Is it REALLY worth applying to Stanford?
I know the admission rates are very low for all ivy league school which is why i’m hesitant on even attempting to apply. I am a firm believer in never giving up and always shooting for the stars but in this case I don’t really want to waste my time when the chances of a positive outcome are very slim. I guess what im really asking is if anyone has applied to an ivy league, knowing the competitiveness and small chance of acceptance, and was actually accepted.
The CV chancing calculator will give you a very good idea of the odds for you so I recommend that you create a chancing profile and upload all your current stats and activities and test scores and demographics. If you are a BIPOC applicant the CV calc. also factors that in as well. Keep in mind that the average admissions rate for Ivys is 6.7% across the board and for Stanford about 5% (4.3% for the class of 2023). If you are CV admit range is less than 10%, well you have a good idea that this is a Reach or Far Reach for you and only you can make the decision to put the time and effort into the application and pay the fee.
What I believe is a grave mistake people make about choosing to decide to apply to elite colleges is that they misunderstand what the admissions rate is. It's not a lottery. If it were a lottery, then each of close to 50,000 applicants has an equal chance to get in. But it's definitely not a lottery, but a very elaborate admissions process that has been curated for decades. There are like 100 criteria and a scorecard, where you get rated 1 to 5 scale across 6 dimensions. Once you are familiar with this application process you will better understand that when Stanford picks their 2000 or so admits they all have an overall rating between 1 and 2-, no one gets in by chance. Hardly anyone with an overall rating of 3 gets in unless they are a recruited athlete, an important legacy, or a development candidate or the last 2 combined (legacy with donation). Although employees of Stanford get preferential treatment, their kids have to be 1s and 2s.
I remember my dad telling me he applied to Stanford as a whim but in hindsight, he was not Stanford material and better suited to go to a T25-T50 National University.
If you can afford to apply, do it. You never know what will happen, and you likely will regret it if you don't apply. The thing about testing cutoffs is that yes it helps to meet them, but there are always exceptions to those cutoffs. If you really like Stanford and aren't just applying for the name and prestige, I would encourage you to apply.
I would suggest that you do some more research and ask yourself if you genuinely want to attend Stanford. As much as I don't want to say it, prestige can be a big factor: prestigious colleges are generally associated with stronger alumni networks, better funding, and more opportunities. So if these things matter to you and you like the feel of the college, then go for it! Honestly, Stanford will always be a reach no matter how good your stats are, but you will have a decent chance if your test scores/GPA fall within the average guidelines and you have top extracurriculars. Even if you don't, you still might stand a chance if you present yourself in the best possible light.
Additional note: Stanford isn't actually an ivy. The term "ivy league" refers only to the 8 East coast schools that originally competed as part of a football league. This means that while there are many other good schools including Stanford and MIT, they will never be an official part of the ivy league.
Depending on if your stats meet the initial cutoff. 3.9 UW GPA, 1500 SAT/34 ACT, at least 1 national level EC. If you do then you have a shot at getting in provided your essays are good. If you haven't hit even just one of these then it doesn't make sense unless you have an international level EC