Top 10 Stanford Admissions Essays


Successful Stanford Essays

These are successful college essays of students that were accepted to Stanford University. Use them to see what it takes to get into Stanford and other top schools and get inspiration for your own Common App essay, supplements, and short answers. These successful Stanford essays include Common App essays, Stanford supplements, and other Stanford admissions essays.


  1. Stanford Supplement Essay: Future Roommate - 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--know you better. Hello, dear roommate. Let’s break the laws of the Universe. Although it’s not quite to scale, I like to think of our new home as an atom, and you and I as two wonderfully energetic electrons buzzing around campus. Now, the Pauli exclusion principle lays down the law quite firmly-“No two identical fermions can occupy the same quantum state simultaneously.” However, this presents some serious problems for our blooming room-lationship. I Continue Reading »
  2. Stanford Supplement Essay: Intellectual Vitality - Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. The sterile neutrino. It was like trying to catch and study a bullet traveling at 400 m/s using a wet piece of tissue paper. Originally a ‘desperate attempt’ to explain the violation of conservation laws in beta- decay, the neutrino has a history of anomaly. Neutrinos interact exclusively via the weak force, so interaction is rare–making them nearly impossible to detect. Following the first detector discovery, physicists worked for almost a century to create a non- contradictory understanding of these Continue Reading »
  3. Stanford Supplement Essay: Short Questions - SHORT QUESTIONS Name your favorite books, authors, films, and/or artists.* Books:The Elegant Universe(Brian Greene), Imagine(Jonah Lehrer), And The Mountains Echoed(Khaled Hosseini), Mr Tompkins Explores the Atom(George G Gamow), Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynmann!(Richard Feynmann et al) Films: Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, Donnie Darko(who doesn’t love a cult classic?) Artists: (painting) Salvador Dali and Francois Miglio (music) Alt-J, Sufjan Stevens, Bowerbirds What newspapers, magazines, and/or websites do you enjoy? Newspapers: The Washington Post, The New York Times Magazines: The Economist, Time, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, Sky & Telescope, Scientific American, Physics Today, National Geographic Websites: Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, Continue Reading »
  4. Stanford Common App Essay: My Name - Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. “SunHee? Isn’t that an Asian name? Aren’t you black?” Yes, my name is actually SunHee. Yes, it’s Asian. Yes, I am indeed black. From a young age, I’ve always carried a name that I considered too out of the ordinary. SunHee, a Korean name meaning “princess of goodness and righteousness”, packed a great deal of power and responsibility- both of which I didn’t believe I was Continue Reading »
  5. Stanford Common App Essay: Computer Programming - Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? I stand in the security line at LAX amid a sea of blue TSA agents. Despite the surrounding chaos of rushed passengers, screaming babies, and the fear of abandoned luggage, my mind is at ease: I am intently surveying my environment, my eyes darting between blue-clad agents and shoeless passengers as I analyze the TSA’s security system. Which passengers are pre-checked and can breeze through screening? What determines whether someone goes through the body scanner or Continue Reading »
  6. Stanford Common App Essay: Challenge of the Future - Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. It was Veteran’s Day, and my kindergarten class was listing family members who had served in the military. I raised my hand, waving it intensely, intent on sharing mine. Regardless of the lack of honesty in my statement, I went for it. “My grandpa was in the army.” I needed an explanation for his absence, so my imagination filled the void where truth didn’t exist. He Continue Reading »
  7. Stanford Common App Essay: Math Competitions - Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Once the lyrics started, my eyes had no chance of holding back the eager river of tears. B.o.B’s song “Don’t Let Me Fall” spoke to me deeply and immediately. It was the same morning I left the 2013 Mu Alpha Theta National Convention (the largest nationwide math competition), and upon the suggestion of my best friend Andrew, I listened to what he claimed would summarize our Continue Reading »
  8. Stanford Common App Essay: Spirit of a Scientist - Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. I step through the silence towards the metal doors, bathed in the fluorescent glow that accompanies me to my destination. The air gets colder. I stare at my breath, now a cloud, and move through the stale, unflattering light onto the platform. The pure white dome beckons to me–silent, promising–and I step inside. Admiring the giant in the room–a solitary, intimidating block of metal and glass–I Continue Reading »
  9. Stanford Common App Essay: Sheila - Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family. As I sat in the one roomed ramshackle, I could tell that the five other individuals with whom I shared the room were fast asleep. The lamp was slowly waning, a true sign that the kerosene was almost used up. Unlike the screams and gunshots that filled the air the previous night, the entire slum was silent. I was frantically trying to piece together the next day's lesson plan but She was all I could think of. She Continue Reading »
  10. Stanford Common App Essay: Research - The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? “Why do you think that happened?” my research mentor probed. His disheveled waist-length hair rustled as he nudged me to respond.  Round, purple glasses tinted his vision, yet I felt he was staring deeply into my soul. His fingers tapped to the jazzy beat of the psychedelic Sly and the Family Stone song streaming from the vintage loudspeakers on his desk. The laboratory room was a Continue Reading »
  11. Stanford Common App Essay: Circus Center - Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. I derive pleasure from the adventure of exploring the physical capacity of my body, pulling myself out of alignment and into the discovery of new movements. The summer that I spent at the San Diego Circus Center fostered my playful mindset by providing an eclectic knowledge base and a supportive environment that allowed me to safely push the bounds of my body. Up until that summer, I had Continue Reading »