Regular Decision and Restrictive Early Action : Stanford University

Stanford University has a lot to offer prospective students, including early action, despite not being an Ivy League school.

With programs that are entrepreneurial in nature and nothing short of spectacular, this 1885-founded institution stands as a shining example of what higher education should be.

Although the university does not favor either type of application, students who choose to apply to Stanford through the Restrictive Early Action program have a significant advantage.

Stanford Restrictive Early Action (REA) acceptance rate: 4.73% Stanford Early Decision (ED) Acceptance rate: 4.36.

Stanford Early Action Acceptance Rate

Stanford Early Decision Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate for early decision applicants at Stanford University is 9.2%.

For the first-year graduating class of 2021, the school received 7,822 early action applications; 721 applicants received admission offers.

For first-year admission, Stanford received a total of 44,073 applications in the same year. Only 2,050 of these applicants were accepted by the school.

Consequently, only 4 out of the regular action applicants were accepted during this admission cycle. 7%.

Stanford is one of the most selective colleges in the nation with such low acceptance rates. Additionally, over the past few years, the elite school’s acceptance rates have decreased even more.

For the first-year graduating class of 2025, Stanford received 55,471 applications, accepting only 2,190 students. This makes the acceptance rate for this year alone 3.95%, the lowest ever recorded in the university’s history.

In fact, more than ten years ago, for the class of 2011, Stanford’s acceptance rate was last in the double digits.

Stanford Early Action Decision Date

Students who apply to Stanford University under the school’s restrictive early action program will receive an admissions decision by December 15 of each year.

There are three possible decisions early action applicants may receive. Students may first learn that they have been declined and will not be admitted.

These students may choose to reapply during the subsequent admissions cycle, but they may not do so under regular decision.

Second, students may be accepted and offered admission to Stanford. The deadline for applicants who receive admission offers is May 1 to let the school know whether they will accept the offer and enroll.

Deferral, which means that their application will be reviewed a second time during the regular decision application cycle, is the final admissions decision that early action applicants may receive.

Applicants are free to apply to other colleges under their regular decision programs, but they may not apply to early action at any other university, public or private, according to Stanford’s general policy for their restrictive early action plan.

However, Stanford early action applicants who are postponed to regular decision are allowed to submit an early decision II application to another school.

Stanford Early Action Deadline

Stanford Early Decision Acceptance Rate

The deadline to apply to Stanford under their restrictive early action program is November 1 of each year.

For comparison, the regular decision application deadline is not until January 5, over two months later. Deadlines for applying for early decision II — an option for admission offered by some schools, but not Stanford — are generally around the beginning of January as well.

In addition, each year’s transfer student application deadline is March 15th.

Comparatively speaking, transfer applicants have roughly four and a half more months than early decision applicants to gather their materials, write a compelling essay, and submit their entire application package to Stanford.

The financial aid deadline is a crucial date that applicants to Stanford should be aware of. Every year, the priority application deadline for financial aid is November 15.

As a result, early decision applicants only have a few weeks between submitting their application to the school and a financial aid application, which includes filling out the FAFSA, to be considered.

Stanford EA Deferral Rate

The deferral rate for restrictive early decision applicants at Stanford University is 8.5%.

Compared to other highly selective, elite schools similar to Stanford.

For instance, the deferral rates for early decision applicants at Harvard and Yale are 68 percent. 1% and 57. 6%, respectively.

Additionally, Princeton has a deferral rate of 78, which is significantly higher than the national average for early decision applicants. 9%.

This basically means that Stanford’s early decision applicants are much more likely to be rejected than to have their applications postponed when compared to applicants to similarly ranked colleges.

The school has a deliberate underlying philosophy that they have previously stated explicitly, and this is reflected in their policy of not deferring a significant portion of early decision applicants.

Stanford’s general policy, as stated on their website, is to expeditiously make as many final admissions decisions as possible.

Due to this, the college rejects as few applicants for restrictive early decisions as possible.

According to Stanford representatives, applicants who submit their applications during the early decision cycle only to discover later that they have been postponed for reconsideration during the regular decision cycle should actually take this as a positive sign.

Deferral is advantageous because Stanford typically does not consider applications that are anything less than outstanding.

How to Apply to Stanford for Early Action

Stanford Early Decision Acceptance Rate

In order to apply to Stanford University under the stringent early application program, students can use either the Common Application or the Coalition Application.

Both applications will include a personal essay prompt.

The college additionally requires that applicants respond to the Stanford Questions in addition to the personal essay. There are several short answer questions here, and each answer must not exceed 50 words.

Furthermore, the application will include three short essay questions. These essays must have a minimum word count of 100 and a maximum word count of 250.

The short essay prompts are available on Stanford’s website for students who would like to familiarize themselves with the topics prior to beginning the application process.

Because of the ongoing difficulties for standardized testing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanford has decided to waive the SAT or ACT score submission requirement for any students applying during the 2021–2022 and 2022–23 academic years.

The application deadline requires those who wish to apply after the 2023 academic year to submit their test results.

Stanford does not favor either of the two exams and does not mandate that students finish the writing or essay portion of the exam they select.

While applicants may choose to self-report their test results, those who receive admissions offers must have their College Board or ACT test results sent to the university.

There will be a nonrefundable application fee of $90 due at the time of applying. For students for whom the application fee may pose an insurmountable financial barrier to applying, fee waivers are available upon request through the application of their choice.

Students must submit an official high school transcript or equivalent academic record along with their application materials and processing fee.

A midyear transcript is also necessary for the application, but it must be submitted later than the other materials.

After first semester grades have been returned, students have until February 15 of each year to submit an official midyear transcript.

Other required supplemental documents include a letter of recommendation written by a school counselor or another school administrator and a school report sent directly from the student’s high school.

Students must also request two recommendation letters from two high school teachers.

Stanford advises students to request these letters from professors in a significant academic field of study who they had in the eleventh or twelfth grade.

These include, but are not limited to, courses in history, social studies, math, science, and a foreign language.

#Transizion Stanford Early Action: Should You Do It?


Is it easier to get into Stanford early decision?

The short answer to this question is yes, more Stanford Restrictive Early Action applicants are admitted than applicants who use Regular Decision. Stanford admits a higher proportion of applicants from its pool of early decision applicants than it does from its pool of regular decision applicants, as is true of many other colleges.

Does Stanford favor early action?

Stanford’s philosophy is to make final decisions whenever possible. As a result, Stanford only moves a small portion of applications submitted via Restrictive Early Action to Regular Decision.

What’s the lowest GPA Stanford accepted?

To have your application reviewed or to be admitted to Stanford, there is no set minimum GPA, test score, or number of AP or honors courses you must have taken.

Is Stanford rea harder than RD?

If Stanford is your first choice, then apply REA. Although you have a chance to enter early, the difficulty will at worst be the same as RD. At best, it might be worth a slight admissions boost. One insignificant benefit of applying for REA at Stanford is that, if deferred, you won’t be placed on a waitlist.

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