In response to COVID-19
We know the global pandemic is creating unprecedented challenges for students and families throughout the world. We are committed to working with students and offering as much flexibility as possible during these uncertain times.
The Office of Undergraduate Admission will remain closed until public health conditions allow us to reopen. In the meantime, we invite you to explore virtual opportunities to engage with us and to learn more about Stanford.
As the situation unfolds, we will provide ongoing updates about our admission processes below. Please send any questions to .
2020–21 and 2021–22 applicants
For students applying during the 2020–21 and 2021–22 academic years, we understand the pandemic is adding stress. We want to reassure you that you will not be at a disadvantage in the review of your application.
We are in this together. We hope to navigate these difficult times with you and to serve as a resource on your college application journey. We encourage you to read "What We Care About in This Time of Crisis ," a collective statement from college admission deans, including Stanford’s Dean Richard H. Shaw.
One of our core values is to practice holistic admission. We will continue to review the pieces of the application as an integrated whole, and in the context of the unprecedented events we are living through now.
We recognize the ongoing challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited access to admission testing worldwide, and are extending this year’s test optional policy to a second year. For 2020–21 or 2021–22 first year and transfer applicants, Stanford will review applications with or without ACT or SAT test scores, leaving the decision in the hands of the applicant.
- If you are not able to take the ACT or SAT, your application will not be at a disadvantage.
- If you have already taken the ACT or SAT, and you feel that your scores are a positive reflection of your academic preparedness, then you are welcome to self-report them. Your application will not be at a disadvantage if you choose not to report your scores.
- In the Stanford Application Questions, you will have the opportunity to let us know whether you have submitted or will be submitting ACT or SAT scores.
- If you submitted your application and indicated you would not be submitting ACT or SAT test scores, and you would now like to change your response and submit scores, please log in to your portal for instructions on how to make this change.
- If you submitted your application and indicated you would be submitting ACT or SAT test scores, and it turns out you are not submitting scores, or you no longer want previously submitted scores to be considered, please log in to your portal for instructions on how to make this change.
Please note: the deadline to change your response about submitting or not submitting ACT or SAT test scores is November 11 (REA), January 15 (RD), and April 1 (Transfer). However, please know we review application files when they are complete, and we cannot guarantee that we will review your application with the change if it is made after November 1 (REA), January 2 (RD), or March 15 (Transfer).
We are hearing that some students may still feel they need to take the ACT or the SAT despite our updated policy. Please know that in this year’s Restrictive Early Action cycle, we admitted students who submitted ACT or SAT scores, and we admitted students who did not. We want to emphasize that applications without ACT or SAT test scores were not at a disadvantage.
We urge students not to jeopardize their health or well-being to take future sittings of these non-required tests. Any situation that is in any way dangerous to your safety is contrary to Stanford’s number one priority of keeping all students safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. ACT or SAT test scores are not required for full consideration at Stanford for first year and transfer students applying in 2020–21 or 2021–22.
Transcript and Grading Policies
- We know many schools have adopted a pass/fail grading policy, and that many international exams have been canceled or significantly altered. This will not put applicants at a disadvantage in any way.
- As always, we will review academic results within the context of school policies and local/global events.
Letters of Recommendation
We understand that some of your teachers may not have had the opportunity to interact with you in a synchronous classroom environment. In this unusual time, letters from these teachers are perfectly acceptable.
- We understand that students may not have access to traditional extracurricular activities, and that many activities have been canceled or altered.
- Generally speaking, we want to know how you spend your time outside the classroom. This helps us understand your interests, your responsibilities, and your potential contributions to the Stanford community.
- We expect that how you spend your time will likely have been impacted by the pandemic, and we will keep this in mind during our contextual review of your application.
Submission of Documents
- All application materials must be submitted online through the application.
- The Office of Undergraduate Admission is currently closed, and we have limited ability to receive and process documents sent via physical mail.
Optional Interview for Freshman Applicants
- During the 2020-21 application cycle, all interviews worldwide will be conducted via video chat. Applicants and volunteers will identify a mutually agreed upon platform for the interview. Commonly used platforms include Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Zoom.
- To learn about the optional interview program and assignment process, visit the Interview page.