As we review applications, several ideas guide our holistic evaluation including the central hallmarks of academic excellence, intellectual vitality and personal context.
The primary criterion for admission to Stanford is academic excellence. We look for your preparation and potential to succeed. We expect you to challenge yourself throughout high school and to do very well. The most important credential that enables us to evaluate your academic record is the high school transcript. Remember, however, that our evaluation of your application goes beyond any numerical formula. There is no minimum GPA or test score; nor is there any specific number of AP or honors courses you must have on your transcript that will secure your admission to Stanford.
We want to see your commitment, dedication and genuine interest in expanding your intellectual horizons; both in what you write about yourself and in what others write on your behalf. We want to see the kind of curiosity and enthusiasm that will allow you to spark a lively discussion in a freshman seminar and continue the conversation at a dinner table. We want to see the energy and depth of commitment you will bring to your endeavors, whether that means in a research lab, while being part of a community organization, during a performance or on an athletic field. We want to see the initiative with which you seek out opportunities that expand your perspective and that will allow you to participate in creating new knowledge.
Just as no two Stanford students are the same, no two Stanford applicants are identical. This means that as we review each application, we must pay careful attention to unique circumstances. We take into account family background, educational differences, employment and life experiences. By focusing on your achievements within context, we evaluate how you have excelled within your unique school environment and how you have taken advantage of what was available to you in your school and community.
It is important to know these variables are not listed in order of importance in our evaluation and selection process. We review applications in an integrated format where no one portion can be considered without the other.