Stanford Admissions Essays

Top 43 Successful Stanford Essays

These college essays are from students who got accepted at Stanford University. Use them to get inspiration for your own essays and knock the socks off those admissions officers!


Adolf Hitler applied twice to The Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, before doing what he did.

Hitler’s application did not just turn into a rejection, both times. It changed world history.

1st September 2008: MP Israrullah Zehri comments on the killing of five women for choosing their own spouses. A...

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Most children acquire the same eye color or a similar shaped nose from their parents, but I've inherited much more: a passion for learning and an insatiable curiosity which has served me well throughout my academic career. My father, an electrical engineer, taught me to explore the world with in...

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I am an Internet entrepreneur. Since age 12, I have coded and designed websites -- for my school, the local community, and as a personal hobby and pastime. In fact, I started my own Internet business in 2004 and was hired as a webmaster by Intel Corporation this past summer. I also volunteer my free...

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The Matrix series, for the intriguing philosophical questions and the ground-breaking originality of the action film-making.

Success Built to Last, by Jerry Porras, for its great pieces of life wisdom that encourage me to follow my passions in a way that serves the world and me.

Wired News, a sleek ma...

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When I moved from Long Beach, CA to Philadelphia, PA in the seventh grade, I encountered an environment far different from the one I had become accustomed to. In Long Beach, every day was a struggle for survival. By the age of nine, I had witnessed the death of my mother and one of my best friends g...

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It is my belief that paddling out into the lineup through a bank of heavy mist and suddenly finding yourself unable to see the shore is among the most surreal and inspiring experiences a person can have. As fellow wave riders – strangers and friends – wink out of your sphere of sight and...

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 “—ington, party of thirty, your tables are ready,” announced the hostess.

After being seated at three large white round tables with folding white chairs, the real Clam Bake began. We attacked the buffet tables, buttered our lobsters, and still had room for dessert. While devou...

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            While looking through my stacks of pictures, I realize how important the memories in my all-school photos are to me.  One particular picture, from ninth grade, is especially significant not because I like to look at what my classmates or teachers l...

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I'm hoping to do an MS in Computer Science at Stanford so that I can become more technical and obtain the skills I need to build the software that I want to exist, rather than just imagine it. I've had several jobs in technology-related fields, as an investment banker and as an early non-technical e...

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Lord of the Rings/The Silmarillion - Tolkien; Gödel, Escher, Bach - Hofstadter; Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman - Feynman; The Code Book - Singh; The Elegant Universe - Greene. Films: Gattaca, Chariots of Fire. Music: Simon & Garfunkel, Basshunter.

NYTimes.com, ScientificAmerican.com, ...

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I remember one of the worst moments of being a child is when you're bursting with something to say, and your parents just don’t have the time to acknowledge you. "Listen to me!" I would roar inside my head. Perhaps they could have turned and said, "Alex, you've...

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“Let’s use sodium sulfide,” I decided.

I snatched the bottle labeled NaS and placed three drops of the foul-smelling liquid into a well on the well-plate. Then, I added some of the clear unknown solution I had been given and watched the reaction unfold. Upon contact, the two combined to form an obvio...

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     My life is a series of intense fascinations, which I dive into headfirst.

    Age ten. My dad shows me a family tree, and genealogy piques my interest. I collect data about my own family, interviewing relatives whenever I can, and construct a tree spanning hundreds ...

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There were few dull minds in San Jose the spring of 2010. Around 1600 teens from around the world streamed into the heart of Silicon Valley for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair; for me, it was an unforgettable first glimpse of the talent and imagination of my global peers.

Yet eve...

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In AP Statistics, I often utilized the Least Squares method to find correlations between two data sets. First, I would generate a curve that minimized the residuals: the differences between corresponding values of the two sets. Smaller residuals implied greater correlation, with a residual of r = 0 ...

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Ubiquity is a beautiful piece of software. With constant use, it becomes part of you. All the world’s knowledge resides in your fingers. It’s the extension of a man’s mind, the slow but inevitable fusion of the brain and the computer.

But, sitting on a soft couch at a Starbucks in c...

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I worked for my father's business during the summers designing and assembling testing devices and prototypes, and helped at the company’s Midwest Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair booth.  In addition to volunteering at the San Lorenzo Valley Museum, I often visited my grand...

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My middle name is "Reddy." Weird, no? I'm assuming you don't know about South-Indian middle names so here's what you should know: "Reddy" is the name of a caste in India thought to have consisted of warriors who later became lords and aristocracy. This caste became pa...

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There is an old saying, “there is no place like home.” That philosophy has been spread everywhere from generation to generation, lands to lands, and families...

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As much as I had hoped our introductions would be made in person, I am just as glad that we will know each other before we even meet.

Like the people around me would say, I try my best to brighten everyone’s mood. But first, I have to keep myself in high spirits in order to help others, right? ...

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    The modern teenager craves information. Be it personal, political, or pointless, information has become the American teenager’s drug of choice. Information is an inebriant, and smart phones are the bottle in which it is stored. Without a comfortable flow of status updates an...

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On Christmas 2010, the one person I was working hardest for disappeared from my life.

My Dad fought leukemia all throughout 2010. In his struggle for survival, I found a means to work harder in my academic studies as a means to please him. I had disappointed him in my middle school years before, and ...

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I can sit there and stare at it for hours - sometimes watching, not watching others. "There" is a stair case of the 1st floor of a business center, and "it" is a view of the pavement outside through a 100 X 100cm window directly in front. To the open-minded, it is classically pic...

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Hey roommate!

Looks like we both made it. Great! Just wanted to let you know a bit about my best traits, and hopefully in the end we won’t end up as room-hates.

I hail from the burbs of Chicago, and, yes, it snows all the way to your nose, and blackens your toes, but in the Windy City ...

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“Look at her. She’s your baby sister.” I curiously walk over to the crib on the right of my mommy’s bed and stare down at this so-called “sister.” Suddenly, her mouth twitches as she chews on a strange object.

Memories. My first was of March 2nd, 1998, the day my s...

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    October 29th, 2011: I am alone. I am tired. I am at a Snoop Dogg concert. The drumbeat rattling my teeth is nearly overpowered by my deafening crash onto rock bottom. The 2011 school year cut me to pieces. I was a sophomore – a year notorious for being easier than the rest at my ...

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Good morning friend,

I tend to greet others with a “good morning” simply because I love mornings. This is ironic though, because I also have a great desire to stay up and really venture into the late night. Late night, when one resides in barren quiet and introspective analysis, is often ...

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Books: Wuthering Heights, Harry Potter, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Rebecca Films: V for Vendetta, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Transformers Musical Artists: Chopin and Prokofiev

Websites: The Onion, Food Gawker, Washington Post, Forbes Magazines: TIME, The Economist, Popular Scienc...

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Six a.m. and my mom’s shaking me awake. I open my crusty eyes and stare at her, bleary-eyed. My eleven year old eyes struggle to focus, in need of glasses and lacking the money to purchase them. She’s dressed in sweats and a ratty T-shirt, and it’s obvious where she needs to be.

&ld...

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What matters.

It's one of those riddles a kindergartner knows they can sincerely answer and adults think they can logically answer. I, however, am a teenager, stuck awkwardly between that simplicity and heightened logic, and my dilemma is evident: is it my actions or feelings that really mat...

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One thing that bears great importance to me is that those who cannot otherwise provide safety and security for themselves are given the appropriate help. To me, this matter manifested itself in the form of animals. Ever since I was little, my life was filled with the abandoned, the left behind, the ...

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Greetings future roommate!

I look forward to sharing a room and a brand new experience altogether as college freshmen! If there is one thing that you should know about me, it is that although my personality is splotched with hundreds of shades, akin to a Jackson Pollock painting, you can most certain...

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By allowing myself to realize a greater connection to the rest of humanity, in the respect that health is a major essence of the human experience, as well as excavating deeper into my own interests, my experience interning in Dr. Loeser’s lab at Wake Forest was by far the most remarkable.

Being...

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I came out to my best friend as bisexual the summer before ninth grade. Unlike the countless "coming out" YouTube videos I had watched to prepare myself, I don't really remember the sigh of relief or heart fuzzies of acceptance when she said that it was fine. All I can remember is the ...

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A command window pops onto my laptop screen; “C:\Users\Admin>” is written in white against a black background as I stare curiously at what this means.

Just at the end of 10th grade, I applied to intern for a technology consulting firm, COMPANY_NAME. As it was a newly founded company, t...

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Rather than a single idea or experience, an entire series has been key to my intellectual development. Manifesting itself as a pointy-eared, green tunic-clad, tunic-wearing, Master Sword wielding hero on a quest to overthrow a treacherous warlord, sorcerer, or other malcontent and rescue the princes...

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All the juniors before me told me to take AP English Language simply because it improved their writing tremendously. But the individuals before me never told me about the intellectual growth that comes from the English language. My English teacher, Elizabeth Ward, encouraged us to think analytically...

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I can sit there and stare at it for hours - sometimes watching, not watching others. "There" is a stair case of the 1st floor of a business center, and "it" is a view of the pavement outside through a 100 X 100cm window directly in front. To the open-minded, it is classically pic...

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My grandmother was born and raised in Nigeria. Eunice Iwuchukwu was an old soul, who used to preach the word of God. My grandma had lived with my aunt, but moved in with my mom to assist with my care. Since I rarely saw my mother, or my father, or really any of my family, I had no one to teach me th...

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Favorite:

Favorite:

Lack of tolerance.

Society, and the world, would be greatly improved with greater tolerance. For extremist groups, criminals, and corrupt and/or inefficient leaders—their harm in failing to consider and tolerate others' feelings/beliefs leads to a stagnation of social prog...

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Key Club is not simply another community service organization, it is my high school family. Key Club spurs excitement within me as it represents a tolerant organization that brings positive change through community service events and fundraisers. My commitment to Key Club increased as I gained the p...

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I can honestly say that my most recent intellectually stimulating experience was a trip to the movie theater; I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Of course the CGI was visually stimulating, and talking monkeys are always intriguing, but what really hit me was the rapid adv...

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By all accounts, I have lived a blessed life. Though my family has never been wealthy, my parents’ self-sacrifice provided me with more than some children ever dream of: a nice home and access to a quality education. I am forever appreciative for this and have striven to make the most of the o...

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Essays That Worked

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Stanford University Facts

Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or simply Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California in the northwestern Silicon Valley on an 8180-acre campus near Palo Alto. It is one of the most prestigious and selective univ...

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