Could someone help me understand the biggest reasons why I was rejected from Stanford REA?

Ah yeah that’s my mistake. I’m not getting my citizenship in a year but rather my green card.

I’m in a FB group and someone just mentioned that Penn State would cost $50k a year because she didn’t want her son to go there since they’re only paying $25k a year which would mean her son would have to come up with the other $25k and is it worth it for him to be $100k in debt. No way not for Penn State is what most people said. His main criteria was going OOS (NY is in state) with a big sports program. So he can go to plenty much cheaper than that.

You sound like a very strong applicant. It’s not personal. There are so many talented, bright, hard working kids. Don’t let this get to u. You have so much ahead of u and I suspect u will end up at a top tier school where u will make the most of your education. Best of luck!

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your gpa Is on lower end for Stanford. Also if you are an over represented “minority” (asian, south asian, etc) that can make it more challenging as well.

Hi! I am not applying to Stanford and have never done extensive research on it, but I have lived in Palo Alto for my whole life and may have some insight. I don’t know what part of the Bay you are from, but especially in the Silicon Valley, legacy means a lot because there are so many alums, professors, or important donors in the area. This year, my senior class at my public school has multiple kids with parents who are heads of their departments at the hospital and plenty more with at least fourth generation legacy (many of which still got deferred or rejected). My dad went to Stanford for one degree, but based on the weight it holds at Stanford, I know I would never have been able to out-compete the mega-legacy of my classmates. I’m sure it is extra concentrated in Palo Alto due to my super close proximity to the school, but throughout the Bay, there are going to be lots of alums or important connections compared to the rest of the country. I’m really sorry though. You are a super impressive applicant and I’m sure you’ll find a great school for you, but rejection is never fun. Good luck!


The cost for many public OOS colleges with r/b is $50,000.

The two biggest reasons- numerator and denominator. Too many great applicants (like you) for too few seats.

Make sure your safeties are really safe and that you can afford them- and put the early round out of your mind.

Good luck! You sound terrific!


96% of Stanford applicants are denied. 91% of Duke applicants are denied. 90% of John Hopkins applicants are denied.

It is not a surprise when an applicant is denied at these schools. It should be greeted as a surprise when a specific applicant is admitted. Rejection decisions from all these schools should be expected.

Hope for admittance, plan for other options. Applying to T20 schools with any other expectation is illogical.


As I heard at a Duke tour…The AO said at selective school like duke and Stanford you aren’t rejected but rather you aren’t “selected”. There are thousand and thousands of qualified applicants who apply with similar or even better qualification than you. However they can only take a small number and they select those that fit within how that want to shape the class. Geography, race, majors, gender, athletics, the arts etc. You weren’t rejected you were just not selected.


Actually there are plenty of OOS schools that one can go to that are less than 50k a year and many that will give in state tuition as well. People just need to look. Even Purdue which is a top notch University and one of the best for many engineering fields is less expensive than Penn State.

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You are right, I’m just sharing my experience as a northeast parent who’s children wanted to stay within a 3 hour drive. That limits them to colleges in NJ, PA, CT, NY, DE and MD.

Thank you! That’s very kind of you to say

That is a really good way of looking at it.


My son is a junior at Stanford. Given the number of highly qualified applicants, luck might be the #1 factor. Essays are important, and if you have a good interview it helps too. You have very impressive achievements. Hope you’ll get into one of your desirable schools!

@lolzlolz hit the nail on the head. Applying from the Bay Area is an enormous disadvantage as you are competing with many “hooked” kids who have parents that are either alumni or teach at Stanford. Also, this year getting in is super competitive due to many kids deferring admission last year due to Covid. This has nothing to do with the quality of your application, and there is nothing you could have done differently to improve your chances short of winning a medal at an international STEM Olympiad.
I am mystified why you don’t apply to Canadian Universities. The SV companies recruit heavily from McGill for instance, and you’d be paying a fraction of the $300k+ COA at Stanford. Are your parents OK with the COA at private US colleges?

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yeah, they’d rather me go to a school in NYC, Boston or the bay than Canada. The price of college is really a non-issue for us. I think I’m applying to some target-reaches in Boston and NY with tufts & NYU + another reach in the bay with Berkeley.

Hello, I just wanted to post here for reference in case someone in the future stumbles on this thread (as it’s pretty much a chance-me, ig). I got rejected pretty much from everywhere except umich and NYU :).

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That’s 2 excellent admissions. Congrats!


Congratulations! Those are two excellent schools. You only need one great acceptance, since you can only go to one school, and you are holding two.


You worded that incorrectly.

What you wanted to write was “I was accepted at both NYU AND UMich!!!”