Stanford Legacy-Should or should not apply for REA

Son is senior and in the midst of deciding on where to apply early. His father graduated from Stanford and did his medical residency for 5 years there. We have not really contributed any money though—school loans and just finally getting to a point that we are comfortable.

Good stats: 10 APs, AP Scholar with distinction (several 4s and 5s). Unweighted 3.95, basically all As and one A- over all the years. SAT 1510 (Math 780/Eng 730), 3 years varsity lacrosse, all star and captain last year (not interested in being a college athlete), summer research at U of A, summer program at UCSB that he had to apply for and received 4 credit hours, master scuba diver. Very interested in biology and marine biology. He is from Tucson, AZ not California but he’s also an Asian male which I heard does not help.

He’s also thinking of doing ED at Duke. We want to steer him in the right direction but not sure if he should put his hopes on Stanford.

Nobody should “put his hopes on Stanford,” or any other school with single-digit acceptance rates. Legacy is a nice bump, but it is far from a sure thing. On the flip side, ED at Duke is more of a boost than REA at Stanford. So it really depends on which is his top choice, assuming both would be affordable.


A 1510, as sad and bewildering as it seems, really isn’t going to help at either, and with test optional might now even be below the 25th percentile, especially at Duke. I don’t know if updated CDS info will be published before early applications are due, but it would be worth checking before deciding whether to submit.

I think between the legacy bump at Stanford and Duke’s being “easier” to get into it is likely a push and he should apply to whichever he likes best.

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That is exactly my view. This is assuming that you are either okay being full pay or have run the NPCs and are okay with the result.

Also spend time thinking about safeties, and apply to at least two safeties.

Thanks—interesting about the SAT score being in the 25th percentile range. I will definitely have him check it out before submitting.

He will have safety schools for sure—he would be more than happy to go to UC Santa Barbara and I would too (to visit of course).


His legacy at Stanford will get his application a second read. ReA or RD. Beyond that, nada. Applying REA will probably not make a huge difference over RD unless something has changed dramatically in their treatment of legacies.

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Did he end up applying REA? If so, best of luck to him and let us know please! Due out in 4 days…

He applied ED to Duke. No date yet—mid-December!


Good luck!!! Please keep us posted.

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Son was deferred for ED at Duke and then rejected for the Regular round. He got into UCSD, UCSB, and Cal. Waitlisted at Hopkins and Stanford. He’s going to commit to Cal and hope that maybe he gets that lottery ticket to be a tree. It was a great waitlist letter though and that alone was nice. Either way, Bay Area it is!

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Go Cardinal (hopefully)!

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