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Questions regarding Stanford Admissions/Stanford Life

prepboybicprepboybic Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
Hello fellow CC members,

I wanted to reach out to students who are currently attending Stanford. This fall I will be entering my senior year, and I have a few questions regarding Stanford as it is definitely my first choice.

Question 1: Stanford now has a 4.7% acceptance rate. Although I am a good student overall, I wouldn't consider myself a genius. Thus, I was wondering if you need to be incredibly intelligent to do well at Stanford, or if it is mostly hard work that will allow you to do so.
Question 2: What is the competition like? After reading some posts on CC, I feel as though a majority of the students are very modest.
Question 3: How is the work load? I understand there are other posts that can answer a question like this; however, I was wondering whether some of you Stanford students can give me an example of your daily routine and how you manage your time.

Thank you!

Replies to: Questions regarding Stanford Admissions/Stanford Life

  • LaggingLagging Registered User Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
    Current student here -

    1. You don't need to be incredibly intelligent - if you've done well in high school and on standardized tests then intellectually you'll probably be fine. What really counts is hard work. You'll have to put in more hard work if you don't naturally "get" things, but it should be doable. I was worried about entering Stanford as a pretty average student, but I've worked hard and it's been totally fine.

    2. I'm not sure if you mean competition at college or in the applicant pool. There are many really amazing applicants rejected every year. As far as at Stanford, people are much more collaborative than competitive. Competition is usually only in the sense of pushing yourself to do better. Every course I've taken has been with others more than willing to help or explain concepts to peers.

    3. The workload depends a lot on your major. Humanities students often have pages of reading (it's not uncommon to read an entire book in a week on top of other readings and assignments), CS students spend most of their time on problem sets, etc. I'm taking the max number of units allowed so my schedule is a bit more packed than most, but typically it involves waking up around 9am, two and a half hours of class, lunch, a few more hours of class, dinner, then lab/meetings followed by a several hours of homework. Most students probably have about 5 hours of class time per day and then spend 3+ on homework or studying. Unlike high school you wont be spending a large amount of time on "busy work." Most of your homework time will be on reading, psets, and studying for midterms or finals.

    The biggest barrier to managing time is probably overcommitment to extra curriculars - something quite a few people (myself included) are guilty of. There are so many incredible student groups that it's hard to be involved in just one. Don't commit to too many things, especially when you first start college. One or two clubs is fine, but too many more and you may struggle to find time to work.
  • prepboybicprepboybic Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    I would first like to begin by thanking you for taking the time to respond. Also, I think what has been worrying me about applying to Stanford is whether or not I am capable. When you say that you were a pretty average student in high school, i'm not sure if you're just trying to be modest. Personally, I am in the Top 5% of my class and my ACT practice tests predict I will do well enough; however, I usually have to work really hard to do well. Thus, are there a lot of students like me? Thanks again.
  • LaggingLagging Registered User Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
    I'd say I was pretty average academically for the Stanford applicant pool - what got me in was not outstanding academic achievement like some of my peers. I had good grades and test scores, but nothing groundbreaking. A lot of students here do well due to hard work. Some, at least it seems, are just naturally incredibly smart. If you're willing to work hard then doing well should be possible (just remember that "doing well" in college is different than in high school; it's not common to get lots of As in college).

    Also keep in mind that over 95/100 students will be rejected - there are tons of great schools and a realistic list with matches and safeties is a smart list. Don't fall in love with a school before being admitted. With that said, if you're a competitive candidate, can financially afford the app, and love the school then it doesn't hurt to apply. I applied with the full expectation of rejection.
  • prepboybicprepboybic Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thank you so much. I understand that Stanford is incredibly hard to get into, and the only reason why I am asking all of these questions is because I want to apply to schools that I know I would love to attend. I am a URM and will be a first-generation college student, and I love Stanford because of its diversity and the students there seem so individualized.
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