Diversity at Stanford
Here are four statements that we often hear from prospective applicants:
"I can’t afford to go there."A Stanford education can absolutely be affordable. We are proud to have one of the strongest Financial Aid programs in the country. We base our financial aid program on grants (which is money that you do not have to pay back) and not on loans (which is money that you do have to pay back). In fact, our Financial Aid program ensures that 100% of a student’s demonstrated need will be met by grants, not loans. In addition, eligible students can receive a fee waiver to cover the cost of applying to Stanford. To learn more about Financial Aid, visit financialaid.stanford.edu.
"I won’t fit in there."Stanford boasts a diverse student population—for example, roughly half of Stanford students self-identify as people of color, and about 18.5% of students are the first in their families to attend college. There are approximately 625 student groups, as well as institutional resources, to support students with a variety of backgrounds and interests.
"I have to be a genius 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.
"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?