Stanford University

99 Successful Stanford Essays

Updated for the 2023-2024 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.

In Mock Trial, there’s nothing more satisfying than poking holes in my opponents’ case, organizing and presenting a compelling argument, and getting the judge to rule in our favor. I adore the art of storytelling and persuasion, so competing in these trials allows me to manifest these loves of mine.

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Essay by Jasmine C.

Political Science Major at Stanford University

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

I am looking forward to having creative freedom to pursue individual passion projects in my spare time. Stanford offers this through its several makerspaces, such as Lab64 and the Product Realization Lab. These makerspaces will provide me with the equipment and resources I need to dream, tinker, and create.

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Essay by StanfordJon

Tony Stark Wannabe; Love Engineering, Robotics, Cooking, and Our Planet

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

Lack of mobility, in all its forms: education, employment, economically, physically, and socially. Many environments are exclusionary and inaccessible, often intentionally so. Society’s greatest challenge is retrofitting existing and designing inclusive, universally-accessible and equitable systems that combat centuries of social marginalization, imperialism, economic exploitation, and ongoing neocolonialism.

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Essay by Víctor

i love cities <3

Prompt: How did you spend your last two summers?

Junior year summer, I studied Economics and the History of Medicine in preparation for Academic Decathlon. Senior year summer, I participated in MOSTEC. In Image Analysis, I worked with ImageJ, Xploview, and RStudio. In Science Writing, I wrote a piece on phenotypical sex changes in Paralichthys lethostigma.

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Essay by Liz

Absolute STEM nerd with the goals of pursuing a career in environmental research!

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

November 22nd, 1963. The assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Kennedy was one of my favorite orators and it feels personal as I live in Dallas. I want to clear up the conspiracy about other shots fired from the grassy knoll as well.

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Essay by thulium

$2.5 million in scholarships | Jack Kent Cooke Scholar | 21 APs | 45 essays

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

My alarm goes off and I, as so many others regrettably do, hit ‘snooze.’ Five more minutes, and then I’ll get up. Every day, it feels like each morning is a whirlwind of activity. 

3 A.M. one day: You have to remember your hair spray before you get on the show choir bus in an hour.

5 A.M. another: Check your binder. Do you have all of your notes for science olympiad?

6 A.M. yet another: Today is your day to help out in the lab before school starts.

Although the reasons may vary, my life is filled with early mornings rushing and late nights studying. Sometimes my activities bleed into mealtimes or my sleep schedule, and I’m left wondering when I can get everything done.

Sliced fruit is the answer to that silent question.

No matter how early it is, my mom always wakes up before me to leave out a bowl of carefully-cut fruit.

3:30 A.M. one day: Got my hairspray. Now I just have to put it downstairs...oh, blueberries!

5:30 A.M. another: I have all the notes. Now I just have to eat...strawberries!

6:30 A.M. yet another: Backpack, check. Peaches, check!

Something as simple as sliced fruit has given me a new perspective on gratitude and kindness. Despite how quickly life seems to move at times, I always try to pass on a similar small gesture of support and encouragement, as my mom does for me.

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Essay by Hannah P.

Avid baker, Taylor Swift fan, and BFRB advocate

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