Stanford will no longer announce undergraduate application numbers

Beginning in fall 2018, Stanford will no longer publicize data regarding the numbers of undergraduate applications it receives during the early or regular admission cycle. This move is intended as a small step in reducing the outsized emphasis placed on the admission rates at U.S. colleges and universities.

During the admission process itself, and when admission decisions are issued each fall and spring, the university will not release application numbers. In the past, information about the incoming class, including application figures, was announced every spring. Stanford will continue to provide data on application numbers at the end of the admission cycle as part of an annual public report to the federal government.

“When Stanford publicizes its admission numbers during the enrollment cycle, the main result we observe is stories that aim to identify which universities experience the most demand and have the lowest admit rates. That is not a race we are interested in being a part of, and it is not something that empowers students in finding a college that is the best match for their interests, which is what the focus of the entire process should be,” said Stanford Provost Persis Drell.

“We want students to know that when we encourage them to apply to Stanford, it’s not because we wish to be known as a most competitive university with a low admit rate. It is because we want promising students of all backgrounds to seriously consider the educational opportunities and possibilities at Stanford. Each year, we strive to put together a class that is academically excellent, intellectually nimble and enormously broad in backgrounds and perspectives. 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. And that would be a shame.”

Read more on the Stanford News site.