How to get into Stanford: What GPA do you need? Requirements, tips

How to get into Stanford: What GPA do you need? Requirements, tips

Stanford is a private research university in California. It is not only one of the largest universities in the United States but also among the best. It was founded in 1885 by Senator Leland Stanford and his wife Jane to honour the memory of their son, Leland, who passed away the year before, aged 15. Today, it is a highly sought after institution, which is why learners from all over the world want to know how to get into Stanford.

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How to get into Stanford
The school is a private research university found in California. Photo: @Stnford
Source: Twitter

No top university is easy to get into because slots will always be limited, with many students competing for them. Regardless of your university of choice, you must strive to excel in your studies and stand out in extracurricular activities. How hard is it to get into Stanford?

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Stanford admission stats

In the class of 2025, 45,227 students applied to be admitted to the school, but only 2.349 students were accepted. This represents an acceptance rate of 5.18%, making it extremely difficult to get into this institution. The school is ranked among the top 10 schools, not in the Ivy League.

Average academic profile of students accepted to join Stanford

A student's profile is evaluated using test scores, grades, and extracurricular activities. Your odds will be better if you score high in each of the metrics as analyzed below:

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The average GPA of Stanford's 2025 class is 3.96, which is slightly lower than those of Harvard and Yale, which are above the 4.01 mark. 68.7%, which is more than two-thirds of the 2025 class, graduated high school with a GPA of 4.0.

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About 27.5% registered a GPA of between 3.75 and 3.99. Less than 4% managed to get admission with a GPA lower than 3.74.


In the same class of 2025’s Stanford SAT subject test, the middle 50% SAT score is between 1420 and 1550 and the middle 50% composite ACT score ranged between 31 and 35.

When it comes to the students who submitted an SAT score, 79.4% had scores of between 1400 and 1600, while among the ones who submitted ACT scores, 86.5% scored between 30 and 36.

Class rank

Class rank is a key determinant of the admission decision at the school. For example, about 96% of the students admitted in the 2025 class graduated in the top 10% of their high school class.

Stanford University application requirements

The school is very selective, and exceptional academics alone may not be enough to guarantee admission. In addition to excellent academic grades, your chances are boosted by technical experience and leadership.

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How to get into Stanford
The school is very selective, and exceptional academics alone may not be enough to guarantee admission. Photo: @Stnford
Source: Twitter

Essays are part and parcel of the application process because that is how the school knows who they are admitting. Below are the factors that are considered before you can be accepted into the school:

  • Essay
  • Test scores
  • Recommendation letters
  • GPA
  • Course rigour
  • Class rank

Other factors are also considered and these include things like interviews, geographic residence, volunteer work, work experience, racial/ethnic status, first-generation student, and alumni/ae relation. However, the school will not consider things like level of interest, religious affiliation and state residence.

Tips to improve chances of admission into Stanford

How do you improve the ability to get admitted here? Follow the tips below:

1. Score a 1550 SAT or a 35 ACT

The current class's middle 50% SAT score is 1420-1550, and the middle 50% ACT score is 31-35. Having a score in the middle 50% places you on the safe side. If you want your application to be solid, your score should be close to the 75th percentile.

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2. Get a GPA score not lower than 3.96 while taking the most challenging classes

Class rank, GPA, and coursework rigour are important considerations for admission to the school. To have a better chance, you must have outstanding grades in challenging courses. In addition, having more than 10 AP classes is recommended to improve your chances.

The school will utilize the Academic Index (AI) to eliminate the least qualified applicants. AI looks at a student’s overall performance by combining test scores, grades and rank into a single number.

3. Have one or two Tier 1-2 extracurricular activities

Don't just go for any extracurricular activity, but those will give you a better ranking. Tier one extracurriculars have more weight because they demonstrate exceptional achievement and are rare. Tier 4 activities, on the other hand, ate general and less impressive hence they will not boost your chances of being accepted.

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4. Apply early action

The school offers a restrictive early action application meant to prevent applicants from applying to any other private college. However, you are encouraged to go for the early action plan because its acceptance rates are higher than those for regular decisions.

5. Write engaging essays

How to get into Stanford
The school requires up to four essays, the first of which is the personal essay in either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. Photo: @Stnford
Source: Twitter

The school requires up to four essays, the first of which is the personal essay in either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. The other three are short-answer questions in the school's supplement.

6. Recommendation letters

Recommendation letters are equally important, and you are required to have three. One is from a high school counsellor, and two are from teachers. The teachers should have taught you in the 11th or 12th grade in a core academic field like Mathematics or English.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Does Stanford require SAT in 2022? Not necessarily because the school made standardized testing optional for applicants after the Covid19 pandemic, and the same policy has been extended for the 2027 class.
  2. How hard is it to get into Stanford? It is extremely difficult because its acceptance rate is 4%, with so many students wishing to be admitted.
  3. What grades do you need to get into Stanford? Since the average GPA is 3.96, you have to score straight A's to be admitted to the school.
  4. What GPA do you need to get into Stanford? For admission into this institution, you must have a GPA of not less than 3.96.
  5. Is it difficult to get into Stanford? Yes, it is extremely difficult because the acceptance rate is 4%
  6. Is it harder to get into Stanford or Harvard? While both are difficult to get into, it is easier to get into Harvard because it is slightly less selective.
  7. What are my chances of getting into Stanford? Unfortunately, the odds are very slim, with an acceptance rate of 4%.
  8. What kind of students are accepted at Stanford? The criteria used to admit students are academic excellence and extracurricular activities.

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Just like Harvard and Yale, Stanford seeks bragging rights as the best university globally by admitting students capable of improving the school's stature. There is no secret on how to get into Stanford other than making it through the apparent merit criteria. Just take care of your grades and the other requirements to make it easier to be accepted into the school.

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Source: Briefly News

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