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Stanford University

the basics
355 Galvez Street
Stanford CA 94305
Undergrad Enrollment
$ 35,000
Room & Board
$ 11,000
5 reasons it’s cool
  • Elite academics and year-round sunshine: What more could you want?
  • Stanford enjoys a reputation as a top national school with boundless research opportunities.
  • The sprawling campus is so beautiful you’ll never want to leave. And most students don’t, preferring to live on-campus during their time here.
  • Stanford’s athletic teams kick butt in NCAA Division I, and the rivalry with Berkeley is the one of the most legendary in college football.
  • Students enjoy the relaxed Stanford lifestyle.

This Cardinal rules.

At the Tops of Their Games

Stanford enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the best universities in the country and a shining star of the West Coast academic world. Students choose from about sixty majors, including a slew of interdisciplinary options, or design their own course of study. The most popular majors are biology (or HumBio, for human biology), computer science, economics, English, and psychology. The university’s core program is extensive. All students must take the Introduction to Humanities class (not a universally loved experience) and complete courses in the following areas: science technology and math; humanities and social sciences; and world culture, American culture, and gender studies. Nearly all classes are taught by faculty members, many of whom have Nobels, MacArthurs, and a variety of other top prizes in their trophy cases. All students are encouraged to study abroad, and nearly a third of students take advantage of the rich opportunities offered. Academic advisors, who are either staff or faculty, assist in guiding students through the university’s extensive academic choices.

Moonlight Makeout

You might expect people to howl at the full moon, but kiss? That’s exactly what Stanford students do every year during the annual Full Moon on the Quad. On the evening of the academic year’s first full moon, seniors and freshmen gather on the campus’s Main Quad for one activity: smooching. The idea behind all of this lip action is for seniors to anoint freshmen as full-fledged Stanford men and women. Incidentally, sophomores and juniors have been known to steal a smooch or two too.

Sunny Dispositions

Nearly all students choose to live on campus, and for good reasons: Surrounding Palo Alto, while quite pretty, is also quite pricey, and life on campus rocks. The university guarantees housing for all four years and requires freshman to live on campus. Between marathon study sessions, students zip around campus on bikes, meet up for a study break at the CoHo (or coffee house), and take windsurfing lessons on nearby Lake Lagunita. Stanford students are generally preppy, smart, and driven. Fraternities and sororities draw about 12 percent of students. Sports figure largely on campus, and Stanford’s NCAA Division I athletic teams inspire plenty of passion in fans. These passions peak every November during the “Big Game,” the annual football game with long-time rival Berkeley. Be sure to enjoy the, uh, interesting song stylings of the Leland Stanford Junior Marching Band, which is one of the wackier pep bands in college athletics.

A California Classic

Stanford’s campus, clocking in at more than eight thousand acres, is one of the largest in the world. Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park, drew up the campus’s original plans. Lovely mission-style architecture persists through most buildings, but there’s still quite a bit of design diversity, especially in student housing. The campus is located Palo Alto, a safe, if stodgy, area full of historic homes and plenty of shopping and culinary diversions. Cross-pollination between the university and Silicon Valley is abundant; headquarters for firms such as Google, Adobe, and Intel are all nearby. San Francisco, the closest big city, is just under an hour away and can be reached by car or train.