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Stanford shares details of early-admit class

Stanford has admitted 754 early applicants to the Class of 2015 and deferred about 500 more, Admission Director Bob Patterson said last month.

The University received a record-high 5,929 applicants, dropping the admission rate to 12.7 percent for Stanford’s “restrictive early-action program.” Applicants were up 6.5 percent from last year, when Stanford admitted 753 of its 5,566 applicants, or 13.5 percent. The University notified all early applicants of their application status via e-mail on the afternoon of Dec. 10.

Patterson, who joined Stanford this fall from UC-Berkeley, called the newly admitted students “truly exceptional.”

Of the 5,929 applicants, 723 participated in Stanford’s pilot interview program, in which alumni interview prospective students as part of their applications, Patterson said. The program expanded this academic year to include Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and the University trained more than 1,000 alumni to interview applicants.

This year, about 7 percent of early-admit students are international, about 50 percent are students of color and about 10 percent would be first-generation college students, Patterson said, adding that those levels are roughly on par with last year.

A higher share of admitted students reported GPAs of 4.0 or higher, he said.
About 5 percent of admitted students this year will undergo random auditing, following a plan Stanford rolled out earlier this year to combat dishonesty among applicants. The Office of Admission will randomly select admitted students and verify their extracurriculars, 11th-grade transcripts and courses in progress with their high schools, Patterson said. Auditing of early-admit students will take place in January and February and again later for regular-decision students.

“We trust students,” Patterson said. “We are just doing this for precautionary reasons.”

Dean of Admission Richard Shaw raised the possibility of audits in July, the month after reports that Stanford admitted alleged academic con artist Adam Wheeler. (The University later revoked Wheeler’s admission.) Shaw, declining to comment on the Wheeler case specifically, said Stanford was concerned with the “issue of dishonesty and forgery on the national level.” Patterson said in October the new system did “not have to do with” Wheeler, but was in response to national admission groups calling for more scrutiny of applications.

Stanford is among the nation’s most selective universities, admitting 7.3 percent of applicants to the Class of 2014. The University expects 26,000 to 28,000 applications during its regular cycle this spring, Patterson said.

Regular applications were due Jan. 1, and decisions are released in late March. All applicants have until May 1 to respond.

A version of this story was originally published online on Dec. 13, 2010.

–Elizabeth Titus

About Elizabeth Titus

Elizabeth Titus was editor in chief of Volume 238 of The Stanford Daily, serving from July 2010 to January 2011. Contact her at elizabethmtitus@gmail.com.