In an effort to detract from the “outsized emphasis” on elite U.S. colleges’ acceptance rates, Stanford will no longer publicly announce how many undergraduate applications the University receives during the early and regular admission cycles.
The Office of Undergraduate Admission reports that 81.1 percent of admitted undergraduates enrolled as students in the Class of 2019, up from 78.2 percent last year. The yield rate is the highest in Stanford history.
While the 2014-2015 application process is drawing to a conclusion, the Stanford Office of Admissions should strongly consider making next year’s admissions process legacy-blind. It is for the betterment of both legacies and non-legacies, but most importantly, it is consistent with the spirit of Stanford. After Leland Stanford Junior died, the Stanfords wrote, “the children of California will be our children.” There was no distinction between legacies and non-legacies. The Office of Admissions should realize our founder’s vision and end the distinction.
Stanford sees applicant pools of 40,000 or more. more than 5.07% of applicants have SAT scores in the 2200-2400 range student, so the 2000 or so who make the final cut must have done something exceptional other than receiving a perfect SAT score to make themselves stand out. Stanford has the opportunity to be the first elite institution to formally eliminate the SAT from its admissions considerations and inspire others leaders in higher education to follow. Without SAT scores, higher education could return its focus on identifying true, deep, and brilliant thinkers and developing them to their fullest potential instead of rewarding the most “excellent sheep.”
Across the country, admissions rates are low and declining, a fact that compels students to apply to even more schools. And ironically, rational decisions on the part of students make admission rates fall even more, a downward spiral that at times seems to overshadow the very universities the application process is supposed to serve.