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Stanford University, located in a large California suburb, is a private, not-for-profit university. The university was founded in 1885. Located in a picturesque community, Stanford University houses almost 17,500 students, ranging from undergraduate to graduate. Campus housing (dorms and student apartments) are available for students to live in.

Overview of Stanford University (SU)

On-campus, students can go from one building to the next, sheltered by abundant greenery. If they want to study outdoors, there are plenty of areas to settle with backpacks, books, and highlighters. And, when they have time away from their studies and classes, they can venture off-campus to get to know the community of Stanford. From shopping to parks, all students should be able to find an activity that interests them.

Students and faculty are well-balanced; the student-to-faculty ratio is 5 to 1, giving students and professors/instructors ample opportunity to meet if students are having a hard time understanding class materials.

Currently, 7,000+ students are in the undergraduate class, with the remaining 10,000+ in the graduate class. The split between male and female students is balanced at 50-50.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting Suburb: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 5 to 1
Graduation Rate 94%
Year Founded 1885

Student Enrollment

Total Students17,381


Undergraduate Student

Male 3,543.5
Female 3,543.5

Graduate Student

Male 5,147
Female 5,147

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SU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 24,692
Female 22,760


Male 988
Female 910

Acceptance Rate4%

Male  4%
Female  4%

Enrollment 1,556

Male 1,292
Female 1,261
Application Fee $90
High School GPA Recommended
High School Rank N/A
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Recommended
Application Deadline April 15
Common Application Accepted Yes

SU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Even with financial aid, attending Stanford University is expensive. The average net price, which is derived after financial aid has been used to bring down the semester’s tuition, is $17,271. This cost also includes fees charged by the university.

The actual cost of a year’s worth of tuition and fees is $53,529, though the lower a family’s income, the more likely they will be able to receive financial assistance.

Students and families do have access to financial aid. An average of 1,156 students (68%) of freshmen receive student aid. Fifty-four percent of incoming students (910) receive grants and/or scholarships. The same number and percentage of students receive institutional grants and scholarships (aid that is generated by the university).

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $17,271
Average Total Aid $51,838
Students Receiving Financial Aid 68%
Room & Board $16,433

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $53,529
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $53,529
  • Books and Supplies - $1,245
  • Room & Board - $16,433
  • Other - $3,363


Students at Stanford have a retention rate of 99%. This is the amount of first-time students who continue to attend Stanford after their freshman year. Undergraduate students have a 75% graduation rate at the four-year mark. Students who stay in school beyond the four-year mark have a 94% graduation rate at the six-year point.

Nontraditional students won’t find evening classes that accommodate their work schedules. Instead, they can enroll in distance learning (online classes) so they can begin their college classes and earn a degree.

Students are able to enroll in one of several majors, ranging from business, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), to communications/journalism, social sciences, biology, and biomedical fields. Students drawn to computer and information sciences will also find programs that allow them to convert that interest into lucrative careers.

Additional majors include ethnic, cultural, gender, and group studies (African Studies, Latin American studies, and more). English and foreign language majors allow students to delve into other cultures. Health professions, law, liberal arts, natural resources, public administration, psychology, and visual and performing arts are also majors students can select. All these majors allow students to create the lives and careers they want.

Student Population Total

Student Population 17,381

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Engineering Majors 356 Total Graduates / 20%
Engineering, Other 120 Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 79 Graduates
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 62 Graduates
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering 38 Graduates
Chemical Engineering 25 Graduates
All Computer Information Science Majors 327 Total Graduates / 18%
Computer Science 327 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 270 Total Graduates / 15%
Human Biology 125 Graduates
Cognitive Science 78 Graduates
Science, Technology and Society 67 Graduates
All Social Science Majors 224 Total Graduates / 12%
Econometrics and Quantitative Economics 86 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 52 Graduates
International Relations and Affairs 50 Graduates
Anthropology 13 Graduates
Sociology 13 Graduates
Engineering Technology & Engineering-Related Fields 93 Total Graduates / 5%
Engineering/Industrial Management 93 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 30%

Outcome & Salary

Students who graduate from Stanford University earn good livings. The early-career salaries for graduates are $83,500; the average salary is $106,000; and mid-career salary is $161,400. The return on investment (ROI) for a 10-year potential salary is $1,060,000; and the 20-year ROI is $2,674,000.

Students who don’t go to college earn an average of $38,792. Their 10-year projected income is $387,920 and the 20-year projected income is $775,840. The difference in incomes is significant. Even with the cost of education being relatively high, students clearly receive a good return on investment.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $83,500
College Grads Average Salary $106,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $161,400
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,060,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $2,674,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $69,084
10 Year Projected ROI $990,916
20 Year Projected ROI $2,604,916
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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