Stanford University

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Stanford University Ranking

College rankings can be helpful as you apply to college. You may use US college rankings to help choose which schools you’ll apply to, or even which one you’ll attend. 

Knowing the Stanford University rankings and what a Stanford University ranking means will be helpful if you’re considering an application to Stanford. Below, we’ll explain how the Stanford ranking should impact your college search, and how it compares to the Harvard college ranking. 

While a Stanford ranking can be helpful as you apply to college, don’t base your decisions solely on a college ranking. Without a doubt, college rankings are important. However, they are not the be-all and end-all. Use the Stanford ranking as one data point amongst many as you research the school

We’ll discuss the Stanford ranking in Forbes, the Stanford University ranking in U.S. News, and the Stanford University ranking in Wall Street Journal. You’ll see how each of these Stanford rankings differs depending on the source. Finally, we’ll explain how to interpret a Stanford University ranking and how it should influence your college search. 

So, let’s dive into some Stanford rating lists. 

Where does Stanford rank?

First, let’s check out if the Stanford University ranking is among the top 10 in three different sources: 

  • U.S. News college rankings
  • Wall Street Journal college rankings
  • Forbes college rankings 

The Stanford University ranking in U.S. News is #3 in National Universities. That Stanford University ranking in U.S. News can help you understand and contextualize college rankings in general. However, let’s check some other sources for Stanford University rankings as well. 

The Stanford ranking in Forbes is #3, the same as the U.S. News ranking. The Stanford University ranking in Wall Street Journal is #2, higher than both the Forbes and U.S. News rankings. 

Evidently, there is slight variety in the Stanford University ranking, depending on the source, whether that’s the Forbes college rankings or U.S. News college ranking. However, all three of these Stanford rankings show that Stanford is a top school. What’s more, the Stanford ranking in Forbes has been at #1 in past years. 

So, we’ve looked at the Stanford University ranking in Wall Street Journal, the Stanford University ranking in U.S. News, and the Stanford ranking in Forbes. To check out more college rankings for top schools, read this article

Now, let’s dive into some more specific Stanford ranking lists. 

Stanford Ratings

In addition to the national Stanford ranking, the U.S. News college ranking lists also have Stanford rankings as #2 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs. Further, the U.S. News Stanford rankings are #4 in Best Value Schools. Worldwide, the Stanford rating is #3. Stanford is also listed as the #1 top school in California. Maybe Stanford’s unique quarter system is partly behind this high Stanford ranking!

Additionally, there are many different criteria for college rankings. Let’s check out a few more specific Stanford ratings. 

For example, the Stanford University ranking is #1 in this list of the most beautiful college campuses. The Stanford ranking is in the top spot for best men’s soccer college rankings. And, with a 4% acceptance rate, the Stanford University ranking is #2 in the CBS list of hardest colleges to get into, only behind Harvard. Meanwhile, Bloomberg gives a Stanford ranking of #1 in their overall list of Best Business Schools

So, there are general Stanford University rankings as well as specific Stanford rankings. For more information on the Forbes college rankings in recent years, beyond the Stanford ranking in Forbes, look here. For more Wall Street Journal University rankings, click here

Exploring sources for Stanford rankings

Some of the top U.S. college rankings organizations are U.S. News, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal. However, as you look at each U.S. News college ranking, for example, be sure to do your own research outside of these college rankings lists. 

College rankings can be helpful to a point but don’t take them as the final word. Check multiple sources, and do your own independent research about any school you’re interested in. Alongside a school’s college rankings, check each school and department’s website. Further, keep a detailed college list where you record everything you find. 

Comprehensive research will complement college ranking information and help you craft a strong, well-balanced college list and make a college decision.

How are college rankings determined?

We’ve just thrown a lot of different Stanford ratings at you. So, how are college rankings decided? 

Well, you can read an in-depth explanation of college rankings here. However, in short, there are a number of different well-known organizations that have been making US college rankings for years. These include U.S. News, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. 

Each source has its own internal process for how they calculate ratings. For example, you’ll find the U.S. News qualifications here

Use these college rankings as a reference point when you begin your college search. However, no college ranking list will be completely objective. There is no one way to determine the best college out there. Furthermore, the best college for one student will be totally different from the best college for another. Don’t use the college rankings to assess a school’s ability to meet your unique needs. 

As there are so many qualified college ranking sources out there, such as U.S. News college rankings, Wall Street Journal college rankings, and Forbes college rankings, you would do well to cross-reference. 

Finally, there are hundreds of top schools with a high college ranking. To find the best school for you, research lots of factors alongside college rankings. 

Stanford University Ranking vs. Harvard Ranking

Like Stanford, Harvard University is often found at the top of both national and international college ranking lists. So, how do Stanford ratings compare the Harvard ratings? Well, it depends on which college rankings you look at.

Let’s look at a few U.S. News college rankings lists. As we mentioned above, the Stanford University ranking in U.S. News is #3 in National Universities. Comparatively, Harvard also comes in at #3 on that same list. 

As we mentioned before, U.S. News also has Stanford rankings as #4 in Best Value Schools. Harvard comes in just ahead on the same list at #3.

So, although Harvard comes in a bit higher numerically in U.S. News college rankings lists, both schools are extremely highly ranked and offer a great education. The Stanford University rankings prove Stanford is a top college on par with Harvard. 

Whether you should attend Stanford or Harvard will not depend solely on the Harvard or Stanford rating. Instead, choose a school that meets your college needs, educationally, socially, and financially. So, to find the best school for you, do your research beyond the Stanford University ranking and other U.S. college ranking lists. 

Stanford University Ranking: Final Thoughts 

 Now you’ve had an overview of the Stanford University rankings in Forbes, U.S. News, and the Wall Street Journal. So, you should have a better idea of what the Stanford University ranking is and what it means.

As you explore the college rankings more, check out some more of our resources on topics like your dream school and acceptance letters

Although Stanford is a tough school to get into, CollegeAdvisor has resources. For more information on how to get into Stanford, check out our guide. Finally, check out our Stanford webinar or take a virtual tour.

Stanford Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate 4%
Acceptance Deadline January 2

Stanford Tuition

Average Cost* $12,894
Average Total Aid Awarded $65,400
Students Receiving Financial Aid 50.36%
*Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.

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University of Southern California

I recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. I stayed at USC to complete my Masters of Science in Medical Device and Diagnostic Engineering with a Product Development focus through the Progressive Degree Program that allowed me to overlap my B.S. and M.S. programs. While at USC for both degrees, I was a full-tuition scholarship Trustee Scholar, a USC Viterbi School of Engineering Merit Research Fellow, and a member of the W.V.T Rusch Engineering Honors Program. My favorite activities outside of classes were my research fellowship where I worked on design validation testing of a force sensing glove for interface with a wearable orthotic robot arm, my volunteer work with the Science Outreach club teaching science curriculum to low income elementary schools in central LA, and my leadership roles on the executive board for the Women in Engineering organization. During my time at USC, I served as an advisor in multiple mentorship programs where I guided underclassmen students in strategic course selection, applying to research positions and summer internships, selecting extracurriculars for skill development, and overall adapting to college life. In my present full-time career, I work on the college student summer intern recruitment team - allowing me the opportunity to return to target university campuses to develop and identify star engineering student talent to recruit for co-op and intern programs. In this role I mentor students going through the internship application process on their resumes, interview skills, networking basics, and overall career advising. These experiences have helped me to hone the ability to discern the distinctive qualities of every student, enabling me to guide them in showcasing their unique strengths and potential within their applications. I have worked with students who major in Engineering, Pre-Med and Health Professions, Science and Biology, Computer Science and Technology, Entrepreneurship and Business, and any other major looking to connect their work to the STEM fields. My purpose as an advisor is to help students select the correct educational path for their futures and use that motivation to highlight to colleges why they will be an outstanding addition to any academic program. I strive to help every student and family find a program that will not only provide the academic rigor and extracurricular activities that they desire, but also the community and foundation as a young adult that will set them up for an outstanding future. I experienced the stress of helping a loved one through college applications while supporting my sister applying mid-pandemic, and my mission as an advisor is to be the extra set of eyes and ears to identify key facets of every program to find the best fit for every student. I am currently working as a Research & Development Biomedical Engineer at a cardiovascular medical device company based in Southern California, currently leading a global project team developing a novel minimally invasive device to treat failing heart valves. I love having a role that pushes my technical knowledge as an engineer and my connections to others through the cross-functional nature of medical device development. Outside of my career, I enjoy playing competitive roller derby, learning new crafting skills, baking treats to spoil my friends with, and exploring the beautiful state of California.

Also Accepted to

Yale University

As a first-generation college student, I understand how daunting the college admissions process may seem to those who have no experience with it. Despite the challenges I encountered, I was admitted to every college I applied to and learned how the process works along the way. I bring my past advising experiences helping students draft and write essays, create college application plans, and manage their time to my role as an Advisor. The pride in seeing my students succeed makes me excited to help you on your journey to college. I believe that behind every successful student there are individuals who have helped them find and express their voice, and I can’t wait to work with you to accomplish this!

Also Accepted to

Princeton University

My name is Manuel Stefano Castaño. I am an international student that graduated with honors from the B.A. Politics program in Princeton University, and with the LExS Award in the M.P.A. program in Leiden University in The Hague, Netherlands. I am currently a PhD Candidate at the same school. Throughout my academic career, I have been fortunate to have won multiple awards and honors. I have been advising high school, university, and adult applicants for over 7 years, specializing in College Admissions Counseling, Applications, Essays, English/Verbal sections of standardized testing (ACT, GRE, etc.), Interviews, and related areas. I have helped applicants stand out and be accepted into schools like Harvard, Columbia, U Chicago, Berkeley, and UCLA, amongst others. During my time at Princeton University, I founded the "College Crash Course," a service initiative in cooperation with an NGO called MIRA USA. This was a service initiative based on helping vulnerable student populations understand the application process and succeed in it. I worked as the coordinator of this program for four years, helped hundreds of students apply to their choice universities, and it is still running to this day. Outside of College Advising, I am a self-motivated and results-oriented international consultant, political advisor, editor, writer, translator, and interpreter with knowledge and experience in national and international governance. I have professional experience with international organizations like the United Nations, as well as political parties in Colombia. I have founded and led public service projects, as well as cooperated with NGOs in various human-rights related programs. Facilitating intergovernmental cooperation, sacrifice, and change through diplomacy to increase the normative and socio-political legitimacy of people's welfare are my prime motivators. I was born in Colombia in 93', where my mother and I escaped the Armed Conflict in 99'. Knowing the struggle of those who are most vulnerable, my passions are justice, peace, and honest governance.

Also Accepted to

Stanford University

Hello everyone,

I am Iyanu, a junior majoring in Economics at Stanford University. Having attended high school in London, UK, I gained a deep understanding of the profound challenges and anxieties the US admissions process can pose, especially for international students who may find it unfamiliar. My central aim is to transform what can be a stressful process into a smooth and more enjoyable journey by providing guidance and unwavering support. I hold A Levels In Mathematics, Economics, Further Mathematics and an AS in Physics in addition to my 9 GCSEs at level 9 (A*). Beyond this, my professional experience spans over 5 years, encompassing tutoring, nonprofit youth board advising, university admissions mentorship and the creation of essential resources for navigating the US college admissions process. This diverse background has not only refined my knowledge but fueled my dedication to helping all students best position themselves to attain their educational goals. My time at Stanford University has been an enriching and diverse experience. I explored a range of academic disciplines and contributed to research in ethical AI and published research in health equity. I have also interned in finance, consulting and public policy, gaining insights to guide students in their professional journeys. Beyond academics, I have been actively engaged in financial literacy initiatives, dance, debates, efforts to reduce food insecurity, and STEM tutoring for female students in the local area. As your advisor, my goal is to guide you on a journey of personal growth within a supportive and effective advising environment. I am committed to helping you craft an application that creatively narrates the story of your unique strengths and holistic talents. No matter what stage you are in the process, I am here to support you and also let you find joy in the application experience.

Also Accepted to

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

To give you an idea of who I am, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with my Bachelor of Science in Biology & Exercise and Sport Science in 2016. I then went on to become a College Advisor aiding over 1500+ students in their college process. Some of my most rewarding experiences have been supporting students to be admitted to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Duke, and many other top universities. I’m very passionate about the sciences and education. I currently work as a Senior Instructional Designer for a cable provider! I’d love to be a part of your journey!

Also Accepted to

Stanford University

Hello! My name is Conrad. I am a lifelong learner and come from a family of educators. My parents always emphasized the importance of a balanced learning approach. As a result, I place a large focus on fundamentals and motivational coaching with my students. I have my B.S and M.S in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University. During undergraduate and graduate school, I acquired multiple teaching assistantships in the engineering and psychology departments for a total of 5 years. I am also trained in non-violent communication. Since graduating in 2017 I have taught engineering workshops for students across the Los Angeles area with the Two Bit Circus Foundation and served as a professional tutor and advisor at A1 College Prep. My primary objective with students is to cast the light that allows them to shine. Telling a student's story in a way that is authentic to them is very important to me, and what I believe to be a core feature of any strong application. This process involves developing a holistic profile showing not just how far students have come, but how far they dream to go. It also means applying the most modern approaches to the college admissions process available, with emphasis on rapidly growing data and analysis. I value our young minds and am excited to work with you to reach your goals! I graduated with a degree in engineering, which required me to take advanced courses in math and sciences. I have also worked in a professional capacity as an engineer at several companies where I was accountable for STEM competencies. Companies include but are not limited to Texas Instruments, Amazon Lab126, and Sensel Technologies. I look forward to learning your needs and developing a custom system that will work for you. Together we will strive for excellence.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Hi! My name is Renbin. I grew up in Shanghai, China and moved to San Francisco, CA when I was 15. I went to a small public high school in SF. I did my B.S. and MEng degree at MIT, majoring in Computer Science and Engineering with a concentration in AI and applied machine learning. I applied to QuestBridge and became their finalist. I was admitted to MIT through Early Action and Stanford through Regular Decision. I now work as a machine learning scientist at Flexport. My strongest suit with the college admission process is personal statement brainstorming and giving advice for students who would like to pursue computer science major. I am particularly interested in working with students who are first-gen/low-income.

Also Accepted to

Cristina Slattery

Cristina Slattery applied to and was accepted at three institutions for her undergraduate education: Harvard, Stanford, and Middlebury. She attended Harvard College and graduated with honors in her field in Social Studies (international relations). She later earned a master's in English from Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English and a master's in Teaching from Fordham University's School of Education. She has worked with international students from the Middle East and China who have applied to competitive U.S. and U.K. universities and graduate programs and who have been accepted by many of these programs. She enjoys working with students and has also taught English both in the U.S. and in Spain. She is currently working on a fantasy novel for kids ages 10-12 and hopes to see it published soon! Additionally, her non-fiction writing has appeared in publications ranging from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal,,, Words Without Borders, and many other magazines and websites.

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Stanford University

I earned my B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University, where I also studied computer science, engineering, and Chinese. It was at Stanford that I had my first teaching experience, working with international graduate students to help them communicate most effectively on their published articles and dissertations. I also spent a summer teaching beginning and intermediate English at the Guilin Engineering University in Guilin, China. These experiences sparked my passion for working with students to help them envision the future they wish to live, set incremental goals, and chart an academic path to success. Following my undergraduate years, I had a two-year stint as a project manager with a company that was automating the semiconductor manufacturing process before returning to Stanford University as a staff member in Student Housing. It fascinated me to be on the inside of such a dedicated student service operation, and I rose quickly to the position of Director of Marketing and Business Support, managing six employees and providing marketing and communication services and strategies for the award-winning $450M/year auxiliary operation that included Student Housing, Stanford Dining, and Stanford Conferences. This background in marketing, project management, and communications turned out to be the ideal preparation for guiding students through the college admissions process and preparing them for college. After eight years as a Stanford staffer, I left to pursue an MS in Computer Science and Information Technology at the California University of Management and Technology (CALMAT) and serve as their Director of Marketing and Strategic Communication. During this same time, I began a business working with students and their families to provide teaching, tutoring, college application coaching, and editing services. In the past eleven years, I have worked with hundreds of students from fourth grade through graduate school to help them create a personalized academic plan that reflects the future they want for themselves and incremental, achievable goals to move them along the path to success. In addition, I’ve had the privilege of helping many students navigate the college admissions process through school targeting, developing stories that reveal not only a student’s unique identity but also his or her academic and career aspirations. Though I enjoy working with students from all backgrounds, I am particularly experienced with high-achieving students who are targeting selective campuses or programs and students from immigrant families who need assistance navigating the American college system. I have worked with many students who plan to study arts, humanities, psychology, computer science, engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, math, and other STEM majors; pre-professional programs like pre-Med, business, and law; and nationally-ranked athletes and international students applying to US schools. I understand how to make students targeting these disciplines stand out from the competition. I strive to make every session fun and productive. Whenever possible, I use my time with students to coach them toward greater responsibility and independence–two of the most important skills for adapting to college life.

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Students accepted to Stanford University

Jyoti Rani
University of California - Berkeley

CollegeAdvisor’s flexibility proved how much they really put their customers first. After speaking with the founder, I understood the personal story behind why CollegeAdvisor’s services are such a steal: incredible value at an affordable price! The college application process has now become one of the most valuable periods in my young life because the personal development and insight I gained are truly invaluable. My hearty thanks to my incredible advisor in shaping such a critical aspect of my journey and career.

Layal Kazerooni

Matthew Yekell was extremely helpful throughout the entire process of applying to college. He went out of his way to be extremely accommodating to time differences and his help was fundamental to my admission into my top choice universities. He supported me through every step of the application process and made applying to college an enjoyable experience – couldn’t have done it without him!

Hiya Shah
Stanford University


Iyanuloluwa Dare

When I reached out to CollegeAdvisor, they supported me with their program and helped me through the signup step-by-step. I was matched with my mentor. She helped me realize my best fit and find my authentic voice through my passions, experiences and challenges. She encouraged me to weave these experiences into my essays which made them stand out. She went above and beyond to support me through the stressful time of college applications and I am so appreciative of how this program supported me into getting into some amazing schools.

Ayotunde Adeyinka
Stanford University

Right off the bat, my advisor Julia identified my uniqueness and helped me express that, as well as my most beautiful life experiences, on paper. By believing in me every step of the way, she drew out the best in my writing ability and itemized the whole process into simple and more approachable pieces. Through the entire process, I truly felt supported as a distinct individual, and not just as a random applicant by everyone I met from CollegeAdvisor. It was an unforgettable experience for me! I couldn’t have asked for a better advisor.

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Stanford Essays

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Stanford Essays Examples – Introduction Located in sunny California, Stanford is a top choice school for many students. In this guide, we’ll look at the Stanford supplemental essays. Then, we’ll […]

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