as well.

Here is another example that shows a ton of personality and utilizes a list format:

Ahem…May I make a toast?

First off, I am so pumped to live with you. I don’t have a sibling, so this is as close as it gets! Also, I just wanted you to know…

  • I’m an ENFJ. I’m not nearly as brilliant as Obama or Oprah, but I do fancy the idea of sharing traits with them! ENFJs are “focused on values and vision, passionate about the possibilities for people, tuned into the needs of others, and tend to be optimistic and forward-thinking” — sums up my personality I’d say!
  • I free my mind by exercising and writing. Our campus’s fresh forestry is perfect for morning/night runs/picnics. It would be so fun if you joined!
  • I’m one to stay up all night to chat over coffee and pastries. I’m also one to venture out and walk/bike ten miles for Polaroid pics and yummy eats. Yelp4lyfe.
  • I have a passion for fashion. I love it because style is universal and uniquely personal (read Worn Stories). I have a blog dedicated to learning about global cultures/styles — can’t wait to study abroad!
  • I’m so deeply humbled to be surrounded by exceptional, passionate people like you who are going to rock this world. I had visited Stanford three times before applying, and I had written on my secret blog during my 2nd visit that my heart felt so moved to call this place home one day.

Well, I couldn’t be happier to be home with you.

Name (or nickname)

While this is just one essay (and remember that there are many, many directions you can choose to take your own essay), you can see from this example that showcasing a variety of passions can highlight how multifaceted and genuinely interesting you are. A year from now, you might find yourself cracking up over how weird you sound while exchanging what you wrote with your actual roomie to procrastinate working on your p-sets or essays. We know we did!

Essay Prompt 3

Please describe what aspects of your life experiences, interests and character would help you make a distinctive contribution as an undergraduate to stanford university. (100 to 250 words).

This is a classic example of the Diversity Essay . Your response should focus on your personal background and how your life experiences or cultural traditions provide you with a unique perspective that has influenced your interests and character. Stanford is looking for what makes you unique and how you will share that uniqueness with their community.

Your response should directly answer the question at hand; however, remember to “show, not tell.” A personal narrative is one way to successfully highlight your potential individual contributions to Stanford’s community.

For example, instead of simply saying that you are hardworking and persist despite obstacles, describe a time where you displayed this skill. Perhaps you grew up in the central US where there are seasonal tornadoes and damage to property. You could share a story about how you help rebuild neighbors homes every year after the storms and how you have learned about the value in lending a helping hand to strangers. Or, if you want to discuss your deep connection and commitment to your culture, describe a particular event or custom that has meaning to you that most other applicants would not be aware of. Or maybe you have a strong commitment to sustainability—you could discuss a time you created an initiative to reduce food and plastic waste in your school cafeteria.

Beware that this question is similar to some Common Application prompts. Since the Stanford application is on the Common App, you should use this supplement as a means to communicate something new about yourself to the admissions committee, so avoid discussing topics that you’ve already covered. For example, if your Common Application focused on your analytical mind, consider using this prompt to discuss your compassion for others.

In the remaining space you have in the essay, tie your unique identity back to how you will contribute to Stanford’s campus. If you have a deep connection to your Native American culture, mention how you are excited to be involved with the American Indian Organization at Stanford. 

All in all make sure that the life experience, interest and/or character trait you are sharing in this essay is unique to you and provide evidence to support the unique self that you will bring to campus.

Is Your Stanford Essay Strong Enough?

Do you want feedback on your Stanford essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools.  Find the right advisor for you  to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

If you create incentives for yourself to work on your Stanford University essays early and choose topics that you genuinely care about, then you will end up devoting much more time to them, resulting in more polished essays . Since Stanford admissions are so extremely selective, it places a good deal of pressure on both the content and execution of all 11 essays.

While Stanford has a reputation of being pretty relaxed and laid back, you shouldn’t try to exude that attitude throughout all your essays. Remember that it is the admissions office’s job to read through over 40,000 of these essays each year and discern whether you would be a good fit, so avoid topics that are even vaguely cliché and be brutally honest with yourself about whether you would enjoy the essay you’ve written from an outsider’s perspective.

Overall, do your best to put in the effort on ideas that you feel are unique, personal, and truly meaningful. Good luck!

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  • take a course load of reasonable and appropriate challenge in light of the academic opportunities available at your school
  • work hard and achieve at a high level across the five core liberal arts and science areas: English, math, social studies, science and world language
  • take approximately five academic courses each semester, including during your final year
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Please note: A high school diploma or the equivalent is required in order to enroll at Stanford.

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We do not have a set of required courses for admission to Stanford. However, we have found that a curriculum like the one below is the best preparation for the academic rigors at Stanford.

  • English: four years, with significant emphasis on writing and literature.
  • Mathematics: four years of rigorous mathematics incorporating a solid grounding in fundamental skills (algebra, geometry, trigonometry). We also welcome additional mathematical preparation, including calculus and statistics.
  • History/Social Studies: three or more years, with courses that include the writing of essays.
  • Science: three or more years of science (some examples include biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, human anatomy, and environmental science).
  • World Language: three or more years of the same world language.

We want to emphasize that these are just curriculum recommendations, not strict guidelines. Our admission process allows—and indeed encourages—the flexibility of a high school to design the most appropriate curricular offerings and opportunities for its students. 

We understand students may experience scheduling limitations or particular courses may not be available at their school. Some students may opt to take certain classes over the summer or as dual enrollment courses. That is perfectly okay. The Additional Information section of the Common Application is an available space if students want to provide further context on their course schedule.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What should i do if the courses & grades section of the common application does not accurately capture my high school curriculum.

If you are unable to complete the Courses & Grades section of the Common application or if what you entered does not exactly match what is on your transcript(s), that is completely okay. We will review your official transcript(s).

I am interested in a specific major: What courses or prerequisites are required?

When you apply to Stanford, you apply to the university as a whole, not to a particular major, department or school. As a result, no specific courses are required. Similarly, if you would like to pursue pre-med, pre-law, or pre-business coursework, there are no prerequisites.

Please note that Stanford does not offer pre-med, pre-law, or pre-business majors, although many students do pursue careers or graduate studies in those areas. Those students choose from one of our many major options, while also fulfilling requirements to apply to graduate school. You can find a list of all Stanford majors on the Undergraduate Majors webpage .

Students will also find pre-professional advisors and student groups that can help them prepare for graduate school applications.

Does Stanford prefer a particular curriculum?

We do not have a preference for any particular curriculum. Some high schools offer Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A-Level classes, while other high schools offer equally demanding courses that neither carry a particular designation nor lead to an exam. We hope a school’s curriculum offers students the opportunity to contribute to the learning process and to pursue questions and ideas with energy and curiosity.

How should I approach choosing my courses?

We recommend you pursue a reasonably challenging curriculum by choosing courses from among the most demanding available at your school. We ask you to exercise good judgment and to consult with your counselor, teachers and parents as you construct a curriculum that is right for you. Our hope is that your curriculum will inspire you to develop your intellectual interests, not suffer from unnecessary stress.

The students who thrive at Stanford are those who are genuinely excited about learning, not necessarily those who take every single AP or IB, Honors or Accelerated class just because it has that designation. Overall, we look for thoughtful and highly-engaged students who will make a difference at Stanford and in the world beyond.

What if my high school schedule doesn’t allow me to follow Stanford’s curriculum guidelines? For instance, if I take the most advanced level of world language offered in my sophomore year, do I need to take additional world language classes as a junior or senior?

Please note that our recommended high school curriculum is only a guideline. There is not a set of required courses for admission to Stanford, and our guidelines leave room for flexibility.

For example, if you complete the most advanced level of a world language offered by your school as a sophomore, it is not necessary to take additional world language classes your junior and senior year. Please keep in mind, though, that we expect students to take approximately five academic courses each semester, including during their senior year.

I am considering graduating from high school early. Would this be an advantage?

We consider each student’s educational journey to be unique, and if graduating from high school early is a good fit for you, you should follow that path. At Stanford, no single educational pathway has an advantage over any other. We will review your application holistically, taking into account your context and the unique factors that have shaped your education thus far.

Do I need to submit AP, IB and A-Level exam results?

Students currently enrolled in AP courses are not required to submit AP scores as part of our admission process. However, we welcome the self-reporting of these scores as additional information to your application.

Students currently enrolled in an IB Diploma program outside the U.S. must have a school official send us their predicted IB marks (including TOK/essay bonus points).

Students currently enrolled in the British education system must have a school official send us their GCSE results and predicted A-Level marks for consideration. Generally, students applying to Stanford from the British education system will have taken at least three full A-Level courses (though they may not have taken the final examinations).

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College Essays

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Are you hoping to be one of the less than 4% of students admitted to Stanford this year? If so, you'll need to write some amazing essays as part of your application.

In this article, we'll outline the different types of essays you need to write for your Stanford University application and teach you how to write an essay that will help you stand out from the thousands of other applicants. We'll also go over the five short answer questions that are part of the Stanford supplement.

So let's get started!

What Are the Stanford Essays?

Stanford requires that you complete a total of four essays as a part of your application for admission.

You'll need to answer one  prompt provided by the Common Application or Coalition Application , depending on which one you use to submit your Stanford application through. You can find more information about the Common Application essays here , and more info about the Coalition essay prompts here .

You'll also need to respond to three Stanford-specific short essay questions .

The Stanford essay prompts offer you plenty of opportunities to show off your qualifications as an applicant and wow the admissions committee.

Want to build the best possible college application?   We can help.   PrepScholar Admissions combines world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've guided thousands of students to get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit and are driven to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in:

2022-2023 Stanford Essay Prompts

You'll need to respond to three Stanford Questions for your Stanford supplement essays. You'll submit the Stanford supplement essays online with your Coalition or Common app.

You need to respond to all three of the Stanford essay prompts for your application. Each one of the Stanford essays has a 100-word minimum and a 250-word maximum.

Here are the 2022-2023 Stanford essay prompts:

#1 : The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning.

#2 : Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—know you better.

#3 : Tell us about something that is meaningful to you, and why?

Stanford Essays Analyzed

In this section, we'll be looking at each of the three Stanford supplement essays in depth. Remember, every applicant must answer every one of the Stanford essay prompts, so you don't get to choose which essay you would like to write. You have to answer all three of the Stanford essay prompts well in order for your application to stand out.

Let's take a look at each of the three Stanford short essay questions and see how to write something meaningful for each.

Stanford Essay Prompt 1

The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (100 word min, 250 word max)

This Stanford essay prompt is very broad. The structure of the prompt indicates that the committee is interested in learning about your curiosity inside and outside of the classroom, so don't feel like you have to limit the lessons you talk about to ones that occur at school.

The most important thing to remember here is to be specific. The committee doesn't want you to wax poetic about the virtues of remaining eternally curious; they want to see how a real-life example has affected you.

For instance, instead of talking about how a trip to a foreign country opened your eyes to different cultures, pick a specific moment from your visit that really hammered home the importance of curiosity. Go into detail about how that one experience affected you. Being specific is more powerful than speaking in generalized platitudes.

Similarly, you want to write about something that you're genuinely passionate and excited about. After all, it says so right in the prompt! Pick a topic that you truly love, such as a historical fiction book that you read that inspired you to learn about a new era in history or the science fiction movie that sparked curiosity about how time works in space.

Don't feel limited to your potential major. Stanford doesn't require that you pick and stick with a specific major for your application, so you don't have to write about a moment here that relates to your predicted course of study. In fact, picking a learning experience in a different field will better show that you're curious and open to new ideas.

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Stanford Essay Prompt 2

Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—know you better. (100 word min, 250 word max) 

Stanford's roommate essay question is notorious. While the other two of the three Stanford essays may change from year-to-year, the Stanford roommate essay is always on the application.

First, remember that this essay is written to your future roommate, who will be one of your peers. You can adopt a more informal, fun tone with this essay, because the prompt indicates that it's going to someone who is your age.

The Stanford roommate essay is your opportunity to show a different side of your personality than the admissions committee will see on the rest of your application. This essay is your chance to show yourself as a well-rounded person who has a variety of different interests and talents.

Don't repeat information that the committee can find elsewhere on your application. Take the time to share fun, personal details about yourself.

For instance, do you make awesome, screen-accurate cosplays or have a collection of rock crystals from caving expeditions? Think about what you love to do in your spare time.

Be specific—the committee wants to get a real picture of you as a person. Don't just say that you love to play video games, say exactly which video games you love and why.

The roommate essay is also a great time to show off your community—the friends, family, teammates, etc. who make up your current life. You can talk about the deep bonds you have and how they have affected you. Showing your relationships to others gives the committee a better idea of how you will fit in on Stanford's campus.

All in all, the Stanford roommate essay is a great opportunity to have some fun and show off some different aspects of your personality. Let yourself shine!

Stanford Essay Prompt 3

Tell us about something that is meaningful to you, and why? (100 word min, 250 word max) 

While all three of the Stanford essay prompts are fairly broad, the third Stanford essay prompt is by far the broadest. You can write about anything that's meaningful to you here— the prompt doesn't specify that you have to talk about something academic or personal.

Sometimes, broad prompts can be more intimidating than prompts that have a very narrow focus. The trick here is to (again) pick something specific and stick to it.

Don't, for instance, say that world peace is meaningful to you because it won't sound sincere. You should talk about something that is uniquely important to you, not the other thousands of students that are applying to Stanford.

Pick something that is really meaningful to you. You could talk about your relationship with your grandmother and how she taught you how to cook or a specific musical album that reminds you of an important experience in your life. You might talk about a club or after-school activity that has broadened your horizons or an academic award you won after an extreme challenge.

Whatever topic you choose, your essay should feel sincere. Don't write what you think the committee wants to hear. They'll be more impressed by a meaningful experience that rings true than one that seems artificial or implausible.

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Stanford Short Answer Questions Analyzed

Along with your essays, you'll also need to answer five short questions. You'll only have 50 words to answer each one...so you'll need to make it count!

Question 1: The Social Challenge Question

What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?

There are two ways you can answer this question. First, you can choose a significant social challenge that matters to you. For instance, perhaps your parents are essential workers, and the COVID pandemic revealed the unfair labor practices that exist in the US to you. Labor issues are a major social issue both in the US and abroad, and because you're impacted by it, you'll be able to put together a very compelling and powerful answer.

The other approach you can take to this question is linking it to your academic interests. Perhaps you want to major in mechanical engineering. One huge social issue is access to clean drinking water. In your response, you can explain the issue and then talk about how it inspired you to become a mechanical engineer. Maybe you want to develop better water decontamination systems! That would be a great response to this question.

The big thing to remember is you need to include a why in your answer. Why do you think this challenge is significant? And how are you planning to help solve this problem? Make sure you include these answers in your response!

Question 2: The Summer Question

How did you spend your last two summers?

This is a pretty straightforward question. Make a list of everything you did the past two summers, then parse it down so that you're including the most important aspects. For example, say you volunteered at a summer camp for the past two summers, but you also helped your family with chores and volunteered with a political campaign. Our recommendation would be to leave the chores out and focus on the bigger, more notable aspects of your summer vacation.

But maybe you had to work over the summers. Or perhaps you weren't able to take on extracurriculars because your parents needed your help caring for your younger siblings. Don't worry: those are great answers here, too. Your response doesn't have to be flashy —you don't have to have spent two summers participating in scientific research!

The important thing is to include a why in your answer . Why did you spend your summer vacations this way? And what do your choices say about your values? For instance, if you helped care for your younger siblings, you can explain that family is important to you, and that's part of why you're driven to get a college education. Counselors are trying to get a sense of who you are and what you care about!

Question 3: The Historical Moment Question

What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?

Think back to your history classes. Is there a historical moment you're fascinated with? This is a good time to share it with the admissions committee! Maybe you love legal history, so you would have loved to have attended Ruth Bader Ginsburg's swearing in ceremony. Or perhaps you're more interested in medicine, so you'd have loved to witness Wilhelm Röntgen discover x-rays.

Our best advice for answering this question is to be specific and original. Stay away from popular and obvious answers, like "the signing of the Declaration of Independence" or "Lincoln's Gettysburg address." Pick something more unique so that you stand out from other applicants. Once you've picked your historical moment, explain why you'd want to witness it!

Question 4: The Extracurriculars and Responsibilities Question

Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family.

The key word in this question is "one." The admissions counselors don't want to read a list of your responsibilities. They want you to talk about one of them and then explain why you participate and/or why it's important to you.

For this question, avoid discussing something that's already evident from the rest of your admissions packet. For instance, if you've already listed band as an extracurricular and talked about it in one of your essays, you don't really need to talk about it here. Give the admissions counselors new information about yourself that they wouldn't be able to learn from other parts of your application.

For instance, maybe you help your dad out with his lawn care business in the summers. That would be a great thing to discuss here, especially if you haven't had a chance to talk about this elsewhere in your application. You could use this opportunity to discuss how helping your family out is important to you, and you also appreciated getting to know the people in your community while cutting their grass.

Whatever activity you choose, be sure to do more than just explain what that activity entails . Go into detail about what it means to you. Why do you participate in that activity? How has it impacted you as a person? You'll have to keep it brief, but these kinds of personal details are what Stanford admissions counselors are looking for.

Question 5: The Stanford Question

Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford.

Answering this question starts with research. What is one—again, just one —thing you can't wait to learn, experience, or participate in as a Stanford student? You'll need to spend some time on the Stanford website looking into the different opportunities available to students.

First things first: limit your answer to academics or academic-leaning extracurricular activities. Yes, Palo Alto is beautiful. And yes, Stanford has a fun football program. But admissions counselors want to see that you're going to be a thoughtful, involved member of the Stanford community. So while these things are true and fun, this question is your chance to explain how you're going to get involved on the Stanford campus ...and maybe even give back, too.

Also, the best answers to this question are going to be specific. Instead of saying that you can't wait to participate in clubs, pick one (like the Food and Agribusiness Club) and discuss why it's so exciting to you. The more specific you are, the more you'll show admissions counselors that you're super serious about being a Stanford student.

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How to Write a Great Stanford Essay

Regardless of which Stanford essay prompt you're responding to, you should keep in mind the following tips for how to write a great Stanford essay.

#1: Use Your Own Voice

The point of a college essay is for the admissions committee to have the chance to get to know you beyond your test scores, grades, and honors. Your admissions essays are your opportunity to make yourself come alive for the essay readers and to present yourself as a fully fleshed out person.

You should, then, make sure that the person you're presenting in your college essays is yourself. Don't try to emulate what you think the committee wants to hear or try to act like someone you're not.

If you lie or exaggerate, your essay will come across as insincere, which will diminish its effectiveness. Stick to telling real stories about the person you really are, not who you think Stanford wants you to be.

#2: Avoid Cliches and Overused Phrases

When writing your Stanford essays, try to avoid using cliches or overused quotes or phrases.

These include quotations that have been quoted to death and phrases or idioms that are overused in daily life. The college admissions committee has probably seen numerous essays that state, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Strive for originality.

Similarly, avoid using cliches , which take away from the strength and sincerity of your work.

#3: Check Your Work

It should almost go without saying, but you want to make sure your Stanford essays are the strongest example of your work possible. Before you turn in your Stanford application, make sure to edit and proofread your essays.

Your work should be free of spelling and grammar errors. Make sure to run your essays through a spelling and grammar check before you submit.

It's a good idea to have someone else read your Stanford essays, too. You can seek a second opinion on your work from a parent, teacher, or friend. Ask them whether your work represents you as a student and person. Have them check and make sure you haven't missed any small writing errors. Having a second opinion will help your work be the best it possibly can be.

What's Next?

If you want to be one of the 6% of students accepted to Stanford, you'll have to have a great GPA. Check out our guide on how to get good grades in high school for some tips and strategies!

Confused or intimidated about the college admissions process? Check out our complete guide on how to apply to college.

If you want to stand out from the crowd as an applicant, you'll need a solid resume of extracurricular activities . Learn more about your extracurricular options and why they matter.

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Hayley Milliman is a former teacher turned writer who blogs about education, history, and technology. When she was a teacher, Hayley's students regularly scored in the 99th percentile thanks to her passion for making topics digestible and accessible. In addition to her work for PrepScholar, Hayley is the author of Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females.

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12 Best Stanford Supplemental Essays That Worked 2023

Stanford University Essay Examples

Your essays are one of the best ways you can stand out in Stanford's competitive admissions process.

In this article, I'm going to share with you 12 answers to Stanford's notorious writing supplement from an admitted student.

Stanford University Admissions FAQs

Many students are interested in applying to Stanford, even though admission may seem like a long-shot.

But you may surprise yourself, and for many students it's the only time in their life they'll apply.

Here are some common questions students and parents have about Stanford's admissions:

What is Stanford University's acceptance rate?

This past year, Stanford had a record 55,471 applications and admitted 2,190 students. That gives Stanford an overall admit rate of 3.95%.

Or in other words, less than 1 in 25 students are admitted.

Just having good stats is not enough to get into schools like Stanford.

Which makes your essays are a critical opportunity for you to show why you should be accepted.

Stanford University Acceptance Scattergram

But for any school that has competitive admissions like Stanford, that only means your essays are more heavily weighed.

Each year thousands of students apply with stats that are good enough to get in. And your essays are one important factor admissions officers use.

What is Stanford's application deadline for this year?

Stanford offers two admissions deadlines for 2022-23: restrictive early action and regular decision.

For this year, Stanford's deadlines are:

  • Restrictive Early Action (REA): November 1st, 2022
  • Regular Decision (RD): January 5th, 2023

How many essays does Stanford require?

This year, Stanford University requires applying students to answer five Short Questions and write three Short Essays. If you're applying with the Common App, you'll also need a strong personal statement essay .

Stanford is notorious for its lengthy and creative writing supplement. The questions are known to be thought-provoking, which is done on purpose.

Stanford admissions officers want to dig into your thought process, and learn how you think.

What are the Stanford supplemental essay prompts for 2022-23?

For 2023, the Stanford writing supplement consists of eight questions total:

Short Questions

Stanford requires applicants to answer five short answer questions of between 3 and 50 words each.

What is the most significant challenge that society faces today? (3-50 words)

How did you spend your last two summers? (3-50 words)

What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (3-50 words)

Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family. (3-50 words)

Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford. (3-50 words)

Short Essays

Stanford's short essays are three required essays of between 100 and 250 words each.

The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (100-250 words)

Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate – and us – get to know you better. (100-250 words)

Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why. (100-250 words)

Stanford's unique prompts give you a lot of freedom in how you choose to respond.

But being so open-ended can also make it difficult to get started.

Because of that, it can be helpful to see how other students wrote answers to Stanford's prompts in recent years.

12 Stanford University Essays That Worked

For getting your best shot at Stanford, you'll need to write authentic and interesting essays.

My advice: Have fun with the prompts when coming up with ideas. But write about them with care and diligence. Above all, be authentic.

Check out how these admitted Stanford students wrote their essay and short answer responses.

I've also included a great Common App essay from an admitted student.

  • Stanford University Essay Example #1
  • Stanford University Essay Example #2
  • Stanford University Essay Example #3
  • Stanford University Essay Example #4
  • Stanford University Essay Example #5
  • Stanford University Essay Example #6
  • Stanford University Essay Example #7
  • Stanford University Essay Example #8
  • Stanford University Essay Example #9
  • Stanford University Essay Example #10
  • Stanford University Essay Example #11
  • Stanford University Essay Example #12

1. Stanford University Short Question

Prompt: What is the most significant challenge that society faces today? (50 words max)

RECOGNIZING. CLIMATE. CHANGE.

Why This Essay Works:

  • Bold and Unique: Stanford's prompts reward bold and genuine writing. It is okay to be simple and straightforward, but still must be thoughtful as this response is.
  • Well-Composed: Although only three words, this response still shows thought. The use of capitalization and periods separating each word emphasizes the author's point and makes it even more poignant.

What They Might Change:

  • Use The Full Word Limit: It is risky to leave 47 words unused. This essay succeeds in taking that risk, but generally you should use all the words available because each one is an opportunity to convey more meaning.

2. Stanford University Short Question

Prompt: How did you spend your last two summers? (50 words max)

[Date] : Working with the head of IT at Golden Gate Parks and Rec to renovate the social media program and redesign the website. (sfrecpark.org)

[Date] : Studying at Stanford High School Summer College, building a family in two months.

  • Answers Prompt Directly: This response leaves no room for doubt. And shows that you don't have to be fancy or "try hard" for all essays. Sometimes plain answers work best when it is a short prompt like this one.
  • Organized Clearly: For straightforward answers, having a straightforward structure can be a good thing. Each word is used carefully and has a purpose.
  • Has Strong Ideas: You don't need much to convey meaning. In just the last six words ("building a family in two months") there is hints of deeper ideas.

3. Stanford University Short Question

Prompt: What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (50 words max)

The Trinity test, the first detonation of the atomic bomb. For one, an opportunity to meet my role models: Oppenheimer, Feynman, Fermi, etc. But also, to witness the 4 millisecond shift to an era of humanity that could eradicate itself. “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

  • Connects To Author's Interests: The author cleverly reveals about themselves by telling their role models: the physicists involved.
  • Shows Specific Knowledge: Rather than just saying "the first atomic bomb test", the author names it specifically: The Trinity Test. Including the famous Oppenheimer quote from the Bhagavad Gita also shows real thought was put into it.

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4. Stanford University Short Question

Prompt: Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford. (50 words max)

Representing an ideal.

Stanford is a gathering place of people working towards a common ideal; one of engagement, passion, intellectual vitality, and devotion to progress. This is what I stand for, so I want to help Stanford represent it.

(Also those cream cheese croissants from CoHo.)

  • Idea-Focused: The author's take on what Stanford represents ("an ideal") is a unique perspective.
  • Authentic Motivations: Revealing your genuine motivation for attending a school shows your interest is not surface-level. The author's motivation is also a powerful one: representing an ideal.
  • Lighthearted and Relatable: The last remark in parantheses lightens the tone, while still relating to Stanford specifically. Admissions officers surely would crack a smile at this remark because it is relatable to them and genuine.

5. Stanford University Short Question

Prompt: What five words best describe you? (5 words max)

I don’t conform to arbitrary boundaries.

  • Bold and Takes a Risk: Stanford supplements are the perfect place to take a (calculated) risk. This type of answer only works if A.) it hasn't been done before and B.) it is genuine and not done just for the sake of risk-taking.

6. Stanford University Short Question

Prompt: Imagine you had an extra hour in the day — how would you spend that time? (50 words max)

One extra hour is thirty minutes extra of daylight.

The US has 28 GW of installed solar capacity. With the extra daylight, there will be a 4% increase in national capacity, an entire GW added. This small increase alone powers 700,000 homes. I’m spending the time investing in photovoltaics!

  • Thinks Outside the Box: Most students would answer this prompt more literally: with what activity they would do. Having a unique approach shows your ability to think differently.
  • Cleverness: Strikes the right balance between being clever and genuinely answering the prompt. Trying too hard to be clever is easily seen-through.
  • Explain Acronyms Before Using: Instead of writing "GW," the first reference should say "gigawatt." This is a minor semantic correction that would make things slightly more clear.

7. Stanford University "Genuinely Excited About Learning" Short Essay

Prompt: The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (100-250 words)

It’s in the mail.

I rip open the package.

It feels sleek along my fingertips. Three volumes. Gorgeous red binding with stunning silver lettering. THE Feynman LECTURES ON PHYSICS The NEW MILLENIUM Edition

I had heard about them previously, but a Quora thread on “essential physics texts” convinced me to invest in them. I thought I was buying a textbook, but I was buying a new way of life. That night, while I laid in bed, Feynman changed my entire perspective of the universe. In the first lecture.

Not only was he a Nobel prize winning physicist with a unique approach to the subject, but his pedagogical capabilities were perfectly suited to my personality. When Feynman teaches, he does not just teach physics, he teaches how to think and understand. He helped me recognize that my passion wasn’t for physics, it was for a passion for learning and understanding.

Spoken directly from the source: “I don't know anything, but I do know that everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough.”

Reading the Lectures rouses within me the most intense feeling of elation I have ever experienced. When I open the Lectures, any bad mood is erased, any haze in my mind is cleared away, and I become the person I strive to be.

Now, I always have at least one of the Lectures on me. At festivals, in backpacks, in carryons, if I am there, so are the Lectures.

  • Tells a Story: Painting a vivid picture can bring admissions officers into your world. Using stories also is a compelling way to share ideas without stating them plainly.
  • Showcases Genuine Interest: Write about things in a way that only you could write about. The authenticity in this essay is palpable.

8. Stanford University "Letter to Roommate" Short Essay

Prompt: Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate -- and us -- know you better. (100-250 words)

Dear roommate,

Don’t be alarmed if you glance over at my laptop late at night displaying a plague doctor examining a watermelon with a stethoscope, meticulously listening for a heartbeat.

I apologise for waking you, but before requesting a room change, allow me to explain. This twisted scene is innocently my favorite video on YouTube. I have ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It is a euphoric, calming sensation triggered by visual and auditory stimuli like whispering and fine movements, which I use to aid my insomnia. This plague doctor, played by youtuber Ephemeral Rift, has movements as he inspects the watermelon that are as calming to me as a mother’s lullabies are to a child.

I know we will both have our strong, unique personalities with our individual quirks like this. However, I guarantee we have a fundamental similarity which lead us to becoming Stanford students.

We have passion for learning. Even if two people are polar-opposite personalities, they can become family if they have this.

That said, I have a feeling we won’t be polar opposites. I love jamming on my guitar, going out to parties, playing video games, messing around with soccer, and a hodgepodge of other hobbies. I’m sure we’ll have some common ground to start off but either way there will be plenty of time to grow together!

P.S. I am a whiteboard fiend. I hope that’s okay.

  • Humanizes the Author: Being quirky for quirkiness sake isn't good. But the author strikes a balance between showing their unique (some may say strange) interests and the relatable aspects (like whiteboards, going to parties, and soccer).
  • Connects to Bigger Ideas: Even in "unserious" writing, connecting to meaningful ideas is key. The author brilliantly shows what relates all Stanford students: their passion for learning.
  • Minor Writing Fixes: Small edits such as capitalizing the proper noun "Youtuber" and some word choices could be altered.

9. Stanford University "Meaningful To You" Short Essay

Prompt: Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why. (100-250 words)

A meaningful discussion can be found deep in the jungle of YouTube, during an obscure “CBS This Morning” interview with Bill Murray.

“What do you want, that you don’t have?” - Charlie Rose

Bill Murray - “I’d like to be here all the time, and just see what I could get done, what I could do if I really, you know, didn’t cloud myself... if I were able to... to not get distracted. To not change channels in my mind and body, to be my own channel.”

Death is scary but my slimy, monolithic, Lovecraftian fear is unengagement. I only have a brief time to experience life and I know I will find the most fulfillment in “[seeing] what I could get done.” When I feel that signature fuzzy, tired feeling in my head, I am reminded of my old night terrors; I would be awake yet unable to interact with my surroundings.

In sophomore year, when I discovered my passion for physics, I found a powerful way to stay engaged. Developing a passion fundamentally requires me, as Murray puts it, “to be my own channel.” Problem solving, understanding difficult concepts, having intense discussions all demand your mind to be present and I am more than happy to oblige.

Intellectual vitality is not my application buzzword, it is my lifestyle.

  • Shows What Drives Them: Admissions officers are interested in the root of your being. That is, what gets you up in the morning. Showing your perspective on life and what you hope to get out of life is key.
  • Connects to Application's Interests: A central theme of this author is physics. And each essay relates back to their intended area of study to a varying degree. By connecting to the rest of your application, it creates a cohesive picture of yourself as an applicant.
  • Use Less Quotes: Quotes can be great for introducing ideas. But ultimately admissions officers want to hear your words, not other people's. The first three paragraphs are about other people's ideas, not the author's, and could be condensed.

10. Stanford University Short Essay

Prompt: Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150 words max)

One month into AP Physics C Mr. Shapiro's cancer came out of remission. With no teacher for the rest of the semester, I offered to give a few lectures. The first try was a huge success and I was hooked on teaching.

Following my newfound addiction, I started Lowell Physics Club (LPC). Our first lecture attracted 50 students, with 40 returning the next week!

A victim of grandeur, I designed an environment more than a club. It had to be innovative, attractive, and have a tangible payoff. We tutor students in physics, connect those looking for fun projects, prepare students for the F=ma Olympiad, and sometimes I give lectures which expand rather than repeat. This year two students qualified.

Mr. Shapiro returned this semester and continued teaching. I can now relax in the back of the room listening to his engaging lectures, occasionally giving one of my own.

  • Provides Backstory: Explaining how you got started in an extracurricular is compelling because it reveals your motivations for doing it.
  • Shows Takeaways from Their Achievements: Listing achievements and extracurriculars isn't as important as what you got from them. The author emphasizes the important of their extracurricular and why it is meaningful, rather than just what they did.
  • Be Careful With Personal Details: Unless this author got permission from "Mr. Shapiro" to use their name, revealing personal details such as health conditions is not good to do. Always be careful naming people in your essays, but especially for potentially sensitive topics.

11. Stanford University Short Question

Prompt: When the choice is yours, what do you read, listen to, or watch? (50 words max)

From my bookshelf, Youtube subscriptions, Netflix history, and Spotify.

The Feynman Lectures, MF Doom, Ephemeral Rift, Tank and The Bangas, The Eric Andre Show, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Hubbard and Hubbard’s Differential Equations and Vector Calculus, Thích Nhất Hạnh, Kamasi Washington, 3Blue1Brown, Al Green, Band of Gypsys, Oxford Press - Very Short Introductions

  • Answers Prompt Clearly: Provides a straightforward response without room for misinterpretation.
  • Has Good Context: By stating where these interests come from ("bookshelf, Youtube subscriptions, Netflix"), the answers have more context.
  • Organization: Listing their interests by type (such as musical artists, authors, and TV shows) would help readers who may not be as familiar with all the interests.

12. Stanford University Common App Essay

Common App Prompt #7: Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. (250-650 words)

Slowly, my passion emerged from pretense and envy into reality.

This essay is all based upon the metaphor of "the itch" representing a desire to understand the world. By using a central theme, such as a metaphor, you can create a thread of ideas that run throughout your essay. If you want to use a metaphor, make sure it clearly relates to the idea you're trying to express, rather than choosing one just because it is a creative or unique approach. In this case, there is perhaps no better metaphor than "the itch" which would capture their main idea, so it works well.

Instead of "telling" their ideas, this essay does a lot of fantastic "showing" through specific anecdotes. Sentences like "I learned to sing the blues before I knew the words..." capture a lot about the author's character and background without having to say it outright. By showing the reader, you allow them to draw their own conclusions rather than just having to accept what you're telling them. Using specific language also creates a more vibrant and interesting essay. Rather than saying "I loved learning as a kid," this student shows it using a concrete example: "my favorite book was an introduction to fulcrums".

Writing about other people in your essay can be a great way to tell things about yourself. Known as a literary "foil," by describing other people you can show your own values without stating them plainly. In this essay, the author shows their value (of being passionate about learning) by first recognizing that value in somebody else, "Kikki" in this case. By writing about people in your life, you can also create a sense of humility and humanity. Nobody is an "island," meaning that everyone is influenced by those around us. Showing how you draw inspiration, values, or lessons from others will show more about your character than simply telling admissions would.

In general, listing activities in your essay is a bad strategy, because it is repetitive of your activities list and comes across boring. However, this essay manages to list their activities in the 3rd-to-last paragraph by connecting them to a central idea: how their newfound passion for learning sparked all these new engagements. Listing activities can be okay, but only if they have a clear purpose in doing so. In this case, the purpose is to show how these activities are representative of their new passion for learning. But the purpose for listing activities could also be to show a specific value, provide examples for your idea, demonstrate your new perspective, etc.

What Can You Learn From These Stanford Essays?

Do you want to get into Stanford in 2022? If so, writing great application essays is one of your most critical parts of applying.

With selective schools like Stanford, your essays matter even more.

Hopefully these 12 Stanford short answers and essays have helped inspire you.

From these essay examples, you can learn what it takes to write some stellar Stanford supplements:

  • Don't be afraid to be creative
  • Don't write formally. You can write as you would speak.
  • Showcase your genuine self, interests, and passions
  • Think outside the box, if appropriate and natural

If you enjoyed these essays, you'll also like reading UCLA essays and USC essays .

What did you think of these Stanford essays?

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Princeton Admitted Essay

People love to ask why. Why do you wear a turban? Why do you have long hair? Why are you playing a guitar with only 3 strings and watching TV at 3 A.M.—where did you get that cat? Why won’t you go back to your country, you terrorist? My answer is... uncomfortable. Many truths of the world are uncomfortable...

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Her baking is not confined to an amalgamation of sugar, butter, and flour. It's an outstretched hand, an open invitation, a makeshift bridge thrown across the divides of age and culture. Thanks to Buni, the reason I bake has evolved. What started as stress relief is now a lifeline to my heritage, a language that allows me to communicate with my family in ways my tongue cannot. By rolling dough for saratele and crushing walnuts for cornulete, my baking speaks more fluently to my Romanian heritage than my broken Romanian ever could....

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A cow gave birth and I watched. Staring from the window of our stopped car, I experienced two beginnings that day: the small bovine life and my future. Both emerged when I was only 10 years old and cruising along the twisting roads of rural Maryland...

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Statement of purpose.

You are required to submit a Statement of Purpose in response to the following prompt:

Describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at Stanford, your preparation for this field of study, research interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admission committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study. The maximum recommended length is 1,000 words.

The exact prompt you see on the application (including recommended length) may differ depending on the graduate program you select.

Refer to your graduate program’s website to check whether it offers specific guidance on the Statement of Purpose.

Enriching the Learning Community

You may submit an optional statement in response to the following prompt:

Stanford University welcomes graduate applications from individuals with a broad range of experiences, interests, and backgrounds who would contribute to our community of scholars. We invite you to share the lived experiences, demonstrated values, perspectives, and/or activities that shape you as a scholar and would help you to make a distinctive contribution to Stanford University.

Your statement should not exceed 500 words in length.

Stanford Essays 2023-24

Stanford supplemental essays .

The Stanford essays form a critical part of the application process. Like at many top schools around the country, when you apply to Stanford, you’ll complete school-specific Stanford essay prompts in addition to the Common App essay. If you’re wondering how to get into Stanford, strong Stanford supplemental essays are a good place to start. 

In this article, we’ll discuss each of the Stanford supplemental essays in detail, including the Stanford roommate essay and other Stanford essays. Additionally, we’ll review the requirements for each of the Stanford essay prompts. We’ll also provide resources with Stanford essay examples that you can use when writing your own Stanford essays. Finally, we’ll offer more tips on how to get into Stanford, including application deadlines, dates, and timelines.

Stanford Essays: Quick Facts

Stanford university supplemental essays quick facts.

  • Stanford Acceptance Rate: The acceptance rate for Stanford admissions is only 4% according to U.S. News . 
  • Understanding the Stanford Essay Requirements: The Stanford requirements include three Stanford supplemental essays. Each of the Stanford essays must be between 100 and 250 words.
  • Applying to Stanford: Students must complete the Common Application and the Stanford requirements before the Stanford application deadline. Make sure you submit your Stanford supplemental essays along with all other application materials when applying .
  • Restrictive Early Action Deadline: November 1
  • Standard Application Deadline: January 5
  • Top Stanford Essays Tip: Because you have to complete three Stanford essays, make sure you give yourself enough time to work on each of them. Even though each of the essays is only at most 250 words, shorter essays can take longer to revise and perfect.

Please note that essay requirements are subject to change each admissions cycle, and portions of this article may have been written before the final publication of the most recent guidelines. For the most up-to-date information on essay requirements, check the university’s admissions website. 

Does Stanford have supplemental essays?

Yes, students must complete three Stanford supplemental essays. Students must submit their Stanford supplemental essays in addition to the Common App essay and the other Stanford requirements. These Stanford essays help the admissions team get to know their applicants better and evaluate whether they will be a good fit for the school.

How many essays does Stanford require?

Students must submit responses to three Stanford essay prompts as part of their application. In addition to these Stanford supplemental essays, there are also several additional short answer prompts that students must complete. 

These responses are limited to 50 words maximum, so they are not quite long enough to be considered full Stanford essays. However, they are still an important part of your application, so plan to spend as much time on those responses as your responses to the Stanford essay prompts. You can find a list of these additional prompts along with tips and Stanford essays examples in our guide here .

Do Stanford essays change?

The Stanford essay prompts do sometimes change from year to year. One of their more well-known prompts, the Stanford roommate essay, has been part of the application for a while and likely won’t change. However, in the 2021-2022 school year , one of the Stanford essay prompts asked students to talk about a topic that was meaningful to them. Now, that question has been changed to ask students: what aspects of your life experiences, interests, and character would help you make a distinctive contribution as an undergraduate to Stanford University?

Even though the Stanford supplemental essays may change, the purpose behind the Stanford essays remains the same. The admissions team uses the Stanford supplemental essays to get to know students on a deeper and more personal level. While grades and extracurricular activities are also important, the Stanford essays allow students to share parts of their life and experiences that the admissions office would not otherwise know. So, in each of your Stanford essays, highlight why you would be a perfect fit for Stanford!

What are the Stanford essay prompts?

The Stanford supplemental essays consist of three different Stanford essay prompts. Each prompt must be answered with an essay of between 100 and 250 words. The Stanford essay prompts for 2023-2024 are as follows and can also be found on the Stanford admissions website:

Stanford University Essay Prompts

1. the stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning., 2. virtually all of stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—get to know you better., 3. please describe what aspects of your life experiences, interests, and character would help you make a distinctive contribution as an undergraduate to stanford university..

Before you start writing your Stanford essays, we recommend taking the time to read each of the Stanford essay prompts carefully. This will help you know exactly what each prompt asks so you can craft a strong response. 

Below, we’ll break down each prompt individually and show you how you can write standout Stanford essays for each prompt. For additional tips and Stanford essay examples, check out our Stanford essays guide .

Stanford Essays #1

The first of the Stanford essay prompts is fairly straightforward. This prompt asks you to describe a time or experience that sparked a passion for learning. The possibilities for answering this prompt vary widely. However, the key to any great essay is specificity and focus. Remember that you only have a maximum of 250 words to write your Stanford supplemental essays, so you need to choose which of your passions to focus on. 

Start by identifying a formative moment when you developed a love for learning about your chosen subject. Then, build from that to show your intellectual curiosity. For instance, this could be a school field trip to a planetarium that inspired an ongoing love of space. The best essays begin by immediately pulling their readers into a story rather than restating the prompt or giving a general introduction.

Keep it authentic

Some students make the mistake of trying to look perfect and writing Stanford essay examples that they believe readers want to see. Being authentic and showing off your unique personality is much more important. In fact, your readers will appreciate getting to know the real you. 

This prompt asks about more than just a single defining moment. It is about why this moment was meaningful and how that moment inspired you to keep learning and growing. So, don’t be afraid to show off how much you love your topic.

Stanford Essays #2

Prompt #2 is the famous Stanford roommate essay. While the other Stanford essays share common elements with other essay prompts, the Stanford roommate essay is in a category of its own. In the Stanford roommate essay, students write a letter introducing themselves to their future roommate. This essay can take many forms, from a standard letter beginning with “Dear Roomie,” to a list of important characteristics, and even a “day in the life” snapshot where the writer describes what a typical Stanford day might look like for them.

Whichever format you choose for your Stanford roommate essay, remember that your audience for this essay is not just your hypothetical future roommate, but also the Stanford admissions team. So, like your other Stanford essays, your Stanford roommate essay should highlight what makes you unique. 

Approaching the Stanford roommate essay

Think about what quirks, characteristics, or personality traits you want to reveal about yourself. Then, come up with anecdotes or stories that showcase those characteristics. Instead of simply saying to your reader, “I am an avid crossword puzzle solver,” you can convey the same information in a more interesting way by saying “You’ll probably wake up most mornings and hear me mumbling random words to myself while hunched over a newspaper. Don’t worry, I promise I’ll be more social once I finish my daily crossword!”

The Stanford roommate essay can seem intimidating at first, but it can also be a fun way to show off who you are. If you have trouble coming up with ideas, don’t be afraid to ask family members or friends for help. They may be able to identify parts of your personality that would make great subjects for your Stanford roommate essay. 

Stanford Essays #3

After the Stanford roommate essay, the final prompt for the Stanford supplemental essays asks you to describe why you would make a “distinctive contribution as an undergraduate to Stanford University.” In other words, this essay asks you to tell the admissions team how you would contribute to life at Stanford. Although this question is more straightforward than the Stanford roommate essay, you should still think carefully about your response. 

As with the other Stanford essays, there is no single right answer for how you would contribute to the Stanford community. Like other top colleges, Stanford hopes to create a diverse community of students. So, write about what excites you and let your passion for those subjects shine through. Just remember that you only have 250 words to answer the Stanford essays. So, it helps to pick out two or three key ways you would get involved at Stanford.

Getting specific

The Stanford supplemental essays are also a great place to show off the research you have done about Stanford. Your Stanford supplemental essays should indicate both why you are a good fit for Stanford and why Stanford would be the perfect fit for your interests. The more specific details you include from either an in-person or virtual visit , the stronger your essay will be. Including the names of specific professors, internships, clubs, or study abroad programs is great, but make sure to provide context and specificity. Talk about why that aspect of life at Stanford stood out to you and how it connects back to your academic and career goals.

As with your other Stanford supplemental essays, make sure not to simply repeat your extracurriculars list from earlier in your application. If you do mention these activities, talk about how you would continue to pursue that interest at Stanford. Check out lists of student organizations and/or programs and see what lines up with your passions. For example, if you have an interest in journalism, you might talk about writing articles for the Stanford Daily or contributing to the many other student-run publications on campus. The more detailed you can get about what kind of Stanford student you would be, the better.

What is Stanford looking for in essays?

The Stanford supplemental essays serve several purposes. First and foremost, the Stanford supplemental essays help your application readers learn who you are in a more holistic way. The Stanford essays let you introduce yourself to the admissions team and give them a complete picture of who you are. So, your Stanford essays should highlight your life and experiences. 

The second purpose of the Stanford supplemental essays is to assess your writing abilities. No matter your major, you will write papers of some kind while at Stanford. So, Stanford wants to see that you have strong written communication skills. This does not mean that you need to fill your Stanford essays with impressive vocabulary words. Rather, Stanford simply wants to see clear, well-written prose that shows evidence of revision and thoughtfulness. So, make sure you check your Stanford supplemental essays for spelling and grammar before you submit them.

To learn more about Stanford check out this video from Stanford Admissions below:

Where can I find Stanford essays that worked?

One of the most effective things you can do to write better Stanford essays is to look at Stanford essays examples from admitted students. These essays can teach you what kinds of essays get students accepted to the most competitive schools in the country. It is important to note, however, that you should never copy someone else’s essay. Instead, think of these Stanford essays examples as a source of inspiration for your own writing. 

While there are books of Stanford supplemental essays available for you to purchase, there are plenty of free resources out there to help you with the Stanford supplemental essays. At CollegeAdvisor.com, we have a series of essay guides with tips for many different kinds of essays, including the Stanford supplemental essays. You can find the tips for the Stanford essays including full examples here and additional guidance for the Stanford supplemental essays here . You can also check out our full series about how to get into Stanford through the college page , which has all the info you need to ace your application.

Stanford Essays Examples

What is the application deadline for Stanford?

Like at other schools, students can choose between multiple Stanford application deadlines. If you know that Stanford is your first choice school, you can apply through the Restrictive Early Action pool. This pathway allows you to apply to other colleges as well as Stanford as long as those other applications are through a Regular Decision pathway (not Early Action or Decision). 

If admitted through REA, you are not required to attend Stanford and you have until May 1st to accept or decline your offer of admission. The Stanford application deadline for Restrictive Early Action is November 1st.

Students who do not wish to apply to Stanford through the Restrictive Early Action pathway can instead apply to Stanford through the Regular Decision pathway. Students who choose this route may apply to other schools with no restrictions from Stanford. The Regular Decision application deadline is January 5th, and students receive decisions from Stanford in early April. There are separate timelines and application deadlines for financial aid, which you can find on the school’s website .

Five tips for writing outstanding Stanford essays!

1. start early.

Because there are so many Stanford supplemental essays and short answer questions, it helps to get started on them as early as possible. Especially if you apply through the Restrictive Early Action pathway, you should give yourself enough time to write each of the Stanford essays. You likely won’t submit your first draft of the Stanford essays, so leave plenty of time to redraft and edit. This will also give you time to put the other Stanford essays tips we’ve discussed into practice!

2. Brainstorm ideas before writing

The Stanford supplemental essays, in particular the Stanford roommate essay, require a lot of personal reflection. Because of this, we recommend that you think critically about your passions, interests, and most important personal traits. That way, you can outline what you want your Stanford essays to say about you and choose subjects that highlight those aspects of your personality. The Stanford essays are not long enough to capture every one of your unique life experiences and qualities. So, choosing a few key details will help streamline your essays.

3. Show, don’t tell

This guideline can help you strengthen not only your Stanford essays, but also your writing in general. Try to use examples from your life to highlight your key traits rather than stating them outright. For example, if you want to show that you have exceptional leadership skills and a passion for gardening, you could describe how you created a horticulture club at your school and transformed an old courtyard into a plant sanctuary. These stories help your reader see the kind of person you are. Moreover, they provide perspective into the kind of student you would be at Stanford.

4. It’s all in the details 

Make sure your Stanford essays include vivid, specific details. The more descriptive and specific your language, the better your message will come across. So, keep your Stanford essays focused. Don’t try to include too much information—instead, center each essay on a single, compelling narrative. Then, use as much descriptive language as possible!  

5. Ask for help

The Stanford essays, and particularly the Stanford roommate essay, are not easy to complete. Moreover, writing any college essay is very different from writing a paper for class. So, find someone you trust to help you revise and edit your essays. Additionally, for prompts like the Stanford roommate essay, a second reader can provide useful insights. They also may catch mistakes or see improvements that you would not have otherwise considered. Just make sure that no one writes the Stanford essays for you! Admissions officers are trained to look for essays written by parents or siblings. Additionally, the strongest Stanford essays will capture your authentic voice. 

If you’re looking for help writing your Stanford supplemental essays, our advisors can help. We’ll provide one-on-one guidance to help you make the most of your Stanford essays. Click here to schedule a meeting with our team and learn more about how to make your Stanford essays count.

This essay guide was written by senior advisor, Alex Baggott-Rowe . Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.

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How to Write Stanford's Essays (with Real 2023 Essay Examples)

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Kate Sliunkova

AdmitYogi, Stanford MBA & MA in Education

16 min read

How to Write Stanford's Essays (with Real 2023 Essay Examples)

Introduction

Stanford University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and their admissions process is highly competitive. Writing compelling supplemental essays that stand out from other applicants is key to getting accepted into this top-tier school. However, approaching these essays does not have to be an intimidating endeavor! With some preparation and guidance, you can write powerful and persuasive supplemental essays that will help your application shine among the thousands of other applicants vying for a spot at Stanford University. In this article, we'll look at the supplemental essay prompts for Stanford University and provide an in-depth analysis of how to approach them. We'll also examine real-world examples of successful essays written by past applicants to give you a better understanding of what makes a great supplemental essay. By the end, you'll have all the tools needed to create powerful and persuasive supplemental essays that will make your application stand out from other applicants vying for admission into one of the most prestigious universities in the world. So let's get started!

Stanford's Essay Prompts

Stanford applicants will have to write eight essays in total. This includes writing three longer-form essays (with a 250-word maximum count) and answering five short answer questions (with a 50-word maximum count). Stanford's supplemental essay prompts include the following:

  • The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning.
  • Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate — and us — know you better.
  • Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why.

Short Answers:

  • What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?
  • How did you spend your last two summers?
  • What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?
  • Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family.
  • Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford.

Writing Stanford's Essays

Approaching stanford's intellectual vitality essay.

"The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning."

When approaching Stanford's 250-word essay prompt about an "idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning," it is important for students to take some time to reflect on what truly excites them. Asking yourself questions such as “What topics engage me the most?”, “What have I enjoyed learning recently?”, and “What interests motivate me to take action or dive deeper into a topic?” can help you identify what ideas or experiences make you truly passionate about learning.

Once you have identified at least one idea or experience with which you are passionate, brainstorming specific examples of times when this passion has been demonstrated can be helpful in creating a stronger and more compelling essay. This could include recalling particular moments in school when the topic was discussed, describing challenges that were overcome during research related to the topic, or even sharing reflections on how this idea has impacted your life outside of school.

In addition, it is important to consider ways in which your passions may connect with others, demonstrating how your passions may create new opportunities for collaboration and growth among students at Stanford. For example, if you are passionate about environmental studies and sustainability initiatives, discussing ways in which Stanford could become a more sustainable campus could highlight both your enthusiasm for learning and potential contributions to the overall community.

By taking the time to reflect on moments where their passions have been demonstrated and thinking creatively about potential connections between these passions and Stanford's goals and values, students can effectively craft powerful supplemental essays that demonstrate their genuine excitement for learning.

Here's a great example from Hannah, a Stanford student who was also accepted to UPenn, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, and many other great schools! You can read all of Hannah's essays and activities here.

Whenever I need an extra boost while studying, I listen to iconic film soundtracks. Not only are they beautiful artistically, but the carefully-selected notes and motifs often unknowingly alter your emotions, giving me a subconscious spike in motivation.

I watched Titanic four times in three days because I was entranced by the repetition of musical themes in critical moments. Similarly, I printed out pictures of certain shots in Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby because the color schemes were aesthetically pleasing while also matching up with the characters’ emotions.

As I’ve been exposed to more music and film, I’ve learned how heavily artists can rely on psychology. Not only can certain colors or musical motifs foreshadow events, but they can complete some of the most iconic shots in cinema.

I plan on further exploring this intersection of science and art on Stanford’s campus. As a psychology major, I will study the intricacies of the human brain and its effects on behavior; on the other hand, I can take advantage of the rich creative culture on campus by participating in the Stanford Storytelling Project. By pursuing both, I can learn how masters of cinema capture audiences’ attention and deliver a beautiful, impactful story.

Tackling Stanford's Roommate Essay

"Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate — and us — know you better."

To ace the Stanford roommate essay, it's important to focus on personal and intimate details about yourself. The essay is an opportunity to reveal something unique, quirky, and memorable about yourself to your future roommate. As you write, think about what sets you apart from others - what makes you special and interesting. Here are some specific tips for approaching the Stanford roommate essay:

  • Highlight your unique quirks: The admissions committee is looking for something that sets you apart from other applicants. Consider what makes you different and let those quirks shine through in your essay. For example, maybe you have an obsession with collecting old maps or you're a huge fan of a lesser-known band.
  • Think about your ideal roommate: As you write the essay, think about the kind of roommate you want. What qualities would you look for in a roommate? Reflect on those qualities and think about how you embody them yourself.
  • Avoid controversy: While it's important to be authentic in your essay, it's also important to avoid controversial topics or anything that might be offensive to others. Stick to lighthearted, positive aspects of your personality and interests.
  • Use imagery and senses: To make your essay stand out, use vivid imagery and sensory details. Engage the reader's senses by describing your favorite flavors, sights, sounds, and smells.

We have some specific tips on approaching Stanford's roommate essay here . In the meantime, read through one of our favorite Stanford roommate essay examples from Atman, a Stanford student who is now studying biology and design! You can read Atman's entire application here.

Don’t mind the morning clutter! I’ll be swapping out jewelry. My daily earring choices are contingent on anything from the outfit to the weather—today, I’ve got on a dangly butterfly and a silver key, but I may shift to some big resin sunflowers to protest this Minnesota cold.

Unfortunately, my beautiful smile won’t greet you some mornings as I’ll be starting bright and early in the lab. If I feel like leaving the excitement, we’ll go rate bubble teas from local shops (my spreadsheet would benefit from more Californian influence).

If you’re the type of person who “doesn’t really listen to music,” that will definitely change. Our room will be playing a variety of sounds 24/7—I’m talking tunes from Tyler the Creator to Thundercat, Michael Buble to Baby Keem. You’ll find me making my viral TikToks dissecting Frank Ocean songs—share your music taste with me and maybe I’ll remember you when I’m famous!

I’ll be passively beatboxing as we study, arbitrarily prompting any stranger to freestyle over my bizarre, yet curiously potent beats. Prepare yourself: You’ve arrived at Stanford’s “Bars 101” class.

You play Ping-Pong? Check again. Against more ill-advised challengers, I’ll replace my paddle with objects around me—a stray shoe, my hospital ID, my wallet, or even your wallet (you’ll grumble now, but true mastery requires complete material detachment). This habit had a shamefully large impact on my decision to buy a larger phone, so meet me at the tables!

How to Write Stanford's "Something Meaningful Essay"

"Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why."

When writing the "Something Meaningful Essay" for Stanford University, it's crucial to choose a topic that encompasses your personal values and beliefs. Your essay should connect with the reader emotionally and relay how an experience or moment has influenced your character. In order to demonstrate your perspective on life and the world around us, you will want to creatively depict the significance of the moment or experience you have chosen. Here are some specific tips to help you approach the "Something Meaningful Essay" confidently:

  • Reflect on your values: The "Something Meaningful Essay" is an opportunity to share something that is important to you. Start by reflecting on your values and beliefs. Consider what matters most to you and how those values have shaped your life.
  • Choose a specific moment or experience: Once you've identified your values, think about a specific moment or experience that embodies those values. For example, maybe you volunteered at a homeless shelter and learned the importance of compassion and empathy.
  • Write with emotion: The admissions committee wants to see that you care deeply about your subject. Write with emotion and use descriptive language to bring your story to life. Don't be afraid to include dialogue or sensory details if they add to the story.
  • Connect to the bigger picture: While your essay should focus on a specific moment or experience, it should also connect to a larger theme. Think about how your experience relates to the world around you. What broader implications does it have?

For inspiration and guidance, read through this beautiful Stanford "something meaningful" essay example below from Apollo. Apollo was accepted to Stanford, Harvard, and Princeton! You can read every single one of his college applications here.

I pull out the piano bench, lift the fallboard, and prop up my music. Today, I'm playing Liszt's "Mazeppa." It's one of the toughest pieces ever written for the piano, but to master it, there’s only one thing I need: the metronome.

First, 48 beats per minute, an easy largo.

I hated practicing. Simultaneously, I was a perfectionist. Those two traits clashed throughout my early piano years, contributing to a "limbo" period full of botched performances. Frustrated by my lack of progress, my teacher began imposing slow metronome practice. Although I was stubborn at first, I gradually learned to steady myself. "48" taught me patience, and encouraged me to seek deeper levels of ability.

Now, 112, a striding allegretto.

When I began competing seriously, I discovered a new enemy: performance anxiety. In practice, I came back to the metronome, setting a moderate tempo where I could be rock-solid. Through "112", I was able to build my confidence.

192, a barrelling presto.

My fingers fly. It’s a speed I once viewed as beyond my capability, but it now feels completely natural. "192" was when practice transformed into performance, freeing me to explore new worlds of artistic growth.

0. In high school, I learned how damaging it is to get caught up in a perpetual cycle of work; by taking breaks, I could open up valuable time to reflect on myself. As the foundation of my practice, "0" taught me balance.

I click the metronome off. Practice is done for the day.

Answering Stanford's Short Answer Questions:

Approaching stanford's "significant challenge" question.

"What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?"

To approach this Stanford essay prompt, consider a challenge that you are passionate about. Be specific in identifying the issue and its impact. Then, focus on developing a unique perspective on the challenge and propose potential solutions. Remember, Stanford values diversity of thought, so be sure to express your individuality in your response. Here's a great example of an amazing Stanford significant challenge essay from Ryan, who got into Stanford, Princeton, Columbia, and Brown. You can read all of Ryan's college applications here.

Through many forms of corruption, the ever-increasing wealth and power of the ultra-rich is seeping its way into our governments, slowly redefining who those in power aim to serve. With no control left in the hands of the people, I worry tyrannical, systematic exploitation is only a few "votes" away.

Answering Stanford's Last Two Summers Prompt

"How did you spend your last two summers?"

To approach Stanford's essay prompt "How did you spend your last two summers?" be specific and focus on highlighting your passions, interests, and how you spent your time productively. Did you volunteer or partake in any internships related to your career aspirations? Did you travel to a new place and discover a new culture? Did you learn a new skill or participate in a program that challenged you? Be sure to explain why these experiences were meaningful to you and how it has contributed to your personal growth. Showcasing your unique experiences and interests can make you stand out in your application. So, be bold, creative, and honest. The example below comes from Emma. You can read all of Emma's successful college applications, including her Stanford application, here.

Taking Fiction Writing at Stanford Summer Session, volunteering for the Aspire Education Project, being mentored by fiction author Deborah Davis, assembling masks for essential workers with my nana. Immersing myself in Northwestern’s Medill program, working as a day-camp counselor, teaching sewing at a children’s fashion camp, crafting inventive short stories.

How to Write Stanford's "Historical Moment" Essay

"What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?"

To approach Stanford's essay prompt "What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?" choose a specific moment or event that genuinely interests you. Research the moment or event and provide context on its historical significance. Share why you wish to witness it – what do you hope to learn from that experience? Would it enrich your life experiences or understanding of the world around you? Explain how this moment or event could help you shape your personal and academic path in Stanford. Lastly, showcase your intellectual curiosity and passion to learn by highlighting the specific details you found most fascinating. For more information about writing this essay, read our article here ! Below, we've provided an excellent example of Stanford's historical moment essay from Andrew, who got into incredible schools like Stanford and Columbia. You can read his complete set of college applications here.

The broken concrete of the Berlin Wall, encapsulated by Leonard Bernstein’s An die Freude on Christmas Day 1989, still resonates as a symbol of collective self-determination. I am inspired by the power of music to unite people, especially as we seek strength and reassurance to overcome our own challenges today.

Approaching Stanford's Extracurricular Prompt

"Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family."

To approach Stanford's essay prompt "Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family", choose a specific experience that highlights your character. Start by briefly describing your role or responsibilities, then focus on specific instances or achievements that demonstrate leadership, teamwork, or personal growth. Be sure to highlight how this experience has influenced you and contributed to your personal growth. Use concrete examples and quantify your impact, if possible. Remember, the goal is to showcase your unique experiences, skills, and character traits to the admissions committee. This awesome example comes from a Stanford premed student, Jude. You can read all of their applications here!

Heading the lighting department for my school’s theater company is the most difficult and rewarding position I have ever undertaken. Staying at school into the night, I spend hours hanging lights from scaffolding 50 feet in the air and methodically designing each and every lighting cue to tell a story.

How to Approach Stanford's "Looking Forward to Experiencing" Essay

"Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford."

To approach Stanford's essay prompt "Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford", be specific and personal in your response. This question is an opportunity to showcase your individuality, so choose something that genuinely excites you and aligns with your interests and passions. You might describe events, courses, clubs, or traditions at Stanford that you are eager to participate in. Focus on how this experience will impact your academic and personal growth, and how it will help you achieve your goals. Research the specific opportunities at Stanford and show that you have a genuine interest and connection to the university. The incredible example below comes from Thu, who got into Stanford, Yale, and Brown, and also won over $2.5 million in scholarships! You can read about his incredible essays and accomplishments here.

After watching countless videos about it on Youtube, I’ve become obsessed with it. I can clearly picture it in my mind: the bright California sun, the Spanish colonial architecture, and their grief-stricken faces. Rodin’s Burghers of Calais replicated in Memorial Court. It’s my favorite artwork and coincidentally at Stanford.

Reading example essays is an invaluable tool for students when crafting their own college application essays. Remember, the goal is not to copy the examples, but rather to learn from them and apply those lessons to your own unique experiences and perspective. If you want to read more excellent essay examples for Stanford, visit our massive essay database for a wealth of inspiration and guidance.

Writing essays for Stanford University requires more than just good writing skills; it requires ingenuity, creativity, and authenticity. You have the opportunity to showcase your unique experiences, perspective, and personality to the admissions committee. The key is to approach each essay prompt strategically, focus on specific experiences that demonstrate your character and potential, and edit and revise your work thoroughly. Remember that Stanford values diversity of thought, so don't be afraid to express your individuality in your responses. By following these tips, you can craft essays that make you stand out as a candidate and capture the attention of the admissions committee.

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Stanford University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Early Action: Nov 1

Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 5

You Have: 

Stanford University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 3 essays of 100-250 words; 5 short answers of 50 words Supplemental Essay Type(s):  Why ,  Community ,  Oddball

Unshockingly, given that Stanford is the most difficult university to get into in the country, this supplement is a doozie. It puts both your writing and creativity to the test in a myriad ways. One of the most important things to remember about this supplement, as with all supplements that lob a host of essays and short answer questions at you, is that each response is an opportunity to reveal something new about yourself to admissions. Think about the tidbits you have to offer up as you pull together your package and make sure you distribute them across the supplement. Try as hard as you can not to be repetitive. And, as much as you can, have fun with these. If you embrace the challenge laid out in front of you, your answers will be instilled with that positive spirit as well. Trust us.

The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (100 to 250 words) 

How hungry for knowledge are you? That’s what Stanford really wants to know. Focus on a subject that stokes your curiosity, a specific concept that has infiltrated your browser history, or an experience that has burned itself into your brain. What homework assignments are you clamoring to complete first? Which topics want to make you open up a new book, google the definition of word you’re not familiar with or hit play on a podcast? Who challenges you to think of issues in new ways? Now consider what about the subject, activity, or experience itself is inspiring your pursuit of knowledge. Are you driven by the pursuit of the truth and nothing but the truth? Maybe more abstract and creative arenas are more interesting to you. Regardless of what floats your boat, Stanford University is aiming to bring self-motivated, deep thinkers into their student body. Admissions officers want to know that you’ll be eager to contribute to lively class discussion and maybe conduct research in your latter years on campus. Show them that you’ll be a valuable addition to any classroom setting.

Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate — and us — know you better. (100 to 250 words) 

This, at its essence, is a creative writing exercise. All this time colleges have been asking you to write in a casual but professional voice — until now. Pretend you’re writing an email to a friend. Open your browser window and actually draft in a new message box if it helps you adjust your voice. You are now writing to your peer, not admissions. What might someone you are about to live with want to know about you? And, more importantly, what quirky personal information do you want to convey to admissions that might not be appropriate to reveal in response to a stuffier prompt? Are you a closet botanist who will be bringing 30 plants to your dorm room? Have you been practicing how to make your grandma’s special rice in a dorm room hot pot? This is a great place to inject a little humor in your application — if that’s your style. It is also a great opportunity for you to showcase what it would be like to be friends with you (without the use of emojis and with the addition of perfect grammar).

Please describe what aspects of your life experiences, interests and character would help you make a distinctive contribution as an undergraduate to Stanford University.

College applications are rampant with essay questions about community, so this essay is ripe for recycling (how eco-friendly of you!). If you haven’t already written a Community Essay that you plan to adapt and recycle here, we recommend considering the things that make you unique. What about your experiences, interests, or character might be worth highlighting for an admissions officer? And how can the experience, interest, or aspect of your character you choose enrich the learning environment at Stanford University for others? Maybe you have always been an organizer and the glue that holds your summer camp community together during the school year. How will you bring people together on campus? Maybe you were raised on a farm and developed a strong work ethic at a young age as you helped your parents tend to the fields. Will you be a natural leader in group projects and take initiative in the many clubs (be specific!) that you’d like to join? Be sure to connect your personal story to a future vision of yourself at Stanford.

Short Answers

What is the most significant challenge that society faces today (50 word limit).

Fifty words is not a lot of words. This is going to be a recurring thought as you begin to tackle the Stanford app. How do you explain society’s most significant challenge in just fifty words? You boil it down to its essence and rely on the topic to speak volumes. Think about what nags at you on a daily basis. How would you like to improve the world? Where might we be going down the wrong path? What you choose to write about will give admissions an idea of what you truly care about and how you see the world. Are you concerned that as a species we will never achieve true gender equality? Does climate change keep you up at night? What activities have you participated in or books have you read to educate yourself about this issue? Maybe you even have a solution to offer up. Show admissions that you can turn passion into action.

How did you spend your last two summers? (50 word limit)

Fifty words is not a lot of words. For this response, that means you will likely have to add and prune, add again and prune again. Feel free to take a straightforward approach to this question. Stanford really wants to know what you did last summer (and the summer before)! Just make sure to include the unexpected commitments that will not appear anywhere else on the application, like your babysitting job, your road trip with your family, or your backyard photography habit. Anything you can do to add a layer of understanding to admissions picture of you will help.

What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (50 word limit)

Fifty words is not a lot of words. So this answer is really about creating an effective summary of the event in question, and concisely explaining the motivation behind your selection. This is another question in which your selection of topic tells a story. Maybe you want to witness the creation of Gutenberg’s printing press or the swearing in of the first African American president. Whatever you do, try to avoid subjects other students will likely flock to. MLK’s “I Had A Dream” speech is incredible, but it might not make for the best topic here — unless, of course, you have a highly personal story that connects to that moment that you can summarize in 50 words or less. (There are always exceptions to the rules!)

Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family. (50 word limit)

Like so many other universities, Stanford wants to get a feel for your commitments outside the classroom as well as in. Think about your application as a whole, reading through all of the Stanford prompts before you dig in,  and figure out what you can detail here that hasn’t or will not be addressed in other essays. Also make sure the activity, experience, job, or responsibility you highlight is something you are clearly invested in. Don’t choose to elaborate on a fundraiser to which you contribute five hours of your time, twice a year. This is a good place to feature a work experience if you have one, as that is something that often feels less standard than an internship or activity in which many other students participate. For example, tell admissions about the summer you spent working at a hot dog stand and how it taught you about responsibility, organization, and portable fans. That said, even if you write about a national club or organization that other students may feature, the trick to nailing this essay is personalization. Why is this the activity or experience you have chosen to highlight? How were you a contributor and how will it impact your ability to be a contributor on campus? How has participation made you a more compassionate, assertive, or responsible person overall? And how will this experience impact your future? You don’t have a lot of space here, so make sure you focus on personal and powerful details that other people could not replicate.

List five things that are important to you. (50 word limit)

Write down the first things that come to your mind, then give your brain time to generate some other options. You may be tempted to write “family, friends, football, French fries, and fun,” but answers like those are not going to set you apart in the eyes of admissions officers (even if the alliteration is on point). Make a list (the longer, the better) then try to trim it down by considering the value each “thing” brings to your life and which ones are most likely to add saturation to the artwork that is your application. Remember, your answers should be personal and, if possible, unexpected.

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Inside a Stanford admissions file

a graphic of an admissions file that says "top secret"

When Rogers Mathews ’27 first submitted a request to view his Stanford admissions files, he expected to receive a document padded with comments from admission officers about his application.

Instead, he was met with a page that contained his name, evaluative categories and corresponding numbers.

The ability for students to review their admissions files is granted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ( FERPA ), a federal law that protects students’ educational records at all universities, including Stanford. Through the law, students and alumni can request to review their own academic records maintained by the University, including admissions files.

While some documents and comments are not guaranteed, many students have looked to the requests as a way to understand why they were admitted to Stanford.

Mathews is one of these students, hearing about the form through fellow frosh who were eager to answer the question of why Stanford chose them. 

“I think there’s like a level of mystique around admissions, and there’s not a whole lot of transparency about that,” Mathews said. Especially coming from a competitive high school, he wanted to know why he was admitted to Stanford compared to those who, “on paper… seem so much more competitive.”

Others, like Andrea Liao ’25, were more “curious to learn about how [her] admissions officers were perceiving [her], to put it plainly,” Liao said.

Liao described the process of accessing the files as straightforward, following steps that her friends prescribed: Filling out the request form and going to the appointment location on time. Since no electronic recording of the files was permitted, Liao quickly scribbled her notes down in her notebook, copying as much as she could in the time allowed.

Yifei Cheng ’26 had a different experience. He waited “almost two months” for his request to be accepted, disappointed to see that half of his file was, seemingly due to error, “crossed with highlighter,” and thus largely illegible. 

Both Cheng and Liao saw similar content on their application, seeing information such as admission officers’ comments on their application essays and the initial decision the admission officers made about their applications.

However, this variety of information was unavailable to Mathews. This year, there is a changing trend on what is accessible on the admissions files, limiting students only to view evaluative categories, numbers, and a few adjectives to describe the student. Other comments are still made by admissions officers, but unavailable to students.

The categories on the files for frosh and upperclassmen remained similar, including scores on categories named “HSR,” “EC,” “IV” and more. While there are no clear definitions of these categories, many speculate their respective contexts as “high school record,” “extracurriculars,” and “intellectual vitality.” Each category is evaluated by two admission officers, offering a glimpse into their thought processes.

When asked about the change in revealed information, University spokeswoman Dee Mostofi wrote that “[Stanford’s] standard practice is to expunge evaluative comments from student records before matriculation.”

Cheng found this shift in available information “unfortunate.” Cheng said he did not “understand what [Stanford was] trying to hide.”

“It wasn’t that helpful in the grand scheme of things,” Mathews said. “Just to see yourself reduced to a set of numbers and the proctor in the room can’t even help you decipher anything.”

Ultimately, Mathews feels as though the lack of comments on his admissions files is a loss for his year.

“I definitely don’t think that [Stanford] did the Class of ’27 justice by withholding information from us,” Mathews said. “You know, you get in, you want to see what made you stand out.”

Faiza Ashar is a freshman from Baltimore interested in journalism, technology, and how both topics impact global affairs. She loves everything matcha and could make a playlist of any emotion. Contact Faiza Ashar at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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The scholars in the 2024 cohort come from 30 countries, including the first scholars with citizenship from Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Bulgaria, France, and Sri Lanka. They have earned degrees from 60 institutions, including 12 outside of the United States. At Stanford, they will pursue graduate degrees in 45 degree programs across all seven schools. For more about the cohort, view the 2024 cohort announcement .

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Israel and Palestine with Salam Fayyad and Alon Tal

Salam Fayyad , an economist and former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, and Alon Tal , a visiting fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and former member of Israel's parliament, discuss Israel and Palestine.

Deep disagreement pervades our democracy, from arguments over immigration, gun control, abortion, and the Middle East crisis, to the function of elite higher education and the value of free speech itself. Loud voices drown out discussion. Open-mindedness and humility seem in short supply among politicians and citizens alike. Yet constructive disagreement is an essential feature of a democratic society. This class explores and models respectful, civic disagreement. Each week features scholars who disagree - sometimes quite strongly - about major policy issues. Each class will be focused on a different topic and have guest speakers. Students will have the opportunity to probe those disagreements, understand why they persist even in the light of shared evidence, and to improve their own understanding of the facts and values that underlie them.

This course is offered in the spirit of the observation by Hanna Holborn Gray, former president of the University of Chicago, that “education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think. Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.”

Democracy & Disagreement is open to students, faculty and staff to attend and will also be recorded. Enrolled students who take this as a 1-unit course are expected to attend the weekly sessions and do the suggested readings before each event. We will also use devices such as clickers to see whether exposure to different arguments changes minds.

The speakers in this course are the guests of the faculty and students alike, and should be treated as such. They are aware that their views will be subject to criticism in a manner consistent with our commitment to respectful critical discourse. We will provide as much room for students’ questions and comments as is possible for a class of several hundred. For anyone who feels motivated to engage in a protest against particular speakers, there are spaces outside the classroom for doing so.

Debra Satz, the Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Paul Brest, interim dean and professor emeritus at Stanford Law School, host faculty members on opposing sides of a given issue for discussions that model civil disagreement. 

Open to the Stanford community.

Recordings of every class will be available on this web page several days after each class.

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Government Regulation of Social Media with Zephyr Teachout and Aaron Mackey

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Beating the Odds: Crimson Education’s Class of 2028 Acceptance Rates

Beating the Odds: Crimson Education’s Class of 2028 Acceptance Rates

Success by the Numbers

Crimson Ivy League Admit Rates

Excelling Beyond the Ivies

Success Year After Year

Last year marked a significant milestone for Crimson Education — our ten-year anniversary.

While we celebrated this milestone with readers at the end of 2023, the true highlights came from our students and the dedicated team behind them, who experienced remarkable success at the Ivies, at the top 20 US schools (non-Ivies), and even at Cambridge and Oxford.

Now after digesting all the results for the Class of 2028, we’ve got more great news to share, with a spotlight on Crimson student acceptance rates, compared to other students.

Class of 2028 Admissions Success: By the Numbers

In March and April the final admission offers for the Class of 2028 were mailed, opened, and in case after case celebrated by our students.

With our students’ successes now tallied and independently verified by auditors, it’s clear the combined efforts and steadfast dedication of our team members and the students they advise have culminated in extraordinary success.

Below, we’re going to show you exactly how Crimson student acceptance rates for the Class of 2028 stack up compared to general admission rates at some of the best schools in the US.   We think you’ll be amazed at the difference Crimson’s expert advisor network and personalized advising model make in our students’ lives.

For example, Crimson students applying to the Ivy League beat the odds by 6.75x overall, compared to general acceptance rates for the same schools.

We stand by our numbers too. The results we're sharing today come with an impeccable level of assurance, having been independently verified by one of the big four auditing firms.

So keep reading and check out this year's numbers… And, remember, we get results like these for young scholars from more than 100 countries around the globe. That means, in addition to professionalism and transparency, our specialists have valuable knowledge and insights to offer, making Crimson Education the best choice to get tangible results for your own college journey.

Crimson supported me in making every part of my application as good as it could be. It was their engagement that made those acceptances all that more special.

- abby (verified crimson trustpilot review), interested in learning more attend one of our free events, build your application strategy with the latest 2023-24 admissions trends & analysis.

Friday, May 31, 2024 12:00 AM CUT

Join this exclusive webinar to learn about the latest trends in college admissions and discover the key to getting accepted to top universities in upcoming application cycles!

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Crimson’s Class of 2028 Ivy League Admit Rates

Crimson students performed exceptionally well this year, securing hundreds of offers from top-tier schools during early and regular round application cycles for the Class of 2028.

Offers gained from Ivy League schools were no exception. What’s truly remarkable is the measure by which Crimson students beat the odds overall despite today’s super competitive admissions landscape:

  • The number of Crimson students admitted to the Ivy League increased by 33%, compared to last year’s admission statistics.
  • The overall Ivy League acceptance rate for Crimson students was around 31%, compared to an average 4.2% Ivy League general admission rate.
  • Crimson students applying to the Ivy League for the Class of 2028 beat the odds by 6.75x overall, compared to general acceptance rates for the same schools.

Crimson's USA Class of 2028 Ivy League Admit Rates

While Ivy League schools are often the highlight, our students also excel at top non-Ivy institutions, including schools as selective as Stanford and MIT.

Our network of experienced strategists and Former Admissions Officers can provide expert insights that are also personalized. This ensures every application a student submits, across any number of prestigious universities, both public and private, is tailored to get the best results possible.

Crimson's USA Class of 2028 Top Non-Ivy Admit Rates

Across these eight outstanding universities, Crimson students experienced a 37% acceptance rate compared to the average 6.5% acceptance rate, beating the odds at these highly selective US schools by about 6x.

Crimson's Legacy of Success: Exceptional Results Year After Year

At Crimson Education, our commitment to meeting and beating expectations isn't just a yearly goal — it's a consistent promise upheld across all our years of operation.

That said, we've also raised the bar each year, striving to make every new class surpass the accomplishments of the last. This legacy of success is a testament to our effective strategies, our comprehensive model, and the hard work of our students and their committed advisors, strategists, mentors, and tutors.

Crimson's All-Time Acceptances

Unmatched acceptance rates with unparalleled professionalism and trust.

Crimson Education has an exceptional track record. No other college admissions consultancy can match the outcomes our students experience ; proof that the expertise of our Advisor network, our personalized and holistic approach to application prep, and our students’ high levels of motivation are an unbeatable combination.

Today, our successes and claims are more than just promises; they’re backed by real results and high levels of client satisfaction.

Unparalleled Customer Satisfaction: Across more than 118,000 reviews, Crimson Education has earned an impressive 4.74 out of 5 stars on average. This exceptional score is a testament to the passion we have for helping students around the world overcome impressive odds in pursuit of transformative educational opportunities.

Impeccable Transparency: : We’re immensely proud of the results we get for our students, but in our commitment to transparency,  we’ve gone the extra mile to provide the highest level of assurance possible.

The acceptance rates experienced by our students, like those we've just shared, are now independently verified by one of the big four auditing firms. This makes Crimson Education the only leading college admissions consultancy with independently verified results, ensuring our track record is one you can count on.

Next Steps…

If you’re already part of the Crimson network, you know about our professionalism, comprehensive approach, and personalized strategies.

If not, you may be wondering if partnering with Crimson is right for you. In which case, we want to encourage you to find out more.

Explore Crimson’s Unique Approach

Typically students who get connected with Crimson earlier on their college journey enjoy better outcomes. Start with a free consultation with one of our application specialists. It’s the perfect opportunity to discuss your goals and understand how our tiered and personalized programs and services can work for you .

Consider the Value of Your Future

When evaluating the cost of college planning services, consider it in terms of return on investment . Attending a prestigious university can significantly influence your career and personal growth opportunities. Investing in Crimson’s admissions counseling is not just about gaining admission — it’s about educational opportunity and setting a foundation for other lifetime successes and experiences.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

When aiming for excellence, the importance of strategic preparation is hard to overemphasize. By partnering with Crimson, you benefit from our expertise right from the outset — whether you’re beginning to shape your school list, honing your application profile and materials, or refining your application essays as deadlines approach.

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Final Thoughts

Our Class of 2028 students are now poised to turn their dreams into reality, as a result of their hard work and our support. Thanks for celebrating with us!

We hope this glimpse into their success inspires you to consider how Crimson can elevate your college journey.

Whether you're in middle school, starting high school, or soon to be starting your own college applications, we look forward to being a partner on your journey to excellence!

And… Don’t worry. As remarkable as our team members are, they’re easy to talk to and happy to walk you through our many services and resources. So schedule your call today and together let’s put your college journey on a track to success.

What Makes Crimson Different

Key Resources & Further Reading

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About the Contributor

Arkesh Patel

Arkesh Patel

Arkesh Patel is the Chief Operating Officer of Crimson Education, the world's largest and most successful university admissions consulting firm. Crimson Education has helped thousands of students gain admission into the Ivy League and top universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, MIT, and many others. Arkesh graduated from the University of Cambridge with a B.A in Chemistry (First Class Honors) and received his M.B.A with Distinction from Harvard Business School.

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University of Georgia Admits 37% of Students to the Class of 2028

University of Georgia Admits 37% of Students to the Class of 2028

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COLT MA Graduate Students F23

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 Dartmouth Hall 104  

3:30 pm Introduction: Michael Wyatt Moderator: Miranda Ochoa Natera

3:35 pm Phoenix Guqing Wang Troubling Waters: Anthropocene Marine Gothic in 19 th -Century Anglo-American Fiction

3:55 pm Lethokuhle T. Msimang Me and Ms Jones - The Androgyny of Black Women 

4:15 pm Q & A

4:25 pm Zihan Zhang Self-Effacement in Christian Mysticism: A Case Study of Teresa of Ávila and Simone Weil

4:45 pm Mikayla Walker Mending Wounds: A Reparative Feminist Analysis of the Japanese Film Series Guinea Pig

5:05 pm Q & A

Monday, May 20, 2024 Dartmouth Hall 104

5:00 pm Introduction: Michael Wyatt Moderator: Wenjun Yang

5: 10 pm Pumho Karimi Questioning Modernity's Episteme: A Comparative Literary Analysis Towards Planetary Spiritualism

5:30 pm Miranda Ochoa Natera Marvelous Ordinariness: Re-engaging with Realism's Social Function

5:50 pm Q & A

6:00 pm Aliza Phillips Star Power: An Analysis of Digital Astrology Content as an Instrument of Political Tractability 

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6:40 pm Q &A

Reception to follow in Dartmouth Hall 101

All COLT MA graduate students, guests, advisors and faculty are invited.

Chair Comparative Literature Program Veronika Fuechtner

Director Graduate Program Ainsley Morse

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Special thank you to all the advisors

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The following is list of some of the programs attended by Stanford graduate and undergraduate students in recent years.

Programs in the United States

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Programs Abroad

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  • Russian language summer schools at Aspirantum, Armenia 

For more study abroad opportunities, visit our  External Opportunities page .

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Guest Essay

The Best College Is One Where You Don’t Fit In

Two people walking down a pathway on an otherwise seemingly empty college campus.

By Michael S. Roth

Mr. Roth is the president of Wesleyan University.

This time of year, college campuses like the one where I live fill up with high school seniors preparing to make what feels like a momentous choice. The first imperative is to find a school that they can afford, but beyond that, many students have been advised to find one where they can see themselves. Too often, they take this to mean finding a place with students like them, even students who look like them — a place where they will feel comfortable. I can’t tell you how many families have described driving many hours to a campus somewhere and having their daughter or son say something like: “We don’t need to get out. I can tell already this isn’t for me.”

“How about the info session?” the patient parent asks.

Choosing a college based on where you feel comfortable is a mistake. The most rewarding forms of education make you feel very uncomfortable, not least because they force you to recognize your own ignorance. Students should hope to encounter ideas and experience cultural forms that push them beyond their current opinions and tastes. Sure, revulsion is possible (and one can learn from that), but so is the discovery that your filtered ways of taking in the world had blocked out things in which you now delight. One learns from that, too.

Either way, a college education should enable you to discover capabilities you didn’t even know you had while deepening those that provide you with meaning and direction. To discover these capabilities is to practice freedom, the opposite of trying to figure out how to conform to the world as it is. Tomorrow the world will be different anyway. Education should help you find ways of shaping change, not just ways of coping with it.

These days, the first thing that campus visitors may notice are protests over the war in Gaza. These will be attractive to some who see in them an admirable commitment to principle and off-putting to those who see evidence of groupthink or intimidation. Any campus should be a “ safe enough space ,” one free of harassment and intimidation, but not one where identities and beliefs are just reinforced. That’s why it’s profoundly disturbing to hear of Jewish students afraid to move about because of the threat of verbal and physical abuse. And that’s why it’s inspiring to see Muslim and Jewish students camped out together to protest a war they think is unjust.

Refusing to conform can mean being rebellious, but it can also mean just going against the grain, like being unabashedly religious in a very secular institution or being the conservative or libertarian voice in classes filled with progressives. I recently asked one such student if he perceived any faculty bias. “Don’t worry about me,” he replied. “My professors find me fascinating.” Some of the military veterans who’ve attended my liberal arts university have disrupted the easy prejudices of their progressive peers while finding themselves working in areas they’d never expected to be interested in.

Over the years, I’ve found nonconformists to be the most interesting people to have in my classes; I’ve also found that they often turn out to be the people who add the greatest value to the organizations in which they work. I’m thinking of Kendall, a computer science major I had in a philosophy class whom I saw on campus recently because she was directing an ambitious musical. When I expressed my admiration at her unlikely combination of interests, she was almost insulted by my surprise and enthusiasm. Had I really stereotyped her as someone not interested in the arts just because she excels in science?

Or take the student activist (please!) who a couple of years after leading a demonstration to the president’s office made an appointment to meet with me. I was worried about new political demands, but she had something else in mind: getting a recommendation for law school. I could, she reminded me with a smile, write about her leadership abilities on campus. And I did.

Of course, even students who refuse to fall in with the herd should learn how to listen and speak to it and to various groups different from their own. That’s an increasingly valuable capacity, and it will help them make their way in the world, whatever school they attend, whatever their major.

Side by side, students should learn how to be full human beings, not mere appendages, and this means continually questioning what they are doing and learning from one another. “Truly speaking,” Ralph Waldo Emerson said about a century ago, “it is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul.” That’s why the colleges — large public institutions or small faith-based colleges or anything in between — that nurture and respond to the energies of their students are the ones that feel most intellectually alive.

So, what makes a school the right one? It’s not the prestige of a name or the campus amenities. First and foremost, it’s the teachers. Great teachers help make a college great because they themselves are never done being students. Sure, there are plenty of schools filled with faculty members who think alike, who relish the bubble of fellowship in received opinion. A college can make being weird or radical into adolescent orthodoxy. These places should be avoided. By contrast, there are colleges with great teachers who practice freedom by activating wonder, a capacity for appreciation and a taste for inquiry — and who do so because they themselves seek out these broadening experiences. You can feel their own nonconformity as they try to provoke their students away from the various forms of received opinion.

Finding the right college will often mean finding these kinds of people — classmates and mentors, perpetual students who seek open-ended learning that brings joy and meaning. That’s what young people checking out schools should really be looking for: not a place merely to fit in but a place to practice freedom in good company.

Michael S. Roth is the president of Wesleyan University. His most recent books are “ The Student: A Short History” and “ Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist’s Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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Ilya A. Strebulaev

stanford admitted essays

The David S. Lobel Professor of Private Equity

Additional administrative titles, research statement, research interests.

  • Innovation Financing, Venture Capital, Corporate Innovation, Innovation Ecosystems, Private Equity
  • Corporate Finance, Financial Decision Making

Teaching Statement

Ilya A. Strebulaev is The David S. Lobel Professor of Private Equity and Professor of Finance at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he has been a faculty member since 2004, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He also is the founder and director of the Stanford GSB Venture Capital Initiative. He graduated from the London Business School with a doctorate in finance. He also holds degrees from Lomonosov Moscow State University (BSc Economics) and the New Economic School, Moscow (MA Economics). 

Professor Strebulaev is an expert in corporate finance, venture and angel capital, innovation financing, corporate innovation, private equity, and financial decision-making. His work has been widely published in leading academic journals, including   the  Journal of Finance,  the  Review of  Financial Studies,  and the  Journal of Financial Economics.  He has been awarded a number of prestigious academic awards, including the First Paper Prize of the Brattle Award for the best corporate paper published in the Journal of Finance, the Fama-DFA Prize for the best asset pricing paper published in the Journal of Financial Economics , and the Trefftzs Award by the Western Finance Association. His research has also been featured in a variety of media, including the  New York Times,  the  Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review .

His most recent research has examined many aspects of the venture capital industry. In the largest ever survey of VCs to date, he and his co-authors analyze all the aspects of decision-making by venture capitalists. He and his co-author developed a valuation framework of private VC-backed companies. In applying this framework to the valuation of highly valued VC-backed companies (called “unicorns”), hey found that these companies on average are overvalued by 50% and that many of the so-called unicorns lose their unicorn status once their fair value is taken into consideration. He has also recently researched the decision making and organizational structure of corporate VC units.

Professor Strebulaev teaches the MBA, MSx, PhD, and executive education programs, and has been awarded the Stanford MBA Distinguished Teaching Award, the Sloan Teaching Excellence Award, as well as the inaugural Masters in Management Best Teacher Award at the London Business School. He developed an MBA-level course on Angel and Venture Capital that he has been teaching for more than ten years. The course enables the students to study many aspects of innovation financing at various stages, including decision making, attracting venture and angel investments, negotiating contractual terms, valuing VC-backed companies, and analyzing the performance of venture capital funds. Recently, he also developed a course on the private equity industry that covers all aspects of the organization and design of PE firms and funds, as well as the relationship between general partners of these funds and their investors, limited partners.

Professor Strebulaev has also led many workshops and executive sessions on new innovation trends, venture capital, the ecosystem of Silicon Valley, corporate innovation, and strategic decision making for senior business and government leaders around the world. He also has been consulting companies and investors around the world on valuation of VC-backed companies, selection of VC investments and managers, and portfolio allocation. He also serves as an expert witness in litigation matters.

When not teaching or doing research, Ilya enjoys spending time with his family, reading, traveling, listening to classical music, and appreciating fine wine and art. 

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Finance, London Business School, 2004
  • MA, New Economic School, 1999
  • BSc, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1997

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 2004

Awards and Honors

  • Shanahan Family Faculty Fellow for 2021–22
  • Dhirubhai Ambani Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship for 2014-15
  • Shanahan Family Faculty Scholar for 2013–14
  • The Sloan Teaching Excellence Award, Stanford, 2013
  • First Place, Fama-DFA Prize for Best Paper, Journal of Financial Economics, 2012
  • The Masters in Management Inaugural Best Teacher Award, London Business School, 2010
  • The MBA Distinguished Teacher Award, Stanford, 2009
  • First Paper Prize, Brattle Award for Best Paper, Journal of Finance, 2007
  • The Trefftzs Award for the Best Student Paper, WFA, 2004
  • Award for Best Paper, Dimitris B. Chorafas Foundation, 2004

Academic Publications

Degree courses, executive education & other non-degree programs, stanford case studies, stanford gsb affiliations, service to the profession.

  • Member, American Finance Association
  • Member, American Economic Association
  • Member, Western Finance Association
  • Member, European Finance Association
  • In the Media

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From Mulberry's migrant community to Stanford and Cornell: A tradition of academic ascent

stanford admitted essays

MULBERRY — When he was in eighth grade, Christian Cortes-Daza wrote an essay about an older student who had seemingly done the inconceivable.

In the school project, Cortes-Daza expressed admiration for Brenda Alvarez-Lagunas, a Mulberry High School graduate who had earned a scholarship to Stanford University, one of the country’s premiere schools. Cortes-Daza particularly identified with the older student because they were both first-generation Americans with parents who had subsisted on migrant agricultural work.

Alvarez-Lagunas attracted national renown in 2019 through a graduation speech as valedictorian of Mulberry High School, during which she brandished a pint container of strawberries, symbolizing the crops her parents had picked while supporting her quest for academic achievement.

“I just remember hearing about it, and I'm like, ‘Wait a minute, she comes from the same exact background,’” Cortes-Daza said. “She lives in a trailer. She's working farm-worker jobs. She's a child of migrant parents. It's like the same kind of person that I am. So, why not try to be like her, in terms of the academic aspect?”

Cortes-Daza has emulated his scholarly exemplar more fully than he ever could have hoped. He will graduate May 20 as valedictorian of Mulberry High School and then venture to California to enroll at Stanford.

He is not the only Mulberry resident launching into the academic firmament. Freddy Bautista-Molina, a student at Bartow High School’s International Baccalaureate, has received a scholarship to attend Cornell University, an Ivy League school in Ithaca, New York.

The pair sat in an office at Mulberry Community Academy on a recent afternoon, joined by Alvarez-Lagunas, who leads the after-school program at the first-year, bilingual school devoted to children of migrant workers. Cortes-Daza and Bautista-Molina are both volunteers in the program.

“I don't want to take credit for their inspiration,” Alvarez-Lagunas said. “I think it’s definitely something that came from them. And I know that for me, personally, too, when I saw one person do it, it meant a lot for me. I didn't think that I would have that mark on my community, and it happened, I think, (through) a lot of luck, a lot of hard work. And then, to see younger kids kind of experience the same journey as me is really rewarding.”

Bautista-Molina cited another child of migrant workers for showing that admission to an elite university is not beyond comprehension. In 2015, Erick Meza of Fort Meade earned a scholarship to Harvard University after graduating as valedictorian of the Bartow IB School.

Living amid hardship

Mulberry and the unincorporated Willow Oak community are a residential locus for immigrants from Mexico and other countries who provide manual labor for Florida’s agriculture industry — traditionally, picking fruits and vegetables grown here in the fall through spring. Many families migrate to northern states for the harvest seasons in warmer months.

Cortes-Daza and Bautista-Molina, both 18, reside in what they described as trailers, the latter sharing a bedroom with a younger brother. Cortes-Daza said his parents initially performed migrant labor in California after immigrating from Mexico, picking such crops as watermelons, tomatoes and blueberries.

Since moving to Polk County, his mother — raising Christian and three older siblings on her own — has shifted to working in warehouses, he said.

Bautista-Molina, the oldest of four siblings, said his parents previously ventured to Alabama in May or June for harvesting work and returned to Polk County in October. He recalled traveling with them by the time he was in kindergarten and joining them in the fields by his pre-teen years.

Bautista-Molina, a slender fellow with dark, floppy hair and metal-framed glasses, said his father eventually left migrant work to operate a small business in household appliances, and his mother sells jewelry. He guessed that neither parent advanced beyond sixth grade but said they emphasized the need for an education.

“As migrant workers, I think that's one of the main goals that most parents have of similar backgrounds,” he said. “I think the reason why they come here is to pursue the American dream. So, they always reinforced this idea that they want me to have an education and achieve more than what they did.”

Likewise, Cortes-Daza said his mother expected him to pursue either an academic degree or other training beyond high school. Even so, he said that he languished as a student until entering high school.

“Actually, as far as I can remember, I was always a bad kid in school,” he said. “Actually. I was a straight C and D student all throughout middle school. I really didn't care. I was involved in drugs, gangs, crime.”

Cortes-Daza, sturdily built and wearing a Stanford men’s soccer T-shirt, said his perspective changed after doing agriculture work and other physically harsh labor.

“But after middle school, and after working all those heavy labor jobs, I realized that I'm living a life that I told myself I wouldn't when I was very young,” he said. “And so, from that point on, I was like, ‘OK, I really need to turn around,’ and I just sort of started focusing on my academics.”

For Bautista-Molina, gaining admission to the Bartow IB School was an accomplishment in itself. During his four years at the school, he has taken nearly 20 International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement courses, as well as collegiate, dual-enrollment classes.

Cortes-Daza maintained grade-point average of 4.55 as he ran cross country, played soccer, participated in track and competed in powerlifting. He recently won a 2024 Silver Garland Award , a program presented by Visit Central Florida that honors high school seniors who serve the community using their talents in one of 14 categories. His category was foreign language.

Anxiety over admissions

Even after rededicating himself to academics at Mulberry High, Cortes-Daza did not have lofty ambitions for college. He expected to spend two years at a state college and then attend the University of South Florida. Toward the end of his junior year, though, he considered other possibilities.

“I started talking to some kids who went to these big high schools — you know, they had all the resources in the world — and they were telling me my story is unique and I'm not a dumb kid, so if I really put in even more work, I could really share my story and maybe colleges, elite-level colleges, will accept me,” he said.

Both students credit Dani Higgins, a longtime migrant advocate for Polk County Public Schools and now principal at Mulberry Community Academy , with convincing them to aim for highly selective colleges.

“Miss Dani, she always supported me from sixth grade,” Bautista-Molina said. “I remember I met her in sixth grade, and she would always tell me, ‘Oh, you're going to go to Harvard.’ And at that time, I guess I didn't really have an idea of what Harvard was. It was like, ‘Oh, Harvard must be a good school.’”

Wife on a mission: Polk woman refuses to 'wait-and-see' on husband's kidney transplant

A business teacher at Bartow IB steered Bautista-Molina toward Cornell, her alma mater.

“So that's when I first found out about Cornell, and then she would tell us it had, like, an amazing campus, it was an amazing school,” he said. “So that's what motivated me to apply. And it was a reach school, but that was one of the schools that I wanted to get into.”

Both students applied to a slew of colleges, ranging from Ivy League stalwarts to such proud institutions as Duke and Georgia Tech. The decision emails, arriving in the spring, brought reminders of why such schools are known for their selectivity: a series of rejections or waitlist notices.

Bautista-Molina said he had low hopes when an email from Cornell appeared in his mailbox.

“I was kind of expecting a rejection, because I had opened up UPenn’s before that, and I think it was NYU as well,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh, no, I feel like I'm going to get rejected again.’ But I opened it and I saw the confetti and I just screamed. It was crazy. My siblings were right there when I opened it, and there they were, like, ‘You got accepted?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ We all just started jumping.”

Colleges employ confetti graphics bursting from emails to convey acceptance.

Cortes-Daza had heard from every school except Stanford, receiving acceptance to only one, when an email popped up on his phone as he drove home late at night from a side job in St. Petersburg. At first he thought he might wait until he reached home to read it, but he decided to check, expecting more disappointment.

“And then confetti came out,” he said. “And for the first time since 17 school (notices) came out, I read ‘congratulations’ instead of ‘unfortunately.’”

Crucially, considering his family’s economic circumstances, Cortes-Daza received a full scholarship.

Seeking to 'break cycle'

Alvarez-Lagunas, who had already inspired the friends toward academic heights, provided an assist to Cortes-Daza in following her to Stanford. After graduating last year with a bachelor of science in human biology, she returned to Mulberry and joined her former mentor, Higgins, for a one-year stint at the newly opened Mulberry Community Academy, now serving only kindergartners and first-graders but with plans to steadily add grades.

Alvarez-Lagunas befriended the high school seniors, who volunteered regularly at the campus, coaching youngsters in soccer, chess and other activities. Cortes-Daza said he might not have applied to Stanford without her urging.

“She was really pushing, like, ‘Maybe I can do this, too,’” he said. “So, without her, I don't think I'd be in the position that I am now — not only that, but also because she did write me a very, very well-written letter of recommendation to the school. And, I mean, she is pretty well known at Stanford. So I do think that played a large factor.”

Cortes-Daza intends to major in aerospace engineering and yearns for a career with NASA. Bautista-Molina received a Meinig Family Cornell National Scholarship and plans to study finance in the Charles H. Dyson School for Applied Economics and Management.

The pair, who both graduate this month, have helped solidify a tradition of first-generation scholars from migrant backgrounds gaining entry to out-of-state colleges. Two years ago, Manuel Santiz graduated from Mulberry High School with a full scholarship to the University of Chicago. Several students from the Mulberry area have matriculated in recent years at Michigan State University, Higgins said.

Just as the soon-to-be graduates drew inspiration from Alvarez-Lagunas’ example, the pair hope that their volunteer work at Mulberry Community Academy might influence some of those little Monarchs to scale academic heights, even if the tykes are years away from preparing college applications.

“I think as a community here, it's definitely a goal to break the cycle,” Cortes-Daza said. “Like my dad always says, he's like, ‘I walked here so you could run.’ And sometimes I joke around and be like, ‘I'm going to run so my kids can fly.’ It's just an ongoing thing. And hopefully, we do something so our future generations kind of want to do more than us.”

Alvarez-Lagunas, who starts a job next month as a paralegal in New York City, exults in the sweet residuals from her memorable strawberry speech and her Stanford excursion.

“I know what I experienced, from this moment forward, my life — when I got the acceptance — it was never the same,” she said. “And when I see Christian and Freddy, who I've worked with over the past year, knowing what's coming for them is really exciting.”

Gary White can be reached at [email protected] or 863-802-7518. Follow on X @garywhite13 .

IMAGES

  1. Sample College Admission Essays

    stanford admitted essays

  2. Stanford Essays Examples

    stanford admitted essays

  3. The college essays that got one student accepted to Stanford University

    stanford admitted essays

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    stanford admitted essays

  6. Reading My ACCEPTED Stanford Supplemental Essays

    stanford admitted essays

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COMMENTS

  1. Application and Essays : Stanford University

    Stanford Questions. We ask applicants to answer several short questions (limit 50 words each) and to write a short essay on each of the three topics below. Short Essay Questions. There is a 100-word minimum and a 250-word maximum for each essay. The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom.

  2. Stanford Essays Examples

    While eight Stanford essays may seem like a lot, remember that not all the Stanford essays are full-length essays, like the two-to-five-page essays you write for class or the 650-word personal statement you will write for the Common Application. Your Stanford essays help the admissions team get to know you.

  3. Top 51 Successful Stanford Essays

    Successful Stanford Essays. These are successful college essays of students that were accepted to Stanford University. Use them to see what it takes to get into Stanford and other top schools and get inspiration for your own Common App essay, supplements, and short answers. These successful Stanford essays include Common App essays, Stanford ...

  4. 6 Stellar Stanford Essay Examples

    The first paragraph of this essay, though a good general introduction that you might find in an academic essay, doesn't actually say much about this applicant's potential as a Stanford student. Remember, since your space is so limited in the college essay, you want every sentence, and really every word, to be teaching admissions officers ...

  5. How to Write the Stanford University Essays 2023-2024

    Essay Questions (100-250 words) Prompt 1: The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. Prompt 2: Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus.

  6. Academic Preparation : Stanford University

    We do not have a set of required courses for admission to Stanford. However, we have found that a curriculum like the one below is the best preparation for the academic rigors at Stanford. English: four years, with significant emphasis on writing and literature. Mathematics: four years of rigorous mathematics incorporating a solid grounding in ...

  7. How to Write Stellar Stanford Essays: 3 Expert Tips

    How to Write a Great Stanford Essay. Regardless of which Stanford essay prompt you're responding to, you should keep in mind the following tips for how to write a great Stanford essay. #1: Use Your Own Voice. The point of a college essay is for the admissions committee to have the chance to get to know you beyond your test scores, grades, and ...

  8. The Essays that got me into Stanford University (+ advice)

    CommonApp statement and Stanford-specific essays as a snapshot of essays that helped me get accepted, or at least didn't get me rejected.

  9. 12 Best Stanford Supplemental Essays That Worked 2023

    8. Stanford University "Letter to Roommate" Short Essay. Prompt: Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate -- and us -- know you better. (100-250 words) Supplemental.

  10. How to Get Into Stanford Undergrad: Essays and Strategies That Worked

    Part 2: Stanford admission requirements Stanford academic requirements. Stanford doesn't expect its freshmen to have completed a set amount of coursework before matriculating, but most successful applicants have four years of English and math, and three or more years of science/lab science, social studies/history, and a foreign language.

  11. Statements

    Statement of Purpose. You are required to submit a Statement of Purpose in response to the following prompt: Describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at Stanford, your preparation for this field of study, research interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admission committee in evaluating your aptitude and ...

  12. Stanford Essays

    Stanford University Supplemental Essays Quick Facts. Stanford Acceptance Rate: The acceptance rate for Stanford admissions is only 4% according to U.S. News . Understanding the Stanford Essay Requirements: The Stanford requirements include three Stanford supplemental essays. Each of the Stanford essays must be between 100 and 250 words.

  13. How to Write Stanford's Essays (with Real 2023 Essay Examples)

    Tackling Stanford's Roommate Essay. "Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate — and us — know you better." To ace the Stanford roommate essay, it's important to focus on personal and intimate details about yourself.

  14. Stanford University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    As soon as the 2024-25 prompts beomce available, we will be updating this guide -- stay tuned! The Requirements: 3 essays of 100-250 words; 5 short answers of 50 words. Supplemental Essay Type (s): Why , Community , Oddball. Unshockingly, given that Stanford is the most difficult university to get into in the country, this supplement is a doozie.

  15. r/stanford on Reddit: I got accepted to both Princeton and Stanford

    Stanford - It seems I will be paying out of pocket $14k a year Princeton - I haven't received my Fin Aid package yet, but it seems to be totally 100% free Student Life: Stanford - It seems like everyone on campus is cool with eachother Princeton - More clicks, eating clubs, etc. Degree: Stanford - MS&E/Economics

  16. Inside a Stanford admissions file

    When Rogers Mathews '27 first submitted a request to view his Stanford admissions files, he expected to receive a document padded with comments from admission officers about his application.

  17. Opinion

    The so-called Ivy-Plus schools — the eight members of the Ivy League plus M.I.T., Duke, Chicago and Stanford — collectively received about 175,000 applications in 2002.

  18. 50 Successful Stanford Application Essays: Write Your Way Into the

    Helping applicants navigate the intricate yet vitally important essay process at elite schools such as Stanford -- a university that enrolls students from all 50 states and 52 countries and has an admission rate less than five percent -- this go-to guide helps prospective students see for themselves what it takes to be admitted to selective programs at colleges nationwide.

  19. 2024 Cohort

    At Stanford, they will pursue graduate degrees in 45 degree programs across all seven schools. For more about the cohort, view the 2024 cohort announcement . All content reflects scholar interests at the time of selection into the cohort.

  20. Israel and Palestine with Salam Fayyad and Alon Tal

    Debra Satz, the Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Paul Brest, interim dean and professor emeritus at Stanford Law School, host Stanford faculty members on opposing sides of a given issue for discussions that model civil disagreement. Open to the Stanford community.

  21. Crimson Education Class of 2028 Admissions by the Numbers

    Crimson Education announces stellar admissions outcomes for 2028, ... our students also excel at top non-Ivy institutions, including schools as selective as Stanford and MIT. ... or refining your application essays as deadlines approach. Final Thoughts. Our Class of 2028 students are now poised to turn their dreams into reality, as a result of ...

  22. Comparative Literature MA Essay Presentations

    Eleven graduate students will be presenting their essays, May 13 & 15, 2024, 3:30 pm, Dartmouth Hall 104 and May 20, 2024, 5:00 pm, Dartmouth Hall 104.

  23. Study Abroad

    Programs in the United States. Arizona State University Critical Languages Institute. Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian (Middlebury) Monterey Institute of International Studies Summer Intensive Language Program. Russian & Eastern European Summer Language Institute (University of Pittsburgh) Russian Language Institute at Bryn Mawr College.

  24. Opinion

    Mr. Roth is the president of Wesleyan University. This time of year, college campuses like the one where I live fill up with high school seniors preparing to make what feels like a momentous ...

  25. Ilya A. Strebulaev

    Bio. Ilya A. Strebulaev is The David S. Lobel Professor of Private Equity and Professor of Finance at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he has been a faculty member since 2004, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He also is the founder and director of the Stanford GSB Venture Capital Initiative.

  26. Seniors from migrant families gain admission to Stanford and Cornell

    MULBERRY — When he was in eighth grade, Christian Cortes-Daza wrote an essay about an older student who had seemingly done the inconceivable. In the school project, Cortes-Daza expressed ...