Stanford University Panel

Former Stanford Admissions Officer Amber, alongside Stanford students and alums, share details on Stanford’s admission process and campus culture.

Date 08/26/2021
Duration 1:01:25

Webinar Transcription

2021-08-26 Stanford University Panel 2021

[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s panel on Stanford University Panel. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.

Now let’s meet our panelists. Hello everyone. My name is Amber Lewis. I know you guys can read that, but I’m just saying it as it’s typically how we introduce ourselves. I graduated in 2018, studied international relations and minored in Spanish and Portuguese. I love all things having to do with people and languages.

Um, and now I’m actually, um, and it missed an officer at CollegeAdvisor. So I’m happy to be here and looking forward to getting a bit of information about Stanford, but really to hearing your guys’ questions.

I already won I’m Henry. Um, I took a gap year off my and [00:01:00] my freshman year. So I’m actually going to be a sophomore, um, in the fall. And I’ll be studying computer science, specifically bio computation, and super excited to tell you guys about Stanford today. Hi everyone. I’m Iris Fu. I’m in the class of 2024.

So currently a rising sophomore. Um, I’m majoring in computer science. Um, but I’m also considering, uh, symbolic systems now with the computer science co-chairman we can talk more about that as we go through the panel as well.

Awesome. So we can start by situating ourselves. So I know for myself, I hadn’t even heard of Stanford until I was in my sophomore year. Maybe that’s a little rare, you guys are probably experts you here, but if you’re not, let’s start with where we are. So Stanford is located in Northern California in Stanford, California.

It’s basically like its own city has its own fire department also and police department own post office. Um, and we’re in that [00:02:00] Silicon valley area. So a lot of where, like the tech startups are where Facebook is located, um, LinkedIn, Instagram, et cetera. It is a private school. Uh, it’s about medium size. So you can see the number there about 16,000 students, roughly like under half are undergraduate, but there are actually more graduate students than undergraduate students.

There are a lot of graduate students who come and who come internationally if you’re an international student. And if you’re thinking about graduate school, it’s actually pretty popular, optimistic. Um, they have wonderful programs. Um, and then yes, it is a suburban setting. It’s about 8,180 acres. That’s a lot.

And in practical terms, Just this, a lot of biking. I actually didn’t know how to ride a bike. When I got to campus and my dorm mates taught me how to ride a bike. And that was a fun experience of falling and hitting poles and learning. Uh, so if you don’t know how to ride a bike, I encourage you to learn how to ride a bike.

Um, because there is, it’s an expansive campus to get everywhere and it’s just wonderful to explore. Um, [00:03:00] and then of course, one thing in the academic life is the small student to faculty, faculty, to student ratio. There’s always five to one in terms of teacher to students. I keep interchanging words, but there’s five faculty per one student to make that very clear.

Uh, and that is really nice. Cause you get to connect with faculty and the students and you just get to learn from everybody on campus. But those are just some notes about Stanford. I’ll turn it over to Henry. Thanks Amber. So to go over some notable alumni and fun facts about Stanford, um, there were a ton of them on, but if you hear our Jennifer Gates, so I think is like Melinda and bill gates.

I wish I could have gotten to know her before she got it with graduated. Um, also heard her Hoover in tiger woods. Um, and then some fun facts are the founders of Google. So Larry Page and Sergei Brin are alumni of Stanford. And, um, Stanford has like a pretty big athletic presence on campus. And so, um, by that, um, all Stanford students have won medals and every Olympics games since 1908, actually did not [00:04:00] know that before seeing the slides.

That’s super cool to hear, but I think most recently, like the Tokyo games, they won like upwards of 20 metals or something. So, yeah, that’s awesome. And then, um, Stanford also has a strong like Alma mater. I don’t know if you can call it a culture, but, um, uh, I guess like a tradition of 30 living billionaires and 17 current astronauts and I’ll pass it on to Iris.

Thanks. Um, so the current undergrad undergraduate academic divisions include the school of humanities and sciences. Um, so this is probably the biggest, uh, school at Stanford with, um, 75% of students, uh, undergraduate students graduating from the school, humanities and sciences. Um, and then there’s also the school of engineering.

And then as well as the school of earth, energy and environmental sciences.

Right. And so we’ll give you a [00:05:00] moment to scroll over, um, the graduate academic divisions that we do have. Um, but one thing to note. So from the law school to the medicine, medical school, all the way to the humanities and sciences school. So the really cool thing about Stanford is that when you’re an undergraduate student, you have access to all the resources, um, at Stanford.

So you can take classes in the law school or that across listed as legal, like graduate and undergraduate courses. You can take them both. You can take a class in the medical school. So while you’re an undergraduate and you might not have even declared your major yet, since you don’t have to do that to the end of your sophomore year, you can be taking classes in these various schools, getting hands on practice.

Figuring out what it is that you want to do. Um, and that was something that I really enjoy. Like I know I took a couple of classes, um, in the law school. Never took anything in the medical school. I knew that wasn’t my thing. Um, but you have various opportunities and that’s something that definitely makes Stanford unique and that I really appreciated as a student there.

Yeah. And [00:06:00] so I think something cool to call out here is that Stanford has like a really strong athletic, um, student body, as well as obviously like a strong, um, academic, uh, student students from strong academic interests. And so some of the popular majors are computer science, biology, um, engineering economics, and as Iris mentioned earlier, symbolic systems.

Um, and so while there is like a pretty big stem concentration here, there’s also a ton of like humanities majors that are super popular as well. Uh, and then with athletics, um, Stanford is a D one school and has a ton of like varsity teams. So everything from like rowing to, um, basketball, to your traditional sports and also a ton of club sports.

So there is opportunities to be involved both academically and.

Yeah. Um, and so with the extracurriculars, there is, um, over 625 organized student groups. Um, and there’s this 81 student residencies, um, which means that pretty much. Uh, [00:07:00] almost all Stanford undergraduates live on campus. Um, and there’s 11,000 students living on campus. Um, and I’m actually living on campus right now and it’s really lively, um, even like right now in the summer.

Um, so it’s been great. Um, just being on campus, surrounded by other other students. Um, and as for the school events and traditions, um, there’s the big game, which is basically a Cal or Berkeley versus Stanford. Um, they’re so, so band run, nomad party, um, which I think happens like week 10 of every single quarter.

Um, so I’m, I mean, I just finished my first year, but I remember there was a nomad party the last week of spring quarter where basically people like. Go out outside and like have a party. And it like just moves around campus. Um, obviously fountain hopping is really popular here. So Stanford is known for having a lot of fountains on campus.

Um, and so a lot of students, especially, you know, in the spring or the summer, when it gets pretty hot, they’ll just go into the [00:08:00] fountain and that’s what we call fountain hopping. Um, and then we’ve had, I guess, I don’t know what this is, but Latin night at Lakeside and then also the wacky walk I’m in a late night.

I can’t believe you don’t they not have that. I at least excited has been closed this,

oh, wait, my, that lakes it’s just after 10:00 PM. It was a dining hall that would open so that we would be able to have non traditional dorm foods. And I feel like he was going to try him in here, but like they’d have chocolate milkshakes and tater tots and tater tots and guacamole tastes great. I did not know that before.

I know that now. Um, but that’s what late night at Lakeside is. Yeah. I’ll just call it to say that it was like a lifesaver until 2:00 AM. And I lived right next to the left or the right next to lake side my freshman year. And so literally anytime I had work to do or just was like staying up late, I’d be at late my have my girlfriend fries, like Boba.

[00:09:00] Yeah, it was so good. Ah, I hope you guys get to try that. Okay. But nonetheless,

okay. We are going to take a quick poll. Are you planning to apply to Stanford?

Makes sense. It looks like we’re getting a lot of yeses. Uh, and a few, not sure is. So maybe these wonderful folks will sway you. Um, okay. Looks like numbers are evening out. We have 78%. Yes. 1%. No. And 22%, not sure. So you have a few people on the fence. All right. We’re going to close out the poll now.[00:10:00]

Sorry. Okay. So I chose Stanford because I was excited to get a great engineering and liberal arts education while being immersed in the heart of Silicon valley,

uh, to follow up, I chose Stanford, um, really for its like innovative interdisciplinary culture. Um, When I was in high school, I was very much split between like creative things and academic things. I wanted a school that would let me, um, sort of like develop both sides of that. Um, and also the barrier just has like, uh, great weather food, like everything you could want.

So that was a big plus too true.

So you see a chunk of language. There had a lot to say about why I chose Stanford. [00:11:00] Um, but if I summarize this and speak from the heart, now it largely had to do with that felt right for me. Um, so even at CollegeAdvisor like you might hear from your advisors about wanting to try to find the right fit.

I think, as I said, I hadn’t even heard of the school until sophomore year. And the first thing I heard about it was that they had fruit trees on campus. And I thought that was super cool, like real fruit trees that you can eat the fruit from pomegranates, leaching, nuts, um, like so many different fruits.

And I thought that was creative. Um, and I found out more about it as the college process went on, but there was something in my spirit, like to me, that felt like that’s where I needed to be. Even though it was all the way across the country for me. So I’m from Georgia and I’m actually located back in Georgia now.

Um, and a lot of parents, their friends were like, you’re willing to go that far away from home. Like, are you sure? And I’m like, I mean, it’s. I understand some people, the goal is to get far away from home. And I get that, that wasn’t my goal though. I just felt like that school was, um, it just felt right. And [00:12:00] that sounds so cliche or simple, but it’s just very true for me.

Uh, and I hope that you guys were able to get to a place where you feel like a school. Oh, Anna. You’re from Georgia too. Yay. Um, I hope you guys are able to get to a place where you feel like when you have your various admissions or even just the one that’s, you know, that that’s where you want to be. But that’s, from my perspective, I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s why you see all those words in there because it is a sincere experience to my heart.

And I’m very glad that I went to this school that I went to.

Okay. We’ve got another poll and we would love to know where you are in the application process.

Always takes a minute to get all the answers back.

Okay. It looks like people are researching schools is the highest one. That makes sense. It makes sense that you’re here. Um, [00:13:00] a lot of people are also working on their essays. Good time for it. Okay. Looks like numbers are starting to, even out. We have 15% who have not started 47% who are researching schools.

24% who are working on essays 13% who are giving their application materials together. And very good for you. 1% who is almost done. Good on you. You’re you’re killing the game.

All right. So I can talk a little bit about Stanford’s application process. Um, so first off there’s a restrictive early action program that closes on November 1st. Um, so basically the deadline for the application, isn’t a member first. And if you want to apply early with an arts portfolio, so if you want to submit like any music supplements that you’ve done, or like visual arts, um, anything in that front, um, you have to submit your [00:14:00] early application by October 15th.

Um, so that’s coming up in a little over a month. Um, and then there’s also the regular decision application, which is due January 2nd. Um, and so if you apply early, you’ll hear back earlier, um, around December. And if you apply regular, you’ll hear back a little bit later around end of March early. Um, so Stanford has seven, uh, short answer supplements and four medium length, about 250 word, um, supplemental essays.

Um, and that’s in addition to the common application essay and the common application, um, as a whole, um, and the students rate is 4.7% with about 44,000 applicants in 2000 admits.

Yeah, so to go over some, um, stats and financial aid and the admissions process, um, the average stats of admitted students, the unweighted GPA is about [00:15:00] 3.95 on the ACD sport in the mid range is 32 to 35. And then the average sat is going to be 14, 40 to 1570. Um, but definitely wouldn’t discourage anyone based on like whether or not your stats fall in these range to apply or not apply, um, always, you know, worth applying, um, and then for need based financial aid.

Um, there’s a free application for the FAFSA for federal student aid. Um, and so they’re like pretty, uh, generous with how much financial aid they give. And then for international students, there is a limited amount. So it, um, I think, uh, admissions for international students, like a lot of schools can be, can be need-based.

So want to give that disclaimer to.

Okay. So this is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the [00:16:00] handouts tab, moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them in the public chat.

So you can see and then read them out loud before our panelists, give you an answer as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page. All right, let’s start at the top.

Our first question is, does Stanford accept dual enrollment or college course credits? Yeah. So I can take this one. Um, I think it’s awesome that you’re asking that now because I wish I had known the answer. Um, which in short is yes. Um, but Hey, there’s like, it’s a little bit less of an established process, like with AP credits, um, you can sort of just automatically have them registered, um, as your like Stanford college credits, um, with dual enrollment or taking courses out of college.

I think it’s a little bit more where you’d like to talk with the professor and your [00:17:00] academic advisor to maybe like skip the course that you already took or, um, you know, count that as like the course that is like an equivalent course at Stanford.

Okay. Our next question is what kind of students in your opinion are the best fit?

So. Um, to the link to like, look at more specifically transfer credits, if you were interested in doing that. No problem. I mean, I also worked in the admission office at Stanford for a couple of years, so there’s just certain lakes that I’m like, remember my head. Um, so I’ll, I’ll take this question. Um, It’s a very eclectic place.

And please Lily, Henry, aren’t sorry, Iris. I don’t know you remind me of this person anyways. I was in Henry. If you please add on [00:18:00] or reshape, depending on your experience since you’re there now. Um, but I say it’s a very eclectic place. Like there’s a lot of people and personalities coming together, so there’s definitely not one particular mold.

That’s like, okay. Yeah, you’re definitely a Stanford student because you have the gamut. Um, but a lot of things that people share is that there’s something or some things, um, that they love or that they’re very deeply motivated by. They’re passionate about that. They want to share with the people at campus, um, and.

They just are very humble like that. Or at least that’s what I’ve experienced. I’m not saying that’s everybody, but I know I met a lot of people that I was like, you did what? And like you would never know, cause that’s not what they led with. So the personality is, there’s much more of a humble, collaborative spirit on campus, at least from my experience, um, where people want to encourage each other.

It’s not as it’s not cutthroat and I won’t put any other schools, but it’s not, it’s not good throw. As some people may have said with certain experiences. Um, but it is very collaborative, very laid [00:19:00] back, um, very encouraging. Um, everybody wants other people to do well and they also want to do well. So people are definitely motivated, um, and collaborative and they’re also seeking excellence.

I think that’s what I appreciated most about it, but I’d love to hear Henry and Iris, um, what you guys’ experience has been or what you guys think, but that question. Yeah. Yeah. I think you’ve pretty much nailed it with like people being very humble and being very collaborative. I think. Yeah. Like it’s, it’s pretty insane.

Like how much people like want to, and are willing to help you, um, with academics or just like personal life or really anything. Um, and I feel like it’s really easy to, um, I guess like make friends here because everyone is like very accepting and like welcoming. Um, and so, yeah, I think, yeah, it’s definitely like not cutthroat at all.

Um, academics have been just super collaborative. Um, and so, yeah, I I’ve really enjoyed it. Yeah. And just want to follow up there and say that like, [00:20:00] um, there so many ways to be like a fit, um, if you will, at Stanford and like people’s experiences can be totally different. So someone like that’s maybe like majoring in engineering and like in this space initiative, which is a club that has space should research we’ll have like a totally different experience than someone who’s majoring in.

Like. Management science and engineering. Um, and like in the finance club or something. So there are a ton of ways to be a fit. I wouldn’t like discourage you from considering Stanford. If you feel that you’re not in like one specific type, because there’s so many types of students there. Right? Absolutely.

Okay. Our next question is what classes are required for biomedical engineering admission at Stanford? I’m just going to drop another link. Amber is killing it with the links, a lot of them, and they’re pretty intuitive too, which is why they’re easy to remember, but I can also just say, if you go to, um, you can look at [00:21:00] all.

You can see all the majors that are offered, um, and then see what the requirements are, et cetera, but it’s, it’s super helpful. So you can, it’s an outfit a quarter or however you want to look. Um, because that wasn’t my major. I don’t know. Maybe that was one of our interests at some point. So maybe someone could take that on believe it was.

So I’ll just leave that there.

All right. Our next question is, does Stanford admit students with neurodiversity, especially with autism?

I feel like I’m doing a lot of speaking. Um, I’ll try to keep this short. Yes. They, um, and having been in the admission office, they were very serious about, um, not discriminating, especially based off of the ability. Um, there is an office of accessible education. Um, I I’ll drop that link [00:22:00] that is dedicated specifically to verus and other kinds of, um, differences and diversities with regards to learning abilities.

Um, here. Just here we go. Um, but there’s a plethora of resources at Stanford in general. Like you can, it’s hard to exhaust the number of resources that they have for various different backgrounds, communities, um, groups it’s really, I appreciated that. I felt like there was a group, um, or a community center for everybody.

And if there wasn’t, you could start a group. So that’s something that I really appreciated.

Okay. Our next question is what do you recommend juniors doing to prepare for senior year college applications, et cetera?

I think there’s like a lot of different ways to think about that, but, um, maybe like one [00:23:00] specific piece of advice I’d give there is to just, you don’t have to necessarily like have all your essays written or anything by any, um, Time, like, but I would start thinking about like, you know, what do you want to, like, I like sell about yourself or what do you want to sort of highlight in your application?

And, um, just, just like, think about what, what you’ve done, like growing up and in high school and sort of how you want to like frame, um, and represent who you are. Cause like, you know, at the end of the day you do have like a limited amount of words to sort of encompass like everything about you, which isn’t always possible.

So you want to think about like what it is that you really want to.

Yeah, I think jumping off of that, I think, um, something that I think a lot of high or high schoolers or teachers don’t talk about is just like personal reflection. Um, and I think that’s like the most important thing you can do for college apps. I’m just really thinking about like who you [00:24:00] are, why you are the person that you are today and like what experiences led you to like, want to pursue the things that you want to do in the future.

Um, so yeah, I think like the most important thing before senior year is to just like reflect on that. I really just wanted to echo that last point of Iris yes. Reflect that’s it, nothing to add, but that introspection is extremely helpful when it comes to essay writing, because then you’re able to present yourself, you know, who you are.

So it’s not an extra burdensome task to try to convey yourself like you, you know, who you’re trying to convey. Did that make sense?

All right. Our next question is how many extra, extra curricular activities do we need?

Um, okay. So I don’t think there’s necessarily like a number that you need. Um, I think it’s really about like quality and being authentic to yourself rather than [00:25:00] like trying to get as many extracurricular activities on your resume as possible. Um, also keep in mind that like on your common application, you can only include up to 10 activities.

Um, so there’s actually like a limit to the number. Um, so yeah, I would say overall, just pursue things outside of school that you feel very like, like passionate and authentic about, um, and just pursue them to the best of your abilities. Yeah. And just follow up there, I’d say just like, don’t feel like you have to do a certain type of activity or.

Um, something established, like, feel free to start your own thing, like do what you genuinely like to do and just do it really well. Um, and I think that’s the best advice that you can, you can give. All right. Going off of that, our next question is what extracurriculars did you guys do?[00:26:00]

Um, good question. We can all answer that. Um, I had, so one of the main things, I was an athlete in college, so I ran track and field and competed since I was like seven years old. Um, so that is something that I did at a high level. Uh, so it was division one athlete. Um, in addition to that, I, two hours, this point, I just did things that I love, like in terms of mentorship organizations, I was a part of like mentoring young women.

Cause that matters to me. Um, And it was, other than that, it was just volunteering that was close to my heart. Cause I’d actually didn’t have much time to do myself. That was like a 20 hour a week commitment. Um, and that’s the thing too, having been on the admission side is that it is a holistic review of the application.

So whether you’re like super pointing in one direction or you are like, well-rounded in a sense, like, it’s just, what, who, who are you and what are you bringing to the campus? Like who are you authentically? So for me, like a large part of what I did [00:27:00] was dedicated to running track because that took a lot of time.

Um, but yeah, that’s my, that’s what I did. And we’ll hear different answers.

Yeah. So I liked it as sort of split of creative and academic things. I also happen to run track and cross country. Definitely not at Ambrose level though, but I’m on the creative side. I was like really into composing and songwriting and I also played piano and violin. So, um, if you remember, you can submit a arts portfolio with your application.

And I submitted like a piano, um, performance, uh, video set with that. Um, and then on the more like stem academic side, I was involved in research. Um, also participated in the, um, like national biology, Olympiad and science school among like a few other things. So how does sort of like, I guess like fuzzy techies.


Yeah. I would say I also did a mix of things. [00:28:00] Um, so one thing that I always loved, um, growing up was like traveling and like seeing different cultures. And so I did a study abroad, um, like with, through a scholarship during high school, and that was a really transformative experience. So, um, that was one of my activities.

And I also like wrote an essay about it. Um, and then I was so was involved in building like a video pal program where I was like connecting other kids from different countries to get to know each other better. Um, and I was so, um, involved with music and so I submitted, uh, an arts portfolio, um, with flute.

And then, um, I was also like very interested in economics and, um, I kind of expose myself to that through, go on doing this thing called national economics challenge. And also, um, I self-published, uh, economics intro economics.

Oh, very cool. And very impressive. Okay. Our next question is [00:29:00] any tips on the essays? I just have to comment and just, you see how she said, just so chill. Oh, I solve problems in economics, but that’s what I,

um, but I’m sorry. So to the question, any tips on essays back to Iris’s point? I would, it starts, um, there’s a proverb that goes, like if someone gave you like four hours to cut down a tree, um, how would you spend that time? And then the person responded. Then I spend the first three hours sharpening my ax.

Um, in that sense, like spend a lot of time in the preparation and the preparation of this looks like reflecting and being introspective. So two hours is point that’s how I would start. So you can at least again, you know who you are, the way you convey those ideas. We’ll look different and you’ll have to iterate through that, but it definitely helps to have a good starting place in terms of like, okay, I know who I am now, what story do I want to tell?

How do I want to paint this across? And then, [00:30:00] um, brainstorm. I don’t want to take all the tips, but there’s so many tips. Oh, the other thing I would say is just, um, when you start, give yourself ample time. So even if you can, like a couple months, that’d be great. Um, so you can like just get your ideas down.

Um, and then don’t worry about the word count initially is what I would say. Um, and then you can cut down. Cause at first you just want to get your ideas out there and see what your ideas are before you start chopping things off. Um, but I know people have different approaches, but that’s what I would say.

If you’re like me and I, you just have so many different tangents in your brain, you just need to know what it is that you’re even thinking, get it all out and then you can work on refining and breaking it down. I totally agree. And also, um, with this Stanford application specifically, because there’s. I think it was like Southern short answers and for medium length answers, you have like a ton of different, um, things that you can include in your application.

It’s not going to, it’s not like one, one, like long, you know, supplemental essay that you have to write. So [00:31:00] like take that time to sort of like, think about everything about you and like what you want to capture about yourself. Like I wrote about everything from like cooking to like listening to Nicki Minaj, to like biology, like literally anything like you can write about what makes you, you and you have so many chances to do that.

I think that’s, what’s great about the Stanford SS.

Yeah. Um, and just to add onto that, I think goes, so I’m just focusing more on like the specifics, like a specific moment of you cooking or like, um, a specific story that you have is sometimes more powerful than like using, you know, two 50 words to describe like three years of your life. So I think like focusing in on just a very vivid, like story or moment, um, that’s, that’s generally like more powerful.

Oh, wonderful answers. Okay. Our next question is, as a freshmen, do you guys recommend an all freshmen dorm? I hear it can get a little wild or is a mixed better where I hear it can be much.[00:32:00]

I guess I’ll take this on because I technically just finished my freshman year, but it was kind of a weird, um, but I did have experience in both types of dorms. So spring quarter, I was in a four class storm at brainer, um, which actually was traditionally like only for upperclassmen. And then currently I’m in Wilbur, which is an all fresh dorm.

Um, so the experience has definitely been like kind of different like brand or being like an upper-class dorm. It’s kind of a more spaced out. Um, there’s I guess, like there’s more space. And so I feel like there’s less like activity going on all the time. It’s definitely quieter. Um, and so I think if you’re someone who.

Once a quieter space and like wants to be able to, you know, go back to your dorm and just focus on like, whatever you do, like in a quiet place, then I think that might be a better environment for you. And then you can always like cross the street to go to Wilbur [00:33:00] where it’s like all fresh and there’s a lot of activity going on all the time.

Um, and I would say like for my current dorm, um, like everyone is a freshmen or now a rising sophomore, but, um, there’s always like a group like event going on. Like people organize like flower picking or like bucket hat dying, or like just like all types of activities. And people are always going to each other’s like intramural sports games.

So it’s a overall like a very, um, I guess like cohesive dorm and like people like to do things together. And so if you’re into that and just like being part of like a group, I think, um, like all frosh is the way to go. So it really just depends on what you want.

Okay, our next question is, um, do any of you play sports and if so, what sports and what do you like most and what do you find most challenging about playing them at Stanford?[00:34:00]

Um, I guess I can go again. Um, so I, uh, did cross-country and track, uh, like in middle and high school kind of ish, but I was definitely not that serious about it. Um, and then I also played tennis in high school. And so at Stanford I’ve been playing tennis just with my friends. Um, and so it’s been really fun.

Um, you can like book courts, um, whenever you want really. And, um, there’s also an intramural sports league, so like, if you want to just get involved casually, but like still play in a tournament, like that’s like a great way to go. And, um, the dorm community is definitely very supportive there and they’ll like show up to your games.

Um, we made like t-shirts for a team in our dorm. Um, so they’re a doubles team and we have like, their faces like printed on a t-shirt that like everyone has. So, yeah. Super fun way to just get involved. Yeah. So in high school, um, I know [00:35:00] I’ve already mentioned this, but I also ran track and cross country.

Definitely not that well. Um, I also, I also like Iris played tennis, but only my senior year also. Not very well. Um, but in college I, um, I’m on the club figure skating team. Cause I’ve been a figure skater, um, for like a long time, took a little break in high school, but I’m getting back to it in college. So, um, yeah, that’s been super fun.

Also just points out like Stanford has a ton of like different sports teams. Like no matter what you play, like it probably existed notice that he didn’t say he didn’t figure skate. Well, which means he’s probably absolutely not.

But I also did say this video, it looks like we’re all runners here. Um, so I competed in track and field. Um, the 400, 100 hurdles were my main event. Um, and in the yeah, division, the division one can be pretty like Tomlinson. Um, but it also, if you are looking to be recruited into, or to walk [00:36:00] on and B to B, um, be honest, it’s, it is a nice community.

I do like that, like all the sports facilities and stuff, it did feel like that was another family within the family that I had at Stanford. Um, but then the club sports, as he was starting to say, Henry, like, they’re awesome. And they’re very extensive. And a lot of sports can be really competitive at the club level as well.

They, in there, it ranges, like there are some sports where like, you know, you come there and it’s casual and there are some where you’re like, they’re basically division one, but without the like, necessary commitment. Um, so you can find your pick. There’s also a rock climbing wall. I don’t know if you consider that a sport, but it’s really cool.

There’s a couple. Okay. That’s my answer. Those are awesome. Wonderful. Okay. Our next question is this Stanford offers study abroad programs. I assume the answer is yes.

Yes. If the answer is, yes, I can take this one. [00:37:00] Um, so there’s being, we, we shorthand everything first. If we haven’t made that clear, everything is shorthand. So boss, um, stands for being overseas study program. Um, I know in the wake of COVID they had to suspend a lot of programs. I’m not sure if they’re back up and running, maybe our son Henry can speak to, if they’ve heard of, um, if the programs are back up and running, I hope so a really popular one.

Um, when I was there was going to Spain, um, also a lot of people like to go to Germany because I don’t believe the language requirement was as strict. Um, but there’s a lot of opportunities to go there. TLA go into Santiago that, that one’s really popular as well. Um, and there’s also a lot of going abroad opportunities.

So I never studied abroad because of my commitment with track, but in the summertime, I was able to go to Brazil twice and intern. Oh, my gosh, I’m blanking on the name. Um, but there’s an internship pro being and none of that, that’s overseas studies. When I remember it, I’ll send it in the chat, but I went there twice and there’s an internship program abroad.

Maybe someone can remember [00:38:00] here. Um, and I was able to intern actually at the Olympics in 2016 and translate. So I said, I speak Spanish and Portuguese. So I was able to translate in the Olympic village, Portuguese to English and English to Portuguese, um, very fun experience, very unique experience. Um, yeah, that’s just a little bit about studying abroad and going abroad.

Yeah. So that abroad internship, I just Googled it. It’s called global studies, but it’s yeah, but it’s like an awesome program, basically. Like there’s Stanford affiliated internships and you enter the program into the internship at the same time. And you know, if you get the position or the internship, then you can like live abroad there, um, and do it over the summer.

And then I think the study abroad programs this year are still happening. Um, Given that it’s like a sort of weird year. The language departments are like being waived on for a lot of people. Yeah. I think if that continues in the future, that’ll be like a great, um, thing to witness, I guess. Yes. [00:39:00] Um, I just put the link in the chat and if you guys are wondering that is a picture of me on the page, um, because I graduated from international relief, they just use that picture.

So before you guys are like, wait a minute. Yeah. But I don’t know.

All right. Our next question is, do extracurricular activities need to be related to the major you want?

Um, I don’t think they need to be related at all. Again, I think extracurricular activities, it’s really just like anything you do outside of academics, um, and your schoolwork. So really just, you know, um, engage in whatever interests you and, um, like gadgets it’s after all it’s extracurricular. So it’s not academic focused.

Okay. We’re going to take a quick break in the middle of the Q and a, and I want to let [00:40:00] you know what you can do if you want to apply or not. If you want to apply, if you want to work with an advisor from our team of over 155 advisors and admissions officers, you can sign up for a free consultation with us by going to and clicking the green chat button in the bottom, right of this.

From there just right in consultation and alive live team member will get back to you to help coordinate your free consultation with us. All right. And back to the Q and a, our next question is how did you guys decide to go to Stanford?

Okay. I guess I can go. Um, so I really like Stanford, um, because of, you know, first off there’s the culture, like I think, um, after going to. Uh, like the, what are they called? Like school visit days or whatever, like after you get in, you like go to that event thing. Um, and I feel like I’ve just really liked the [00:41:00] Stanford culture a lot.

Um, and then I also really like, like California and the weather and like the bay area as a whole. Um, so I was just really excited to like live here and then, um, like the academics are also great. Um, and I also like very interested in engineering and, um, the social sciences and honestly just like a wide variety of things.

And I feel like Stanford has great engineering, but it also has a lot of interdisciplinary programs. Um, and so that just really fits my academic, um, like needs. And so I think just everything combined, um, it was a great fit.

Yeah. For me, I think. Other than just like having that interdisciplinary, like those interdisciplinary opportunities where you can major in like something, for example, like my old major management, science and engineering, which is like business, but also like stem and engineering. Like you can do both at the same time.

Um, other than that, I really [00:42:00] liked that Stanford had a sort of like, I call like a trailblazers sort of like, um, start your own thing type of culture. People aren’t really like afraid to not stick to the beaten path or like, you know, three sets of recruiting cycles. Like everyone’s very much like, or like a lot of people are very much like doing their sort of their own thing and crafting their own way through Stanford, which I really, I really liked.

I feel like I gave part of this up, answered my very long blurb of texts and innovation. Um, but yeah, I guess a summary of how I decided to come. I, I will say that it was technically a decision between the school and another school. Um, and I learned about my admission to the other school first in a few weeks before I learned about my Stanford admission.

Um, and there was a lot of pressure to go to that first school. They’re like, this is a great [00:43:00] school. Like, what are you doing? Um, and to, again, this is just from my perspective, but it just did not feel right as simple as it is. And it, it was a great school, great opportunity. I’m sure I would’ve done fine and had a great time.

It just didn’t feel right. Um, so when I did get accepted to Stanford, that was the first time I ever happy cry, but I like, remember my, um, I like jumped up and down, like jumped off onto something and jumped off and then just started crying. And then my, my family and I prayed together. We’re just like, thank you that, like, I was just like in a very ecstatic, emotional time.

And again, like the first time I ever happy cried, um, Yeah, again, I wish mine had more of an insightful, like here and there. Like we did this and this and this, but it really just felt right for me. I don’t think that it feeling right can be underestimated as a, uh, as a reason to choose a college. I think that’s the biggest reason.

Okay. Our [00:44:00] next question is when someone applies to undergraduate admission and he, or she is admitted, what’s the school program, what are the subjects they will take? And will the student pick up the subjects according to the major they want to study in the future.

So I will say, and then please jump on because I do know, I think they are changing some of the, um, I’m not even sure you guys have. What ways do you guys know. Okay, so you do so have a wave. I was like, cause I know the changing. Um, but when you, when you apply, you don’t have to, you don’t apply to a major, like they’ll ask you on the application, what you think you’re interested in, you can list your top three.

Um, but you’re not applying to any particular things. So I guess I’ll just answer this from both perspectives, like in terms of when you apply, um, you’re just applying to the school at large, but in terms of the curriculum that we have [00:45:00] to undergo here, I, I really, I’m going to let Henry and Iris speak more so to it.

Cause I’m like, I’m vaguely I’m and like, I know there’s a ways requirements and there might, yeah, I’ll ask you guys if, you know, once you guys jump in. Um, so I guess as an undergraduate students, you have to fulfill like the general undergraduate requirements, which includes the ways of thinking, which is basically, I think there’s like six or seven of them, um, like formal reasoning, uh, aesthetic.

Interpretation or something like that. Basically they want you to have a breadth of, um, classes, um, in different types of classes. Um, and so that’s the ways of thinking. And then, um, there’s also power, which is, I think the program in writing and rhetoric. Um, and so that’s for first and second year students, you have to take power one your freshman year and power to your second year.

And they’re basically these like writing courses, um, where they, you know, kind of teach you like how to write at like a university level. [00:46:00] Um, Henry I believe power two is more oral, but like, correct me if I’m wrong. Um, oh yeah. I, I think there’s like a normal presentation with it. And then also with power to like power and it’s like a very time intensive, like writing class, um, at Stanford, but for power two, which is like the sophomores, the second year, um, power like writing class, you can actually.

Ops would have outed it by taking, um, classes called introductory seminars, which are really, really cool. They’re like application-based classes, but you’ve got to essentially be in like a, discussion-based really small class with a professor who’s like a expert in your field and that often can replace the power to your climate.

So, um, if you don’t like writing, I’m like very ambivalent about it, then that’s like one great way that simply let’s do like social meant that. Yeah. And a great thing about power and weighs is that you have so many, like different like classes that you could choose from to fulfill those [00:47:00] requirements. So even though power is like about writing, there’s like the power of like empathy, I think, um, of innovation of like, um, Like basically like every, like there’s so many different topics.

Um, so you can take it, take the class in anything that you’re interested in. Um, so that’s like about like the undergraduate general education requirements. Um, and then as for like a specific major. Yeah. So you don’t come in with a major and honestly, like a lot of my friends and I were still going back and forth between different potential majors.

Um, but I think everyone kind of has an idea of like what they want to major in, or like a few majors that they might want to pursue. And so you kind of just take classes like toward that direction. And as you take classes, you figure out like what you like and what you don’t like. Um, and usually people declare like sophomore or junior year.

Um, and sometimes like people like switch back and forth, forth as well. So overall the academic program is really flexible and, um, yeah.[00:48:00]

Our next question is how many times have you guys switched your major? If any, and is that a common thing to do?

Yeah, I can start this one off. Um, so I like went in thinking I’d major in biology, like decided I wanted to do economics, like probably winter quarter of freshman year then decided on MSNE now I’m like back to computer science, but like bio computation. So yeah, you can like, I mean, I have, I didn’t like declare a major every time I went through that process, but like, you can switch your major, like, um, pretty freely it’s you have, it’s like pretty flexible.

They’re like cool curriculum and, um, like academic advising.

Right. And, um, so how ever said you can declare your major, like your sophomore year or your junior [00:49:00] year? So I was just on that where I, I changed a lot in my mind on what I thought I would do, but I did not declare until the beginning of my junior year. Um, and I, I did say international relations, but I was thinking about linguistics, as I told you guys, I love languages.

I love people. Um, it’s, it’s still something that interests me. Like if, if I could go back and get another major, it would probably be linguistics just cause I’m fascinated by that. But yes, it’s, um, it is pretty free in terms of like being able to apply, but then also switch tracks some of the more credit, heavy requirements, uh, majors you might want to be aware of.

So some of the engineering requirements, like if you’re even thinking you might want to do that, maybe start adding like trickling in a couple of courses here and there so that if you do like change and then come back, you’re not too behind with credits. That’s what I would say.

Yeah. So, um, for me, I think I was like, I [00:50:00] came in thinking I wanted to do econ and then figured out that I didn’t necessarily like the econ department. And then I took the interest yes. Class and like really loved it. So I kept taking CS classes. Um, and, um, now I’m like pretty much a CS major and that’s what I thought.

Um, but then this summer, um, I started looking more into symbolic systems, which is a combination of like philosophy linguistics and computer science. And they, within symbolic systems, they have a track, which I just learned about last night actually called decision-making rationality. And that actually has a lot of like behavioral economics classes in some MSNE classes and some psych classes.

Um, so really just like a perfect combination of like what I want. Um, but at the same time, I still like really love CS. And so symbolic systems is kind of perfect for that. And then, um, so. I took a lot of CS classes, but they kind of fulfill a lot of the requirements for symbolic systems and also, um, for a potential like code co-term, which is like a [00:51:00] master’s degree that you can do alongside your bachelor’s degree.

Um, and so, um, I’m also considering doing a coterm in computer science and you can start taking classes your sophomore year toward your co-term degree. Um, so basically it’s like all the classes that I took thinking that I was gonna major in CS is like, pretty much all of them are going to go either towards symbolic systems or the coach from degree.

Okay. Our next question is how does Stanford look at family responsibilities? If you spend 16 hours a week taking care of a disabled parent for three years, would that count as an extracurricular activity? That’s a great question. And yes, yes, it does. Um, W w w what you might consider non-traditional, um, extracurricular activities, basically think anything you’re doing outside of the classroom?

Um, let’s say like, yeah, anything you’re doing outside of the classroom can be considered. So even, um, I know we’re talking about Stanford, so Stanford, um, even let’s say some of you guys are, have a [00:52:00] really long commute to, and from school, like a two hour commute or one and a half commute, you have to take a bus or two lessons in a train, whatever it is, like that’s time that is outside of school, that you’re not in school, that you can’t be doing something else, um, academics.

So that, that is, that would be considered an extracurricular activity and especially family responsibility. So taking care of a parent or taking care of younger siblings, or, um, responsibilities of that nature, working a job, um, I hope that one would be, you would definitely include that, but just to reassure some people that absolutely counts, please include that so that the admissions office can get a full perspective of how’s the students spend either time outside of the classroom.

What’s the impact like in the community, including. Local community and your family. So please do, please do include that. I don’t know, Henry your eyes has anything to say. I’m just, I have to say that immediately. I’m like, yes, we do consider that.

Okay. Our next question is how would you guys rate Stanford’s financial aid?[00:53:00]

Um, I think of, I think, I think it’s a really solid, um, financial aid program and I know there’s like an online calculator, um, somewhere, I think there’s a website for that. Um, and basically you can like input your family’s financial situation and I’ll give you an estimate of like how much financial aid you’ll receive.

So I think financial aid it’s very specific to every family. So I think using that resources the best way to go.

Okay, our next question is what do you not like about Stanford?

No one wants to answer. I would say like, this is definitely like a double edge sword and it’s [00:54:00] kind of like why I love Stanford and also kind of something that, um, I might not like as much as it’s like a very tech heavy culture, um, like very engineering, heavy, very tech heavy. And I feel like, um, it, I think it’s just like being in the Silicon valley, like bubble and like mindset.

It’s like, there’s a lot of noise and there’s a lot of. Um, I think, I don’t know. I think it’s just kind of like a culture where it’s like engineering is like, great. Um, so I kind of almost wished the school was a little bit more humanities focused, but I think it’s also because I’m in the CS department.

So like, yeah, take it as you will.

I can go next. I think one thing that’s also been sort of a double-edged sword is like, Sandra has like a very positive, like happy culture, but, um, there’s like a flip side to that where it almost feels like you have to sort of appear pure, like happy and positive and put together, um, a lot of the time, which like, [00:55:00] you know, you, aren’t always going to be that and that’s just reality of life.

But, um, I think some it’s like something that I would, I consider. Like I love that Stanford is such like a happy, positive, like bright place where people are like really optimistic. Sometimes like, you know, you do want to have people. And I would say this is more, just a personal thing. It’s like how people that you can lean on, um, friendships that are close enough, where you can like, you know, be everything you not sort of always have to put on that one of the world.

Yeah. That’s key. That last part was just key. It’s one plus one that to Henry, yes. You don’t always have to be on. Um, and even if you feel like pressure to definitely have an inner circle of people who you can be off with, um, just like, there’s not something that’s done a filter on right now. I don’t feel like smiling.

Um, yeah, but for, I’m not saying Stanford’s perfect. It’s not, but I’m actually just having trouble like pulling. [00:56:00] Um Hmm. Yeah. Yeah, I’m actually having trouble pulling something, but I think they bring up good points. Like there’s something at Stanford called like the duck syndrome, um, which people are familiar with.

So the analogy, basically it speaks of like a duck that was very common on the surface, but is paddling really, really hard underneath. So everyone Henry’s point like looks really fine and happy, but like they’re stressed. Um, so I would say that, um, perhaps that culture of constantly having to be on, I don’t agree with that.

And I just wasn’t that way. Like, I didn’t necessarily, I didn’t necessarily go with that. I was aware of it. Um, and I could see how sometimes people could internalize it too much, but I just felt like they constantly have to do something. So I guess my encouragement would be in combating Matt, if you decided to come to Stanford would be to be intentional about slowing down and breathing and appreciating and taking time to breathe.

Like there’s a time to go, but there’s also a time to rest would be my encouragement. [00:57:00] Okay. I think this is going to be our last question, but our last question is, what’s your favorite part of Stanford?

I feel like this is a, this is like a really hard question because I think, I think there’s so many aspects to the school that make it unique. And like, I don’t think it’s like one thing about Stanford that I love the most, but I think the people here are just like, incredible, like some of the, like the best, like, I don’t know.

It’s like, I feel like I’ve never, like, I just feel really at home here, I guess. Like, I dunno, like I just really love the people that I’m surrounded by. Um, and. The food here is pretty good. Honestly, I I’ve heard like mixed reviews, but like, I feel like it’s been pretty solid. [00:58:00] Um, and, uh, the dorms here, so like, you know, there’s different types of dorms, but like, I honestly really enjoy the living environment.

Um, the weather, the campus, it’s just like amazing. And then the academics on top of that, it’s, it feels like an academic resort. That’s like the best way I would describe it. It like, literally looks like a resort that you would like take a vacation in. Um, but at the same time, like they have some of the best classes.

Like I’ve never had so much fun, like in class, even through a virtual year. Um, so yeah, honestly just really enjoy my classes, really enjoyed the people that I was taking my classes with. Um, and when I’ve gotten the chance to like, be on campus, like I’ve just loved like living here and being in the bay area, being able to like go to SF or like, like go to like different towns, like around the bay.

Um, that has been really fun.

Yeah, not so like piggyback off the virus, but I would also say the people in the food, um, I, like, I [00:59:00] think I’ve met just so many different types of people and like, I think people that if I didn’t go to Stanford, I would never have had the opportunity to meet, like from like insanely good, like rock climbers to like opera singers, just so many different types of people.

And like being able to be friends with them is like incredible. And also on food, like I’m a huge foodie and the bay area has like incredible food of all types. And, um, San Francisco is like a short, um, like train or transit right away. And like, um, San Jose, there’s like a ton of really just awesome things to be in the bay area.

And I’m still like exploring, they said it, all of it. Like, I really just plus one to everything you said, like I, in terms of people I met my best friend on campus. Um, just tell an anecdote like my freshman year, um, I spent more time in my best friend’s dorm than my own dorm. And we slept like campers style, like one head this way, it wasn’t census.

Um, but it was also because I didn’t know how to ride a bike and she lives closer to the track and where I [01:00:00] lived was a 25 minute walk. So I was still learning during that time. Um, but that’s my best friend now. I was just the maid of honor at her wedding right before COVID. I just say all that to say, when you come to school, like you deaf, it’s an, I love that term academic resort.

It really is. It’s beautiful. You’re learning. Um, but also you’re learning so much from other people and about other people and about yourself. Um, and those things carry outside of school, regardless of whether or not you go into a track, a career that’s with your academic track or not. Um, so I would say like, as much as you invest into the academic experience and do invest into the people, uh, cause the people, that’s what you’re going to remember.

You’re not going to remember the problem set that you didn’t finish, or that was hard to do. You’re going to remember that late night conversation at late night at Lakeside, till 4:00 AM with the girl across your door, like you’re, you’re going to remember those kinds of things. That’s my 2 cents. Awesome.

Okay. Thank you everyone so much for coming out [01:01:00] tonight and thank you so much to our panelists for presenting. All right. So this is the end of the webinar. We had a wonderful time telling you about Stanford and here is the rest of our August series. So we have, is this the restaurant a series? There’s some things missing, but on the 30th, we do have finalizing your school list.

All right. Have a great night, everyone.