Stanford welcomed new prospective members to the Class of 2025 through its restrictive early action admissions on Dec. 11.
Due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, the application process for many colleges shifted this admissions cycle. Stanford has made standardized testing optional and alumni interviews are being conducted online through video chat. To replace on-campus tours, applicants can instead sign up for virtual visit programs as well as a 360-degree tour of Stanford available onYoutube. Virtual Student Forums are also available for applicants to ask current Stanford students questions.
However, prospective students said they still faced hurdles. For example, San Antonio native Allison Wu ’25 said she faced numerous issues in the process of taking her SAT and was forced to drive two hours to take her test. Prospective frosh and Hawaiian student Nainoa Visperas told The Daily that four of his SAT tests were canceled.
Applicants also said that because of travel restrictions, they were not able to visit campus, which created another challenge when choosing what colleges to apply to. Prospective frosh Noelle Tinker from New York wrote in an email to The Daily that it was difficult for her to decipher which college was best for her without physically visiting campuses, but that ultimately it all worked out.
Despite these challenges, the prospective frosh said they still felt excited about their admissions. For Tinker, the University’s appeal came from its strength in STEM. She said she “could just envision myself there, and I feel like that’s the most important thing when deciding which schools to apply to.”
Stanford stood out to prospective frosh Sally Wang, who hails from Hong Kong and Shenzhen, because of the University’s “emphasis on exploration across binary boundaries and the practical angle to its initiatives.” She wrote that when visiting the school before the start of the pandemic, she was drawn to the “supportive, friendly atmosphere” around campus in an email to The Daily.
When Oriana Riley ’25, an admitted student from Southeast Pennsylvania, visited Stanford, she said that she felt a connection to the Stanford campus.
“You know the feeling when someone’s talking about the thing they are really passionate about, and you don’t know anything about it, but it’s just so interesting to watch them get that excited?” she asked. “That’s the feeling I get on the Stanford campus.”
Visperas agreed, saying that Stanford’s community was a big factor in his decision to apply as well.
“It is something about the people here that is so different and coming from Hawaii, there is this really big aspect of family, and there is this really big aspect of showing aloha to one another,” he said. “Just being willing to love each other despite being total strangers and I never thought there would be a university possible that would embody the spirit of Hawaii.”
“Stanford so far seems to be just that, and I can’t wait to meet more people who perpetuate that legacy and who give me that ability to find that home away from home,” he added.
Some prospective students cited the integration of science and the humanities as a factor drawing them to Stanford. Prospective frosh Diya Sabharawal from New Delhi, India, said that when she browsed through English courses, she noticed that many “had elements of the sciences integrated in them which was extremely important to me.”
Wu added that “the art practice major at Stanford is super interdisciplinary, so it’s not like art school where you have to pick a specialization, and you can only do that.”
For Lincoln Willard ’25, he said his special connection to Stanford stemmed from his family. Willard’s father was a part of Stanford’s Class of 1965, and “growing up I would watch Stanford basketball and football games with him, so he planted a seed really early on.”
Daniel Kim ’25, an admitted student from Boise, Idaho, said that “Stanford was my number one choice and always has been.”
“Stanford is where they strive for diversity. I’m really interested in meeting a lot of people with different backgrounds and gaining new perspectives,” he added.
Visperas said that he sees Stanford as a “group of individuals” who want to make the world better, “but in doing so, they want to do it together, and I think that was so amazing to see.”
“I want a university where academic prowess is valued but more importantly, that we value one another,” he said.
Contact Anita Tun at anitatun2005 ‘at’ gmail.com.