Stanford Admission Essay

Admit See cofounder Lydia Fayal said that these differences play out primarily in the SAT scores and grade point averages of legacy versus non-legacy candidates.“Harvard gives more preferential treatment to legacy candidates than Stanford,” Fayal said in an email interview.Every time a high school student views a college student's application materials, that college student is paid a stipend by Admit See.

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“Based on our preliminary data, the average SAT score at Harvard is 2150 for legacy students and 2240 for non-legacy; meanwhile at Stanford it's 2260 for both legacy and non-legacy.” RELATED: 9 essay writing tips to ‘wow’ college admissions officers Fayal also said based on Admit See’s data, she found that the average GPA is three-tenths of a point lower for Harvard’s legacy students than it is for non-legacies.

At Stanford, the average GPA of legacy students versus non-legacy students is just one-tenth of a point lower.

Like Harvard, Princeton tends to admit students who write about overcoming adversity.

Essays that discuss a student’s experience with race, ethnicity or sexual orientation are well-received by Stanford, Yale and Brown.

Admit See co-founder Stephanie Shyu said, according to Fast Company, students who are gearing up to apply to college can learn two major lessons from the company’s data.

One of these lessons: it is a good idea to craft unique essays for each school.“I've worked with enough students to know that students should customize their application essay by university,” Fayal said.“I hope that, by releasing Admit See data, we're leveling the playing field for students who can't afford private college consultants.” And Cohen agreed.Essays featuring a creative personal story or an issue the student was passionate about were among those accepted to the California-based school as opposed to Harvard, according to Admit See.These acceptance-winning essays often featured words like “happy,” “passion,” “better,” and “improve.” Admit See also found surprising differences in the way Harvard and Stanford handle legacy applicants.“There are 745 colleges with at least 1 application file on Admit, and 286 colleges with 10 application files on the site,” Fayal said.For example, Admit See’s data indicates the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell favor essays about a student’s career goals.The site invites college students, who are identified and verified by their official school IDs, to upload their application materials.Once uploaded, their application materials can then be accessed by high school students who are preparing for the college application process.Specifically, essays written by students who were later admitted to Harvard focused on overcoming challenging moments in life.These essays frequently included words such as “cancer,” “difficult,” “hard” and “tough.” This finding proved to be almost the exact opposite of what admissions officers from Stanford were looking for.


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