Stanford remains most selective elite university for Class of 2021
By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS
This year Stanford University is again the most selective university in the United States, beating out all the Ivy League universities including Harvard. On Friday, March 31, 2017, Stanford sent out offers of admissions to 1,329 eagerly awaiting high school seniors. The students are in addition to the 721 accepted in December during early admission.
Stanford admitted only 2,050 students to the Class of 2021. The university received a “record” 44,073 applications vying for a spot at Stanford. The acceptance rate for the Class of 2021 was only 4.65 percent “the lowest in Stanford’s history.” In comparison, Stanford’s chief rival Harvard admitted 2,056 students out of a record of 39,506 applicants, to have a 5.2 percent acceptance rate. The number of applications Stanford received was more than Harvard, which received just fewer than 40,000 applications. The numbers prove the Stanford is not only the most selective but also high school seniors’ dream elite school.
Last year for the Class of 2020, Stanford admitted 2,063 students out of a then unprecedented 43,997 applicants giving the school a historic low acceptance rate of only 4.69 percent. This year, the University beat their previous record just slightly. Richard H. Shaw, the dean of admission and financial aid, hailed the Class of 2021. Shaw expressed, “We continue to be awed and humbled by the interest Stanford receives from outstanding young people around the world.”
Continuing with the Ivy League and elite universities theme of making their incoming class the most diverse ever, Stanford’s Class of 2021 is no different. According to the data, the incoming class comes from all of the US’s 50 states and territories, and internationally from 82 other countries. Demographically the class is equally diverse with the university’s class including 18 percent that are first-generation college students.
Shaw praised the class’ diversity. The dean of admission stated, “This year, in particular, we are proud of the intellectual strength and incredible diversity represented by this group. Over 18 percent of our admitted class will be the first in their families to attend a four-year college and, overall, this cohort of students reflects the diversity of our country and the world. These students have already had an incredible impact on their communities, and we know they will impact the world in immeasurable ways.”
Unlike previous years, Stanford decided not to release complete data about their incoming freshmen. Last December the University announced a new policy of withholding the data until the end of the admission cycle. Stanford refused to release early admissions data to the public. Then the university released a statement explaining their reasons for withholding the information.
The statement indicated, “Stanford will be releasing its application and admission statistics only at the conclusion of the admission cycle, after all, applicants have been notified, and will continue to do so out of respect for our prospective students and applicants.” Students have until May 1 to notify Stanford if they will be accepting their offer of admission.
Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.