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 applicants


For students applying during the 2020-21 academic year, we understand recent developments are 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 as you begin 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.

Although the required application components remain largely the same for both freshman and transfer applicants, please note the following updates for applications submitted during the 2020-21 academic year only:

Standardized Testing

We understand the difficulty students may have in preparing for and accessing admission testing worldwide. As a result, for this year only, Stanford will review applications with or without standardized 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).

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 year. 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 year, letters from these teachers are perfectly acceptable.

Extracurricular Activities

  • We understand that students may not have access to traditional extracurricular activities this year, 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 are not able to receive or 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.

Stanford University Health Alerts

Updated on October 22, 2020 2:38 PM