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Stanford University


Stanford University offers its students an interesting history in that it was established in the late 1800s and grew to become one of the country’s leading institutions of higher education over the next century. After his son passed away from typhoid fever in 1884, Leland Stanford and his wife decided that they would use their fortune to create a school in remembrance of their child, Leland Jr. The couple inquired with major East Coast universities about donating money but ultimately decided that creating a completely new school in California would be the best use of their fortune. The couple made some groundbreaking choices when they founded the university. They allowed women to enter and founded the school independently of any religious affiliation.

Stanford University Accreditation Details

As is the case with most well-regarded colleges, Stanford University is regionally accredited and also boasts affiliations and ties with major institutional and professional organizations. For its regional accreditation, the Accrediting Comm. for Sr. Colleges and Universities accredits the university to grant degrees. Information on the school’s regional accreditation may be found with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in Alameda, California.

Beyond its regional accreditation, the university also offers students specialized accreditation for various programs. Some of the programs with specialized accreditation include the law program with its American Bar Association specialized accreditation and several programs within the engineering department that are accredited with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).

Stanford University Application Requirements

Stanford University receives an extraordinary number of applications each year. With more than 42,000 applicants and just over 2,100 applications accepted, the acceptance rate for Stanford University is only around five percent. Students applying to Stanford University must have high standardized test scores with the university preferring ACT scores of 31 or above and SAT scores of at least 1450. Similarly, students must showcase a high GPA with their application. Most students who enroll at Stanford have a GPA in excess of 3.75 on a 4.00 scale.

Although the school doesn’t require it, students applying to Stanford may wish to complete a college prep program. Other items a student must include with his or her official application to Stanford University include a nonrefundable $90 application fee, a letter of recommendation from a school counselor, and an official transcript. Students must also submit two letters of recommendation from teachers and a midyear transcript at the time of application. Students applying to programs in the arts should consider submitting an arts portfolio which is optional but recommended.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Stanford University is a private school, and it costs the same to attend the university whether a student hails from inside California or is an out-of-state applicant. Undergraduate students pay tuition of $15,777, and full-time graduate students pay the same. Part-time graduate students who take eight to ten units pay $10,260 in tuition. Some programs may feature extra fees or different tuition amounts. For example, the MBA program is $22,180 for tuition and attending Stanford Law School means paying $18,693 in tuition. Other costs may include housing fees and technology fees.

Although the tuition at Stanford University isn’t the most expensive in the nation, it’s not uncommon for students to obtain loans, scholarships, and grants related to study at the college. The college is unique in that the financial aid department meets the “full demonstrated need” for each student admitted into an undergraduate program at the university who qualifies for financial aid. The school recommends that students estimate their budget, estimate the cost of attending college and the amount of financial aid required, and collect documents for submission to the university that demonstrate financial need. Students who attend Stanford University are eligible for federal financial aid, private student loans, scholarships, and grants.

Student Experience

Students attending Stanford University come from every state in the country, as well as more than 90 countries around the world. Stanford’s location in the Bay Area of California offers an idyllic climate in a community that feels very residential and suburban. Even though the college is quite near the bustling city of San Francisco, the town next to which Stanford University sits, Palo Alto, is full of sprawling neighborhoods, mature trees, and opportunities for walking and enjoying the outdoors.

When students arrive at Stanford for their first semester, the university pairs them with two advisors who will assist the student in the first decisions the student will make in college. Students at Stanford are also encouraged to join student organizations related to their interests and major with more than 200 organizations available in the arts, services, and Greek community. The school also takes pride in its diversity and reveals that about 15 percent of the students who attend as freshman are the first person in their family to attend college.

Most freshman who attend Stanford live within the on-campus housing system since a place to live is guaranteed for incoming freshman for all four years of their education. Stanford has more than 80 student residences, as well as ample dining options for students to congregate and eat with friends and fellow students. The college also provides extensive sports facilities and opportunities to students by supporting 35 different varsity sports and around 25 club sports. Intramural opportunities abound, and the university makes an effort to provide sports opportunities on a year-round basis.

An interesting facet of attending school at Stanford is its commitment to ensuring students master “industrial” and “personal” missions rather than just the topics presented in their particular major. The school recently created an exhibit called “The @Stanford Project” that was designed to encourage students to work and learn beyond the doors of the classroom. The project challenged Stanford students to create personal missions in education rather than focus on professional objects. Further goals recently publicized by the school included reducing costs, increasing diversity, and expanding the scope and purpose of degree programs.

Stanford University is one of the most respected universities in California and routinely showcases a commitment to its students by questioning the way things have always been done and encouraging the development of a unique student experience. Requiring rigorous study from its students, the university is extremely competitive, but students reap significant rewards in knowledge and career opportunities after completing a degree program. Students with exceptional grades, high standardized test scores, and a wish to attend one of the best universities in the country will want to consider Stanford University.