Stanford Will No Longer Issue Press Releases About Admit Rates

Stanford University (iStock)

What’s the admit rate at Stanford University (CA)?

For this year’s freshman class, it was 4.3 percent, according to a statement released by the university in the spring.

But moving forward, the institution will no longer use media releases to tout its selectivity.

“When Stanford publicizes its admission numbers during the enrollment cycle, the main result we observe is stories that aim to identify which universities experience the most demand and have the lowest admit rates,” Stanford Provost Persis Drell said in a statement released last week. That is not a race we are interested in being a part of, and it is not something that empowers students in finding a college that is the best match for their interests, which is what the focus of the entire process should be.”

Too often, when released widely, admit rate data can go against the institution’s larger goal of attracting a freshman class of “promising students of all backgrounds,” he said.

“We want students to know that when we encourage them to apply to Stanford, it’s not because we wish to be known as a most competitive university with a low admit rate,” Drell said.

There’s also the danger that “by focusing on the admit rate, talented students who would thrive at Stanford may opt not to apply because they think Stanford seems out of reach. And that would be a shame,” he added.

Stanford will continue to report its application data to the federal government, so its admit rates will continue to be public information. The big difference is that the institution will no longer promote its selectivity to the media.

Read Stanford’s press release about the change and share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at

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