Diversity at Stanford
Here are five statements that we often hear from prospective applicants:
"I can’t afford to go there."
A Stanford education can absolutely be affordable. We pride ourselves in having one of the strongest Financial Aid programs in the country. We designed a need-based financial aid program that ensures your family's economic circumstances will not prevent you from receiving a world-class education. Families earning less than $75,000 with assets typical of that income level will pay $0 tuition, room, and board. For families earning less than $150,000 with assets typical of that income level, pay $0 tuition. In fact, our Financial Aid program ensures that 100% of a student’s demonstrated need will be met by grants (which is money that you do not have to pay pack) not loans. In addition, eligible students can receive a fee waiver to cover the cost of applying to Stanford. We encourage you to learn more about how financial aid works at Stanford.
"I won’t find my community here."Stanford boasts a diverse student population—for example, roughly half of Stanford students self-identify as people of color, and about 20% of students are the first in their families to attend college. Stanford offers a diverse community with over 650 student groups and community centers dedicated to Asian American, Black, LatinX, Muslim, Native American, Queer, and all women on campus. We want students to not only "fit in" but truly belong. To learn more, check out our different Community Centers and how students Get Involved .
"If I didn’t go to a good high school, I shouldn't even apply."
As part of the holistic evaluation process, we consider your application in your individual context—we will not compare you to students from schools down the street, or across the globe. An important question is: did I take advantage of the academic and extracurricular opportunities that were available to me at my school?
"I have to be a valedictorian to get in."Stanford uses a holistic evaluation process, which means that we consider your application in your individual context. The application to Stanford is more than just GPAs and test scores—we want to understand how you have challenged yourself during high school with a consistently rigorous course load, what your journey to get an education has been like, and what perspective you would bring to the Stanford community. We appreciate seeing a positive academic trajectory, and a consistently strong academic performance from 10th through 12th grades.
"Stanford is only a STEM school"
Stanford is rich in opportunities to pursue the Humanities, Sciences, Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. The School of Humanities and Sciences offers 11 humanities and arts departments , as well as several interdisciplinary programs that draw heavily on humanities approaches. The School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences is a community focused on understanding Earth’s processes and finding solutions for a sustainable planet. Students engage in field learning on every continent and ocean.