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.

My grandmother moved in. As the oldest grandchild, her health became my responsibility. I meet her every morning with a cup of pills and herbal remedies. I administer injections, her painful shriek as the needle penetrates her skin shatters my heart every time, but her loving hugs always comfort me.

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Essay by Jaden Botros

Economics & Political Science student at Stanford University | 800K in Scholarships | Profile includes Resume and Summer Research Email Templates

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

Stanford’s research opportunities at the Hopkins Marine Station near the Monterey Bay appeal to me; more specifically, Professor Barbara Block’s project examining unregulated fishing with new technology. Using my understanding of bycatch gillnets as the main threat to Hawksbills, I aspire to learn more about the consequences of unsustainable fishing.

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Essay by Erick Angelo Ramirez

CS Major, Bio Minor, FGSS Honors Thesis, FLI @ Stanford

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

Like modern versions of Magritte’s pipe, social media’s tantalizing-yet-treacherous snapshots of others’ lives set unattainably high standards. We can’t help but compare ourselves to a world of Photoshop and filters, where everyone else seems to be richer, happier, and more fulfilled than they really are. Ceci n’est pas une réalité!

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Essay by Sean Yoon

Neuro + CS @ Stanford + $200K Scholarship | Not doing this for money. FREE UNLOCK / MEETING -- READ BIO BEFORE PAYING ME!!

Prompt: How did you spend your last two summers?

2020: 5k training to improve fitness and self-confidence. Zooms with international teens to discuss global issues like climate change and fast fashion. Family Marvel movie marathon. Increasingly-frequent hospital trips.

2021: Leukemia research. DnD to engage my imagination. Mental-processing of cancer. 13 [Place Redacted] lab tours. Last moments with my great-grandmother.

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Essay by StanfordStudent

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

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

The studio audience recording of “Hey Jude” by The Beatles, which I have watched many times over the last ten years, has always captivated me. I wish I could experience the same comforting feeling the crowd that sang the “na-na-na” refrain on the stage with The Beatles did.

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Essay by Biya Brook

Symbolic Systems @ Stanford

Prompt: The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning.

Wambaya: Ngarlu nya/Gulugba ngu/Ngajbi nginya Translation: You danced/I will sleep/I saw you Translate “You will dance” to Wambaya. Studying for linguistics olympiads, I analyzed endangered and indigenous languages like Wambaya; I identified syntactical patterns and exceptions from limited data and employed them to construct new phrases in an unfamiliar language. I felt the thrill of learning a new language with each problem. Expressing my solutions to these linguistics puzzles in equations and algorithms, I saw that language could be computed and processed. If AI language models could be trained to process languages they don’t know using a few clues, then they could reconstruct extinct languages and demonstrate human-like cognition. To test this hypothesis, I trained models to recognize syntactical patterns to comprehend sentences in unfamiliar languages and translate them to English. Testing yielded a match rate below 2%. I retrained my models, and fine-tuned large language models on similar problems. Still, the match rate remained below 2%. Why? I searched for an answer in past literature, milestone papers that caused paradigm shifts in machine learning. The more I read, the more I understood the limits and capabilities of language models. Now, I found myself asking “how?” How can we surpass these limits? With each paper I read, each language I learned, and each puzzle I solved, I saw the importance of language acquisition and syntax. These successive interrogations excite me, making me even more eager to illuminate language processing and acquisition in humans and computers alike.

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Essay by KK

International CS + Linguistics Major @ Stanford | 400K in Scholarships | Book Session For Unlimited Essay Help, Common App Editing, Vital Tips For Getting Into Stanford & Yale!

Prompt: Virtually all of Stanford‘s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate – and us – get to know you better.

Dear Roommate,

My bedroom is my refuge, and I hope ours will be the same. Through immersive design, there are countless possibilities to personalize our room. All it takes is the simple command: “Alexa, it’s Christmas time,” and we teleport from a hot, stuffy room in June to a winter wonderland. The ceiling lights turn red and green, Christmas lights begin to sparkle, “Jingle Bells” bounces through the speakers, and The Christmas Story is cued. My friends giddily sing along to Christmas carols, and we joke about Alexa’s unquestioning loyalty. When my friend [Name Redacted] got dumped last summer, he asked for “Christmas time” in my room to cheer him up. And, when my basketball team won the semi-finals, we said “Alexa, it’s party time” and celebrated as disco lights whirled and “Bohemian Rhapsody” blasted. We have a command for (almost) every occasion. Rigging my room has brought laughter and joy into the lives of friends and family and is something I look forward to doing with you. We can learn about each other while we set up our room. Whether it’s our music, lights, jokes, or auto-stocked products, I’m excited to create a room that reflects both of our identities, cultural backgrounds, and humor. In our spare time, I also look forward to taking a hiatus from indoors to head out to surf, play basketball, or plan spikeball matches on the oval. Whether we’re indoors or out, I can’t wait to get to know you. “Alexa, it’s Cardinal time.”

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Essay by StanfordStudent

Mechanical Engineering @ Stanford

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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