Satirical article claims Stanford admitted zero students to class of 2020


In what has been called a ‘fun April Fool’s’ column, the New York Times identifies Stanford University as the most selective institution of higher education in the country after an announcement that it admitted less than 5% of applicants to the class of 2020.

Read more: 10 great colleges that don’t require you to take student loans

“We had exceptional applicants, yes, but not a single student we couldn’t live without,” the New York Times reported an anonymous Stanford administrator as saying. “In the stack of applications that I reviewed, I didn’t see any gold medalists from the last Olympics — Summer or Winter Games — and while there was a 17-year-old who’d performed surgery, it wasn’t open heart or a transplant or anything like that. She’ll thrive at Yale.”

‘Absurdity of college admissions’

The article, which has been called satirical but not yet identified as such by the author, Frank Bruni, is intended to bring attention to the ‘absurdity of college admissions today.’

Last year, the Stanford received a record number of applications — 42,487 — and invited less than 2,500 high school seniors to join Stanford’s class of 2019.


The 5% admission rate was a record low until this year’s 4.69% rate. 

Read more: The college majors that earn the most and least after graduation

“This is the worst thing that has happened to anyone, ever,” Bruni quoted a high school senior from Washington, D.C., as saying. ‘Whether she accepts an offer of admission from M.I.T. or one from Duke, she’ll defer enrollment and take a gap year to regain her confidence,’ he wrote, poking fun at the sentiments of discouraged young people and also pointing out the privilege and sense of entitlement stereotypically embraced by many young millennials. 

A total of 1,318 high school seniors were accepted to Sanford’s newest undergraduate class on Friday. An additional 745 early action students were accepted in December. The 2,063 admits came from a pool of 43,997 applicants, the largest in Stanford’s history. Anoter 3.6% of applicants were given a place on Stanford’s waitlist, according to The Stanford Daily. This year’s admits come from 50 states and 76 countries. 

“We are honored by the interest in Stanford and overwhelmed by the exceptional accomplishments of the students admitted to the Class of 2020,” Richard Shaw, Stanford dean of admissions and financial aid, told the Stanford Report. “Our admitted students reflect the deep and profound diversity of the world in which we live. We believe these students will impact that world in immeasurable ways.”

Read more: 11 best ways to find a college scholarship


Though rejecting so many applicants seems like grounds for financial concern, Stanford doners haven’t pulled back, the New York Times reported. In fact, the rise in the school’s donations might be growin ‘in tandem with its exclusivity.’

Admitted students have until May 1 to accept Stanford’s offer.

Read the New York Times piece here.

  • Show Comments Hide Comments