Can you get into Stanford with a 3.5 UW GPA?

I know I know many of you are probably thinking “is this kid joking?? single hardest school to get into and you’re asking about a 3.5”

Here’s the dealio: I know my chances are slim. I know they are slimmer than slim. I even heard that students (who aren’t recruited athletes) that have GPAs below a 3.7 have an even lower chance of getting accepted (like 1% apparently). But say, in the BEST POSSIBLE scenario, I have a stellar application otherwise. Say I have a great 1500 range SAT score, mindblowing essays, and amazing extracurrics (def not saying i have all of these things, we’re just imagining here ok)–AND THE ONLY THING I DON’T HAVE GOING FOR ME IS A HIGH GPA because I’ve gotten multiple Bs and am not even top 10% of my class in terms of grades. The thing is, in comparison to the kids at my school (they’re the straight-A only does things to look good to colleges and aren’t that passionate type of ppl), my grades aren’t great but I feel like my extracurrics & awards are farther up there than most of them in that regard.

Would my subpar, wildly mediocre, even maybe even POOR grades (in comparison to other applicants) play a significant role in holding back the admission officers?

Please don’t hate on this question, I realize that what I’m asking is kind of unbelievable and even naive but I’m genuinely wondering.

In short, yes. While it’s not impossible to be admitted with a 3.5UW, it would be close. One of the most important things admissions officers are looking at is how you will perform on campus. GPA/grades are good indicators of academic performance, which is probably the most important thing colleges are looking at.

I can’t see it happening I’m sorry. People with perfect 4.0s and 1600s get rejected from Stanford all the time. Apply to more target + safety schools.

I know someone who got off the Stanford waitlist with a 3.45 unweighted GPA and no hooks so I guess it’s technically not impossible? Just very unlikely. A couple of unhooked people I know also got in with a 3.6-3.8 UW GPA.

Then again, this is coming from an inexperienced high schooler. And my high school’s reputation possibly played a factor, so I guess it might depend on the competitiveness of your school too. Good luck!

It’s possible but pretty unlikely. There would have to be a compelling reason why those grades do not represent your academic ability. For example, if you were a recent refugee to the States at the beginning of high school and were learning English and filling in holes in your schooling, an AO might find those grades amazing. (I would.)

But without a very good reason, those grades might indicate that you would not be a good fit academically for the school. The good news is that you are undoubtedly a good fit somewhere else.

The challenge is that, while at your school the 4.0 students might be grade-grubbers with just for-show ECs, it’s a big country (not to mention world)- and there are a LOT of 4.0 students with top scores AND a terrific sport (which Stanford seems to particularly value) AND something else.

Of course, there is context: a student with a 3.5 UW GPA at a school where that puts you at the top of the class? that could make a difference. A student with a 3.5 UW GPA with an extraordinary backstory? that could make a difference. A student with a 3.5 UW GPA & an Intel top prize? that could make a difference.

So, not impossible. But for what the normal ‘average excellent’ kid? probably not happening…

So it’s one of your reaches. Look at naviance and see what your schools history with Stanford is. Don’t dismiss the fact that a 3.5 is a great GPA. Many colleges out there want you. Look for colleges that match you. So I wanted my son to apply to MIT. I told him once you get the rejection letter you can frame it to put it in his office, when he has his career. I kinda thought that was a cool idea. He didn’t… Lol.

Haha! I love that idea actually, thanks for the positivity

i’m waitlisted with a 3.57. i’m getting a decision back either this week or next week, so hopefully it works out.

let me know if it works out, i’ll be rooting for you!

@alwaysconfused02 I was admitted!

@Youngboy2019 Congratulations Man! Would you be willing to share your stats and extracurriculars that got you in?

can you please give a follow up or an update on this ?

Enjoy your wildest dream while it lasts