Stanford’s Decision to Cease Reporting Admissions Figures

Stanford Applications, Stanford Decision, Stanford University Applications

Stanford won’t be releasing application figures going forward (photo credit: King of Hearts).

As we recently reported, Stanford University will no longer publicize the school’s undergraduate application figures. Many praised the university for this decision, arguing that ceasing the release of admissions figures will alleviate stress on applicants and make the dream of earning admission to Stanford seem more achievable. As our readers might imagine from reading our college admissions blog, we wholeheartedly disagree with this argument. College applicants weren’t born yesterday. If Stanford’s admission rate hovered well below 10% in the years prior to Stanford ceasing the publication of admissions figures, applicants aren’t going to think the admission rate suddenly shot above 10% simply because the school stopped making the data publicly available. We also question Stanford’s motive. We don’t believe Stanford’s decision to cease reporting admissions figures was motivated by a desire to alleviate the stress of college applicants. Rather, we believe the university, which is more competitive than its #7 2019 “US News & World Report” ranking makes it seem, chose to no longer release these figures because it’ll inspire more applicants to apply. This boost in applications will invariably lead to a lower admit rate and a higher “US News & World Report” ranking.

Stanford’s Decision to Cease Reporting Admissions Figures

Apparently we’re not the only folks who aren’t champions of Stanford’s decision to no longer make admissions figures publicly available. As Isabella Simonetti argues in an excellent opinion piece in “The Daily Pennsylvanian” entitled “Stanford is withholding its admissions rate. The Ivy League shouldn’t do the same.,” “Last week, Dean of Penn Admissions Eric Furda said that Penn will not adopt Stanford’s new policy. Harvard University announced that it will not be following in Stanford’s footsteps either. Usually, I’m a critic of the University’s administration, but in this case, Penn and Harvard are making the right choice…Although Stanford’s objective to promote a focus on the educational opportunities available, rather than its selectivity, is admirable, it is unrealistic. A lot of people applying to schools like Stanford are, in fact, hunting for prestige. Studies show that numerous students rely on U.S. News and World Report rankings to guide their college choices. In other words, removing one indicator of a University’s status will not take away the weight of others.”

We absolutely agree with you, Isabella! You’re spot on. And we’re glad the Ivy League schools have chosen not to follow Stanford’s lead. Do our readers agree? Let us know your thoughts, your questions, and what you ate for breakfast by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.


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