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Demystifying Stanford’S Rea Acceptance Rate

With admission to Stanford so highly competitive, the university’s restrictive early action program is popular among applicants hoping to boost their chances.

But what is Stanford’s current REA acceptance rate and how does it compare to regular decision?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Stanford’s REA acceptance rate is typically around 9-10%, significantly higher than the regular decision rate of below 5%. REA boosts applicants’ chances, but Stanford still denies over 90% of early applicants.

This comprehensive guide breaks down the numbers. Read on as we dive into the details behind Stanford’s REA acceptance data, from rates over time to how competitive admission is for different applicant demographics and profiles.

Stanford’s Overall REA Acceptance Rate

When it comes to college admissions, Stanford University is often regarded as one of the most competitive institutions in the world.

While the university does not publicly disclose its acceptance rates, the overall REA (Restrictive Early Action) acceptance rate at Stanford has been a topic of interest and speculation among prospective applicants.

Understanding the acceptance rate for the REA option can provide valuable insights for students considering this application route.

Overview of REA vs regular decision application options

Stanford offers two main application options: Regular Decision and Restrictive Early Action.

Regular Decision applications are due by January 2nd, while REA applications have an earlier deadline of November 1st.

REA is a non-binding program that allows students to apply early and receive a decision in December, without being committed to attending Stanford if accepted.

REA acceptance rate is around 9-10% at Stanford over the past 5 years

Based on available data and insights from admissions officers, it is estimated that the REA acceptance rate at Stanford hovers around 9-10%.

This means that out of all the students who apply through the REA program, only a small percentage are offered admission. It is important to note that this figure may vary slightly from year to year.

Compare to regular decision acceptance rate around 4-5%

The REA acceptance rate at Stanford is significantly higher compared to the regular decision acceptance rate, which is around 4-5%.

This difference highlights the advantage of applying through the REA program. By submitting their application early, students have a greater chance of securing a spot at Stanford.

Applying REA roughly doubles chances of admission

Applying through the REA program roughly doubles a student’s chances of admission to Stanford. This is because the university fills a significant portion of its incoming class through the early action pool.

By demonstrating their strong interest in Stanford and their outstanding qualifications, REA applicants have a higher likelihood of being accepted.

Still extremely competitive – over 90% of REA applicants denied

Despite the higher acceptance rate for REA applicants, it is essential to understand that Stanford’s admissions process is incredibly competitive.

Over 90% of REA applicants are still denied admission, indicating the high caliber of applicants vying for a limited number of spots.

It is crucial for students to have a holistic understanding of their chances and to apply to a range of universities that align with their academic and personal goals.

Demystifying Stanford'S Rea Acceptance Rate

REA Acceptance Rate by Applicant Group

Gender – Slightly higher acceptance for males

When it comes to the REA (Restrictive Early Action) acceptance rate at Stanford University, there is a slight difference between the acceptance rates for male and female applicants.

According to available data, the acceptance rate for males tends to be slightly higher than that for females.

While the difference might not be significant, it is worth noting that Stanford’s admissions process takes into account various factors, such as academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities, in order to create a diverse and well-rounded student body.

Ethnicity – Varies significantly, highest for White applicants

The REA acceptance rate at Stanford University varies significantly based on ethnicity.

According to statistics, the highest acceptance rate tends to be for Asian-Americans applicants, followed by White, Hispanic, and Black applicants.

However, it is important to note that these statistics should not discourage individuals from applying. Stanford University values diversity and aims to create a campus environment that embraces students from all backgrounds.

First-Gen – Lower REA acceptance vs non-first-gen

First-generation college students, who are the first in their family to attend college, may face slightly lower acceptance rates in the REA round compared to non-first-generation students.

This could be due to a variety of factors, including access to resources and support systems.

However, it is important to remember that Stanford University actively seeks to support and uplift underrepresented students, and being a first-generation student can also bring unique perspectives and experiences to the campus community.

International – Lower than domestic acceptance

The acceptance rate for international applicants in the REA round at Stanford University tends to be lower than that for domestic applicants. This is likely due to the limited number of spots available for international students and the high level of competition.

International applicants should keep in mind that Stanford University values global diversity and actively seeks to attract students from different countries, but the admissions process is highly competitive for all applicants.

Athletes/legacies – Higher REA acceptance rates

Athletes and legacies, who have a familial connection to Stanford University, may have slightly higher acceptance rates in the REA round. This is because Stanford values the contributions that athletes and legacies can bring to the campus community.

However, it is important to note that being an athlete or legacy does not guarantee acceptance, as Stanford’s admissions process takes into consideration various factors to ensure a well-rounded student body.

How REA Boosts Admission Chances

Stanford University’s Restrictive Early Action (REA) program offers several advantages that can significantly boost an applicant’s chances of admission.

By understanding how REA works, students can make informed decisions about their college application strategy.

Shows demonstrated interest by applying binding early

One of the key benefits of applying to Stanford through REA is that it demonstrates a high level of interest in the university.

By submitting an application early and committing to attend if accepted, applicants send a strong signal to the admissions committee that they are genuinely interested in Stanford.

This can be particularly advantageous, as colleges often value applicants who have shown a genuine interest in their institution.

Lets you highlight your best academic and extracurricular achievements

When applying through REA, students have the opportunity to showcase their best academic and extracurricular achievements to the admissions committee.

This allows applicants to present themselves in the best possible light and emphasize their unique strengths and accomplishments.

By highlighting their most impressive accomplishments, students can make a compelling case for their admission to Stanford.

Avoids larger regular decision applicant pool competing

Another advantage of applying through REA is that it allows students to avoid competing with the larger pool of regular decision applicants.

The regular decision applicant pool tends to be much larger and more competitive, making it more challenging for applicants to stand out.

By applying early through REA, students face less competition and have a higher chance of catching the admissions committee’s attention.

Increases the chance of strong letter recommendations

Applying through REA gives students more time to build connections with their teachers and mentors, increasing the likelihood of receiving strong letter recommendations.

The additional time allows students to engage with their teachers on a deeper level, demonstrate their commitment to their academic pursuits, and build relationships that can result in compelling letters of recommendation.

These letters can provide valuable insights into a student’s character, abilities, and potential for success at Stanford.

Opportunity to explain special circumstances proactively

REA also provides students with the opportunity to explain any special circumstances that may have affected their academic performance or extracurricular involvement.

Whether it’s a personal hardship, medical condition, or other unique situation, applying through REA allows students to proactively address these factors and provide context for their application.

This can help the admissions committee better understand an applicant’s achievements and potential, increasing their chances of admission.

University application

Tips to Get Accepted REA to Stanford

Start essays early to refine message and themes

One of the most important aspects of the Stanford REA application is the essays. To increase your chances of acceptance, it is crucial to start working on your essays early.

This will give you enough time to brainstorm ideas, refine your message, and develop strong themes that align with Stanford’s values and mission. Remember, your essays should showcase your unique experiences, perspectives, and aspirations.

According to a study conducted by Stanford Daily, students who started their essays early had a higher acceptance rate compared to those who left it until the last minute. So don’t procrastinate, start writing as soon as possible!

Focus extracurriculars on depth, not breadth

Stanford values depth of involvement in extracurricular activities over a long list of superficial involvements. Instead of trying to do everything, focus on a few activities that truly ignite your passion.

Dedicate your time and energy to these activities and strive for leadership positions or significant contributions.

Research conducted by the Stanford University admissions office has shown that students who demonstrate a deep commitment to a few select extracurriculars are more likely to be admitted. Admissions officers want to see that you have made a meaningful impact in the areas you are passionate about.

Highlight intellectual curiosity beyond academics

Stanford is known for its commitment to intellectual curiosity and interdisciplinary exploration. To stand out in your REA application, go beyond your academic achievements and demonstrate your genuine curiosity and passion for learning.

This could be through independent research projects, attending conferences or seminars, or participating in online courses related to your field of interest.

According to a survey conducted by CollegeVine, students who showcased their intellectual curiosity and eagerness to learn beyond the classroom had a higher acceptance rate. So don’t be afraid to showcase your love for learning!

Convey genuine interest in Stanford’s programs

Stanford wants to admit students who are genuinely interested in their programs and can contribute to the community. Show that you have done your research and understand what makes Stanford unique.

Tailor your application, especially your essays, to highlight why Stanford is the perfect fit for you and how you can make a positive impact on campus.

According to the official Stanford University website, demonstrating a genuine interest in Stanford’s programs and campus life can significantly increase your chances of acceptance. So take the time to learn about Stanford and tailor your application accordingly.

Get feedback from college consultants if possible

If you have access to college consultants or guidance counselors, it can be beneficial to seek their feedback on your application. These professionals have experience in the college admissions process and can provide valuable insights and suggestions to improve your application.

Research conducted by NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) has shown that students who received guidance from college consultants had a higher acceptance rate. However, keep in mind that the ultimate responsibility for your application lies with you, so make sure to stay true to yourself and your own voice throughout the process.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of being accepted in Stanford’s Restrictive Early Action (REA) program. Remember, it’s important to start early, showcase your depth of involvement, highlight your intellectual curiosity, convey genuine interest, and seek feedback when possible.

What If You Don’t Get Into Stanford REA?

Receiving a deferral from Stanford’s Restrictive Early Action (REA) program can be disappointing, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the road.

Here are some steps you can take if you find yourself in this situation:

1. Deferral to regular decision pool still possible

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand that being deferred from Stanford REA does not mean you’ve been rejected.

Your application will still be considered in the regular decision pool, giving you another chance to showcase your strengths and potential. Don’t lose hope and stay positive throughout the process.

2. Move forward with any other non-binding applications

While waiting for Stanford’s final decision, it’s a good idea to proceed with your applications to other colleges or universities.

Keep in mind that applying to other schools through non-binding early action or regular decision allows you to keep your options open and potentially receive admission offers from other prestigious institutions.

3. Leverage the extra few months to improve applications

Since you have a few extra months before hearing back from Stanford, consider using this time to enhance your applications.

You can focus on areas where you feel you could have been stronger, such as extracurricular activities, leadership roles, or community involvement. Improving your application during this period can increase your chances of acceptance.

4. Request feedback from Stanford on why deferred

If you’re eager to understand why your application was deferred, you can reach out to Stanford’s admissions office and request feedback.

While they may not provide specific details, they might offer some guidance on areas that could be strengthened. This insight can be valuable when you’re working on your applications for other schools.

5. Use as motivation to strengthen academics and essays

Being deferred from Stanford can serve as a motivator to push yourself academically and refine your essays. Take this opportunity to excel in your current coursework, explore new academic interests, and seek out meaningful experiences that can enhance your personal growth.

By demonstrating your resilience and dedication, you’ll not only improve your chances of acceptance but also grow as an individual.

Remember, receiving a deferral is not a reflection of your worth or potential.

Many successful individuals have faced setbacks in their academic journeys but have gone on to achieve great things. Stay positive, keep working hard, and explore other exciting opportunities that lie ahead!


While still extremely competitive, applying REA can significantly help your chances of Stanford admission versus regular decision.

Understanding the nuances of Stanford’s REA acceptance rate – from overall percentages to differences by demographics and factors that boost chances – is key to presenting the strongest case.

Remember that over 90% of REA applicants are denied, so have backup options ready. Use a Stanford deferral as motivation to enhance your application before regular admissions.

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