Stanford admit rate rises to 5.19%, 378 students defer enrollment

Oct. 31, 2020, 9:48 a.m.

Stanford offered admission to 5.19% of applicants to the class of 2024, an increase from last year’s record-low rate of 4.34%, according to data published by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Of the 45,227 total applicants, 2,349 were offered admission.

This uptick marks the first time since 2004 that the University’s undergraduate admit rate has increased, presenting an anomaly in contrast to previous years’ admission rates, which reflected a trend of rising selectivity. Fewer applicants applied to the class of 2024 than the previous year, which saw a record-high 47,498 applications. 

A University spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Daily’s request for comment.

The 5.19% admit rate accounts for students admitted through restrictive early action, regular decision and the waitlist. Even after Stanford dipped into the waitlist to admit applicants, only 1,607 admitted first-year students enrolled this year, down from the target undergraduate class size of 1,730

Around 20% of first-year students admitted in December and March opted to defer enrollment instead of matriculating this academic year, according to enrollment data released in last month’s Campus Conversation. Applicants from the waitlist were admitted on the condition that they enroll this academic year, making them ineligible for a gap year.

Three hundred and seventy eight first-year students admitted to Stanford chose to take a gap year, a number similar to peer institutions. Yale University saw 341 deferrals, and 340 first-year students deferred enrollment at Harvard College. While Harvard and Stanford both enroll approximately 1,700 first-year students each year, Yale enrolls around 1,300 first-year students.

In the fall of 2018, Stanford announced that it would no longer publicize admissions data for its incoming classes in an effort to reduce the “outsized emphasis placed on the admit rates at U.S. colleges and universities.”

“By focusing on the admit rate, talented students who would thrive at Stanford may opt not to apply because they think Stanford seems out of reach,” Provost Persis Drell said at the time. “And that would be a shame.”

Since the decision to stop announcing its admit rate, Stanford has been publishing admissions data in its Common Data Set, a national effort to present university data in a standardized format, which is typically released in December each year. The University’s release of 2020 admissions data, however, came in advance of the release of this year’s Common Data Set. Federal law also requires Stanford to report university information and statistics, including admissions data, to the National Center for Education Statistics. 

Stanford’s class of 2024 is made up of 52% women and 48% men, coming from 56 different countries and representing all 50 U.S. states. In addition, 20.2% of the class are first generation college students and 9.9% hail from abroad.

Contact Cameron Ehsan at cehsan ‘at’

Cameron Ehsan is a junior at Stanford studying neurobiology. He served as a news editor and newsroom development director for Vol. 261 and was the Vol. 260 winter managing editor.

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