Elaine Ray, News Service (650) 723-7162; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stanford offers admission to 2,416 for the Class of 2005
Stanford will make offers of admission to 2,416 students for the Class of 2005 -- a class that will be among the university's most academically distinguished, diverse and accomplished.
Letters will be mailed today to 1,899 applicants who have until May 1 to decide whether to accept the offer. Letters confirming admission will be sent to another 517 students previously offered admission under Stanford's early decision program.
Competition for Stanford's freshman class has increased steadily over the past several years. Only 12.7 percent of the 19,078 applicants for fall 2001 were offered admission, compared with 13.2 percent for fall 2000 and 15 percent for fall 1999. At the same time, applications have increased from 18,338 last year and 17,917 the year before. The target for the freshman class this year is 1,630 students and 6,560 for the entire undergraduate population.
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Robin Mamlet credits the increase in applications to recent innovations in undergraduate education, including Stanford Introductory Studies, which emphasizes small seminars during the freshman and sophomore years. Students are also attracted, she believes, by enhancements to Stanford's financial aid programs and by the university's history of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. In addition, Mamlet says many students enjoy the presence of a nationally recognized athletic program that succeeds without diminishing academic standards.
The students constitute the most ethnically and culturally diverse group ever admitted to Stanford. Half -- or 49.9 percent -- represent minority groups: 11.7 percent are African American, 22.9 percent are Asian American, 13.0 percent are Mexican American/Latino and 2.3 percent are Native American/Native Hawaiian.
In addition, international students make up 5.3 percent of the admitted class. Some 48.9 percent of admitted students are women. The admitted students range in age from 15 to 33. Offers of admission went to students from all 50 states and 42 countries, including Singapore, China, Nepal, Bulgaria and Kenya.
Mamlet says the admitted class includes students with exceptional life experiences. "These students, for instance, hold patents to inventions or have won national competitions in areas as diverse as bridge building and poetry slams. One is an accomplished filmmaker, while another has done extraordinary work with the impoverished in Mexico.
"We also made a special effort to look for students whose backgrounds were in keeping with the wish of the founders of Stanford that the university be accessible to all. We have, for instance, admitted many students who are the first in their families to go to college. Some are recent immigrants, while others have overcome tremendous hardships."
Academic achievement, however, remains the most important criterion for admission to Stanford, according to Mamlet. Eighty-two percent of those offered admission, for whom class rankings were reported, were ranked within the top 10 percent of their high school class, and 70 percent earned a 4.0 or higher grade point average.
Although standardized test scores are considered in Stanford's admissions process, Mamlet says the university prioritizes evidence of intellectual vitality through such activities as in-depth study in areas of personal interest, independent and sponsored research, and challenging coursework. Sixteen of Stanford's admitted applicants, for instance, are Intel Science Talent Search finalists.
"An increase in applicants is exciting, though challenging," says Mamlet. "When you get 12 times the applications you can accommodate, you have to make fine distinctions among highly qualified candidates. The keys for us remain academic achievement, intellectual vitality and a love of learning."
California has the highest representation in the admitted class (39.6 percent), followed by Texas (8.4 percent), New York (5.9 percent), Illinois (3.7 percent), Washington (3.6 percent) and New Jersey (2.9 percent). Applications came from students representing 5,332 secondary schools, of which 1,403 are represented in the admitted class.
Mamlet, new to Stanford after 13 years of admission work in the East, reports being stunned by the quality of California applicants: "The laid-back image is simply not reflected in the applications of the strongest students from the West," she says. "I was dazzled by the keen intelligence and remarkable achievements of these tremendous young people. They have so much to offer the university."
Admitted freshmen have been invited to visit the campus and meet with faculty members and students during Admit Weekend, April 19-22. The program will highlight the university's academic opportunities and will give students a chance to experience life at Stanford.
By Elaine Ray