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Stanford admission rate is lowest ever

Original post made on Mar 28, 2008

Stanford University announced Thursday that fewer than one in 10 applicants have been offered admission beginning in the fall for the class of
2012.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 28, 2008, 9:38 AM

Comments (14)

Posted by Resident Alum, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 28, 2008 at 12:53 pm

All three of my cousins were recently accepted to Stanford to enter as freshmen. They flew out here from North Carolina to visit the school. After seeing Stanford, they decided not to attend. One of them had a full athletic scholarship. They decided to attend Ivy League schools on the East Coast in order to be closer to home.

My husband was a class valedictorian / president of his class, and was also accepted to Stanford, but chose to attend college closer to home.

I know that Stanford is actively encouraging applicants from other countries to apply to graduate programs, even though their undergraduate level of achievement is sometimes impossible to verify. Many "colleges" in developing countries are not up to par with the standard of our universities. These "colleges" issue degrees to people who basically just pay someone to make them for them. Basically they may be classified as "immigration colleges".

I have found that the real intent of many graduate students is not their true passion to study a subject, but as a means to enter the U.S. legally and stay for a long time in graduate school.

Due to loopholes in our immigration laws or "to be nice", students with families or "relatives" - blood related or not, eventually join them.

This (of course) is not happening just at Stanford, but with all Universities throughout the U.S.

The undergraduates are faced with having classes taught by T. A.'s who are difficult to understand and lack necessary skills in English reading and writing comprehension.

This is most apparent in the many areas of science and engineering.

We can thank Stanford for a lot of the diversity seen in our area. You may take this anyway you want.


Posted by Alien, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Not everybody who applies to Stanford as a graduate student comes from a "developing country" as you call them. Some of us have undergraduate degrees that can be far superior in level than any US university and a mastery of the english language and sometimes 2 other languages.


Posted by An university student, a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2008 at 9:24 am

Contrary to what you may think, many undergraduate programs overseas are equal in rigor to the best of U.S. colleges. While we still do maintain a sizable lead in graduate program acheivement, largely due to the intellect attracted by the prestige of U.S. universities, it is deeply misguided, even prejudiced, to think of them as "superior".

Many colleges in "developing countries" (namely India and China) still cannot match the reputations (or budgets) of elite U.S. universities - that is a fact. But the dedication of their students is unquestionable, though their motives, as you note, may include ultimately living in the U.S.

Understandably, this comes at the slight expense of those, who by the virtue of their proximity and not their acheivement, somehow feel entitled to exclusive access. They ought to be ignored.

I should know. I left the U.S. to study abroad in Asia.


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 29, 2008 at 1:31 pm

It behooves the companies around here to have Stanford generate programmers and engineers. Local companies having been pulling talent from abroad for many years. It makes sense for them to do so--the larger the pool, the less expensive the labor. Since I truly doubt that Stanford grants MS to totally unqualified students, they can place those grad students in jobs afterwards.

Businesses like immigration--and to some extent the choice is between bringing in overseas talent or outsourcing overseas. Growth or no-growth--both have real trade-offs.


Posted by Stanford Resident, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 30, 2008 at 8:08 pm

I suspect the first poster seems sour about something. Is it because he/she feels an international student got into Stanford while he/she got rejected? Don't blame international students for your problems, the world is getting flatter and you will see more of this.

Get used to it.


Posted by Stanford Alum, a resident of Professorville
on Mar 31, 2008 at 2:23 am

I had many classes at Stanford where I had difficulty understanding my teaching assistants due to their poor speaking skills. In graduate school, I was clearly a minority in my major since I was white. I am not aware of any of my friends who studied at Stanford that went back to their homelands. I am beginning to wonder if the first poster was right. I am glad that they are helping less fortunate families, but I hope that they consider applicants from the U.S. first.


Posted by Ada, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2008 at 2:25 am

Resident Alum is probably unaware that in addition to transcripts from univeristies (foreign or not) one must pass GRE or GMAT or MCAT tests and get almost perfect score to get considered to Stanford (unless of course one is an athlete or comes from a family who are big donors to the university). These tests aren't that easy to get 100% on, so they do reflect the quality of education and generally how sharp or hardworking the applicant is.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 31, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Leland and Jane Stanford founded the Leland Stanford Jr. University for, as they said, the
"children of California". The best way for a child of California to get into Stanford is to be 7' tall and play basketball or go to a foreign country, take up residence there, and then apply back to Stanford. But a preference for the 'children of California"? No way.


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 31, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Unless things have changed dramatically, there are more students from California at Stanford than any other state--around 40 percent.

However, a huge number of Californians also apply--more than from any other state--so it's hard to get in from here. I really doubt the foreign students are being given some sort of free pass into the school--there's no need for Stanford to do so. My impression was that the bulk of the foreign students were grad students--and at that level, the departments are pretty much hand-picking people they want.

There are two types of academic underachievers who tend to get into the top private schools--star athletes and kids with the kind of wealthy families that can build new facilities with a spare %10 million donation.

Frankly, it's just a rotten time to be applying to colleges right now, very, very competitive because of the baby boomers baby boom. It's hard when you see kids who are great students not get into schools that were a snap to get into 25 years ago.


Posted by Ada, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Why does it matter where kids accepted in Stanford come from? If you want to get the top talent, the best brains in the world, why narrow the picking pool? As long as they continue to perfect the selection process and chose not only for the best drill skills, but creativity, etc


Posted by G, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 8, 2009 at 11:38 pm

GRE is the standardized test for students from all over the world. If the international students are smarter in Maths and Physics then there is no one to blame. If US universities stop accepting those talents, somebody else will pick them up.. Its a market.. if they dont want it somebody will..I would give first preference to national students but internationals should also get an opportunity. Do you wonder why US universities are best in the world? The answer is because all the talents from world come here.. If they start accepting only national students then Europe will beat US in research and development..


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2009 at 9:06 am

Read the thread about high schools falling behind internationally. Then look at what our community appears to care about. Then perhaps you may understand what is happening here.


Posted by Who dunnit, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 9, 2009 at 9:28 am

"GRE is the standardized test for students from all over the world."

Er, but the question in the case of kids from China and Korea is who took the GRE? The kid who's applying or a hired gun? The grad schools have been burned in the past by kids who did not take the test but had test scores. They are in a quandary over how to handle these kids--because some of them really do take the tests and do well.


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 9, 2009 at 9:51 am

I agree with the original poster, and I do thank Stanford for some of the diversity in our area. It is one of the reasons we moved here. Diversity often makes some things more challenging (like understanding them darn foreigners who can't talk good English) but the long-term benefits are pretty good.


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