The Ivy Coach Daily

March 26, 2024

Stanford University Waitlist Acceptance Rate

A panoramic of Stanford University's campus, featuring red-roofed buildings beyond a lush green.
Stanford regularly admits students off its waitlist (photo credit: King of Hearts).

Was your child waitlisted at Stanford University to the Class of 2028? If so, your child still has a shot of earning admission to the elite school, as Stanford regularly turns to its waitlist. That’s right — more often than not, Stanford meets its institutional needs by admitting students off the incoming class waitlist. 

But how many students does Stanford historically admit off its waitlist, a list that is not ranked, and how can students optimize their case for admission to The Farm out of limbo? Here’s your chance to find out!

Stanford Waitlist Acceptance Rates and Statistics

Stanford University Class YearNumber of Students Waitlisted to StanfordNumber of Students Who Chose to Join Stanford WaitlistNumber of Students Accepted Off Stanford WaitlistStanford Waitlist Acceptance Rate
Stanford Class of 2028TBDTBDTBDTBD
Stanford Class of 20276075067615.02%
Stanford Class of 202655345781.75%
Stanford Class of 20256525356111.4%
Stanford Class of 202485070725936.63%
Stanford Class of 202375058081.38%
Stanford Class of 2022870681304.41%
Stanford Class of 2021842656365.49%
Stanford Class of 20201,5691,044555.27%
Stanford Class of 20191,25692700%
Stanford Class of 201895869571.01%
Stanford Class of 201781457600%
Stanford Class of 201678959400%
Stanford Class of 20151,078784131.66%
Stanford Class of 2014999773405.17%
Stanford Class of 20131,35493412713.6%
Stanford Class of 20121,4241,00200%

Your Chances of Admission After Being Waitlisted at Stanford

Over the last 16 years, Stanford has admitted students off its waitlist 12 times, including each of the previous eight years.

In the years Stanford turned to its waitlist, an average of 8.57% of waitlisted students earned admission. An average of 60 students have gotten in annually over this span.

If one includes the years in which Stanford did not turn to its waitlist, the average waitlist acceptance rate dwindles to 6.42%. The average number of admitted waitlisted students drops to 45.

As Stanford’s admissions office writes of its waitlist, about 1% of applicants are waitlisted. Naturally, the school will know how many students they intend to admit off its waitlist once they learn how many accepted students have chosen to enroll (many will choose Harvard over Stanford).

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Off the Stanford Waitlist

Over the last 30 years, around 38% of students who first approach Ivy Coach after being waitlisted have earned admission to the Palo Alto, California-based institution.

We always want students and parents to know that one’s chances of admission to any highly selective university are never strong after being waitlisted. 

All Ivy Coach can do is give a student the best possible shot at admission — and 38%, a figure that includes years in which Stanford did not turn to its waitlist, is a whole lot higher than 6.42%, Stanford’s overall waitlist acceptance rate over the last 16 years.

But remember, if around 38% of students who first come to us after being waitlisted get in, approximately 62% do not. We want your expectations in check. We will not work with families whose expectations, we suspect, are unrealistic. Life is too short!

Ivy Coach’s Game Plan for Stanford Waitlist Students

So what is Ivy Coach’s game plan to help waitlisted students to Stanford optimize their cases for admission?

  1. Complete Ivy Coach’s PostMortem application review. Before crafting a wow letter that hopes to sway admissions officers to go to bat for students, we first need to understand how a student positioned their case for admission. Thus, we know what they should focus on and what they should avoid focusing on in their letter. Naturally, we want to lean into their strengths and avoid doubling down on mistakes.
  2. Submit a powerful Letter of Continued Interest. This letter should contain no updates or not so humble brags. It’s a love letter to Stanfor that should be filled with genuine specifics about the institution and how students will contribute their singular hooks. And it must be submitted expediently!

Getting Started with Ivy Coach to Get Off the Stanford Waitlist

If you’re interested in giving your child the best shot of turning their waitlist decision into an offer of admission to Stanford’s incoming class, fill out Ivy Coach’s complimentary consultation form. We’ll be in touch to delineate our Stanford waitlist service.

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