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The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (33.1 km2) campus. It is situated in the northwestern Silicon Valley, approximately 20 miles (32 km) northwest of San Jose and 37 miles (60 km) southeast of San Francisco. We hope you enjoy some interesting facts we have compiled about this prestigious university.


1. Leland Stanford, Governor and United States Senator of California and leading railroad tycoon, and his wife founded the university in 1885 in memory of their son, Leland Stanford, Jr., who died of typhoid at the age of 15. Within weeks of his death, the Stanford decided that, because they no longer could do anything for their own child, “the children of California shall be our children.” Thus, Stanford University was established as a coeducational and non-denominational institution imparting free-of-cost education – till the mid-1930s.

2. The motto of Stanford University is “Die Luft der Freiheit weht. Translated from the German language, this quotation from Ulrich von Hutten means, “The wind of freedom blows.”

3. Established in 1885, with classes starting in 1891, the university is spread across a sprawling 8,100acre campus. It has seven schools imparting courses in humanities, sciences, business, education, engineering, law, and medicine. It has an annual enrolment of over 18,623 students.

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4. Stanford awarded 6,366 undergraduate degrees, 7,374 Master’s degrees, and 14,15 post doctoral degrees, in the 2020-2021 school year. The most popular majors at Stanford include Engineering, Computer & Information Science and Interdisciplinary studies, and. For the undergrad class of 2020, Stanford received 36,175 applications and accepted 1,318 or 3.6%, the lowest in the university’s history and the lowest in the world.


5. In 2020 approximately 70% of current students receive some form of aid from Stanford and 47% are on need-based aid, paid an average of $13,600. In 2010, the university awarded $117 million in financial aid to 3,530 students, with an average aid package of $40,593, and total external and internal aid (including jobs and optional loans) amounted to $172.3 million to undergraduate students.

6. The student to faculty ratio of 5:1, and the school has nearly 70% of its classes with fewer than 20 students.

7. 97% of undergraduate students live in on-campus university housing. It is mandatory for first-year undergrad students to live on campus, and all undergraduates are guaranteed housing for all four undergraduate years. At any time, around 50 percent of the graduate population lives on campus.

8. Stanford is one of the most research-oriented universities in the world. Since 1952, more than 68 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel and Stanford has the largest number of Turing award winners (dubbed the “Nobel Prize of Computer Science”) for a single institution. Stanford’s current community of scholars includes 19 Nobel Prize laureates and 4 Pulitzer Prize winners.

9. Stanford is the alma mater of 74 billionaires and 17 current astronauts.

10. Stanford is well-known for its culture of encouraging and nourishing the entrepreneurial spirit in its students. Faculty and alumni have founded many prominent companies including Google, Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Sun Microsystems, Wipro, GAP, Firefox, PayPal, Yahoo!, etc. and companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, equivalent to the 10th largest economy in the world. The Sun in Sun Microsystems originally stood for “Stanford University Network”. Forbes magazine has gone on-record remarking, “It is almost impossible to name a leading-edge company in Silicon Valley that isn’t closely associated with Stanford.”

11. Stanford has a rich heritage of sports – Stanford students have won medals in every Olympic Games since 1908, winning 270 Olympic medals total, 129 of them gold. In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Stanford won more Olympic medals than any other university in the United States and, in terms of total medals won, would have tied with Japan for 11th place! Stanford students won 16 medals at the 2012 Olympics—12 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze.

12. Given Stanford’s focus on leadership, it’s no wonder that its list of alumni includes 2 former Japanese Prime Ministers, former U.S. President Herbert Hoover, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, former President of Guatemala Jorge Serrano Elias, President of the Maldives Mohammed Waheed Hassan, former Vice President of Iran Mohammad-Reza Aref, former Honduras President Ricardo Maduro, the Crown Prince of Belgium and former Ghanaian President John Atta Mills.icon

Want to see how you can make it to this great university? Book a free counseling session with our study abroad consultants and find out your chances of admission at Stanford!

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