Stanford University

99 Successful Stanford Essays

Updated for the 2024-2025 admissions cycle.

About Stanford

Nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford University is one of the most storied and prestigious institutions in the world. With an endowment of nearly $40 billion, Stanford offers students the opportunity to learn from some of the brightest minds in academia, while also providing access to cutting-edge technology and research facilities. This combination makes Stanford a great school for a wide variety of disciplines: from economics to engineering to English, you really can’t go wrong on the Farm! The campus itself is also stunning. Gorgeous Spanish-style architecture and greenery engulf the whole campus, and students are frequently seen basking in the Palo Alto sun. Stanford’s student culture is thriving. Hundreds of clubs—including sports teams, music groups, and community service organizations—are active on campus.

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Stanford, CA

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Real Essays from Stanford Admits

Prompt: Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family.

I paused in my crescendo. Hundreds of eyes stared at me, afraid to disrupt the magical tension my words had conjured.

After a moment, I continued, speaking the final word and releasing the room’s held breath.

Through Poetry Out Loud, I witnessed the power poetry wields, transcending differences to inspire.

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Essay by StanfordStudent

Low-income, disabled pre-med Human Biology major/Creative Writing minor with additional interest in humanities

Prompt: Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford

My eyes flashed when I first heard about steam tunneling. Dash through an underground labyrinth while avoiding burns? C’mon, I’ve been training my whole life for this! Homemade Ninja Warrior courses surrounded by lava make this “steam tunneling” look like a piece of cake. It’s a piece I’ll try, though.

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Essay by Python Chen

I'm an aspiring author from Nashville. I love reading & writing, playing video games, watching anime, cooking, and letting my undiagnosed ADHD lead me on a wild ride everyday!

Prompt: What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?

The biggest issue in society today is the polarization and hate coming from all sides of the political spectrum. We need to learn to be kinder to each other and to respect other people, regardless of our differences. There should be no place for hate in the world.

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Essay by Andrei

The only thing I love more than rocks is bigger rocks.

Prompt: How did you spend your last two summers?

Two summers ago, I attended the Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar.

Last summer was much less structured. I spent time exploring the Bay Area with my friends, working at Kumon, interning for my State Assemblyman, reading new books, discovering an interest in foreign films, and trying my hand at slam poetry.

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Essay by Nikhe

History student, poet, and Succession-fanatic @ Yale

Prompt: What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?

If only I could have observed William Shockley creating the transistor, effectively replacing 30-ton vacuum tube machines with the minuscule current-altering amplifiers used in microcontrollers today—allowing for computers, Mars rovers, and, most notably, panini presses. I would examine Shockley’s thought process, thus procuring a deeper understanding of how revolutionary innovation originates.

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Essay by Sarah J.

cs @ stanford!! lover of STEM, taylor swift, and dogs!

Prompt: Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why.

Room 5127 was where math club took place. Starting in ninth grade, every Tuesday for an hour and a half after school, I sat here, scribbling formulas and laughing with peers. Meetings would quickly transform into passionate discussions, as my friends and I fervently discussed the best ways to solve problems. 

Room 5127 was where I taught my first class. My senior year, I had the opportunity to be a tutor in AP Calculus classes. I jumped at the chance to get in front of the class and teach whole lessons. I was forced to take my intuitive understanding of mathematical strategies to the next level, as I broke problems down to the very basics.

Room 5127 was where I met and fostered my connection with Mrs. *****, the calculus teacher and math club advisor. Mrs. ***** not only explained derivatives and box plots to me, but taught me about being a better version of myself. She exemplified persistence, and would often push me to spend hours solving differential equations I initially found unsolvable.

If the walls of Room 5127 could talk, and you asked them about me, they would spin tales about a scrawny freshman who grew into a humble adult, now able to understand the variety of skills and perspectives others offered. Although the chairs and table are laid out in a typical fashion, the memories made and lessons learned in Room 5127 shaped my high school experience. This room was, and still is, incredibly meaningful to me.

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Essay by Jacob R

Data Science / Economics Major with a passion for helping others in the community

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