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Stanford University Diversity Statistics: An In-Depth Look

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What’s Covered:


Stanford University is well-known for having top-tier academics in the United States, if not the entire world. 


But how does Stanford fare in terms of diversity? One of the key aspects of an enriching college experience is diversity. In this post, we’ll go over Stanford’s racial, financial, and geographic diversity, plus the resources offered to help students from diverse backgrounds feel at home.


Overview of Stanford College Diversity Statistics 


Ethnic Diversity


Student Ethnicity

Percentage of Students

American Indian or Alaska Native




Black or African American


Hispanic or Latino




Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander




Two or more ethnicities





Faculty Ethnicity

Number of Faculty

American Indian or Alaska Native

5 (.2%)

Asian or Asian American (non-Hispanic)

410 (18%)

Black or African American (non-Hispanic)

50 (2%)

Hispanic or Latina (of various racial/mutliracial backgrounds)

101 (4%)


1,529 (67%)


According to these student body statistics, compared to other schools in the United States, Stanford can be categorized as a diverse university. However, its faculty makeup is much less diverse, as just over two-thirds of the faculty are white. 


Financial Diversity


In 2017, The New York Times listed out Stanford students’ financial standings, which are among the highest in the Pac-12 and the state of California. Median family income hovers around $167,500, with the average income in the 80th percentile. 


Share of students from the…


Top .1%


Top 1%


Top 5%


Top 10%


Top 20%


Bottom 20%



Stanford is a need-blind school, meaning the admissions committee makes their decisions without considering a student’s financial circumstances or ability to pay tuition. The college will also meet 100% of demonstrated need, and is no-loan, so if you apply for financial aid and are assessed as having financial need, you won’t be required to take out any loans to meet that need.


Geographic Diversity


Stanford has students from all 50 United States, with 35% of students coming from California, and 52% from the other states. The remaining 13% of students are international, representing over 50 home countries. 


The university is need-blind for most, but not all, international students. Stanford has a limited quantity of financial aid for its international students. To receive financial aid, students must obtain a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.  


Cultural Resources at Stanford University


Here are some resources at Stanford for students from diverse backgrounds.


Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program 


This program’s intention is to increase the number of students from underrepresented minority groups that pursue and achieve a PhD. It is intended for students who want to pursue professional careers, but not medical school, law school, or other professional graduate schools. 


Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans


This program is designed for immigrants, the children of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers to get financial and other types of support during their academic career.


Cardinal Connections Weekend


Stanford’s interactive program where prospective international students can meet current international students. 


Undergraduate Student Organizations


Culture Clubs 

  • Asian American Students‚Äô Association
  • Hmong Student Union
  • Hui o NńĀ Moku
  • Indian Stanford Student Association
  • Japanese Student Union
  • Korean-American Student Association
  • Multiracial Identified Community at Stanford
  • Pakistanis at Stanford
  • Pilipino American Student Union
  • Queer and Questioning Asians and Pacific Islanders (Q&A)
  • Sikh Students Association
  • Singaporeans at Stanford
  • South Asian Society
  • Stanford Indonesian Student Union
  • Stanford Khmer Association
  • Stanford Vietnamese Student Association
  • Taiwanese Culture Society
  • Thai Student Association
  • Tibetan Student Union
  • Undergraduate Chinese American Association


Religious Groups

  • Hindu Student Association
  • Muslim Student Union


Arts and Sports Teams (martial arts, a capella, dance, etc.)

  • Aikido Association of Stanford
  • Alliance (student-run hip-hop dance team)
  • Asian American Theater Project
  • Basmati Raas
  • Chinese Dance
  • Common Origins (urban/hip-hop dance group)
  • JKA Shotokan of Stanford (karate team)
  • Kaorihiva (Polynesian dance)
  • Kayumanggi Filipino Dance Troupe¬†
  • Mua Lac Hong (Vietnamese dance group)
  • Noopur (Indian classical dance)
  • Oceanic Tongues (writer‚Äôs workshop community)
  • O-Tone (East Asian a capella group)
  • Raagapella (South Asian a capella group)
  • Spicmacay (Indian classical music)
  • Stanford Bhangra Team (Indian folk dance)
  • Stanford Chinese Sing
  • Stanford Dragonboat¬†
  • Stanford Kendo Club (Japanese sword-based martial art)
  • Stanford Kenpo Karate Association
  • Stanford Lion Dance
  • Stanford Martial Arts
  • Stanford Newtype (anime club)
  • Stanford Taekwondo¬†
  • Stanford Taiko (Japanese percussion)
  • Stanford Wushu
  • XTRM (K-pop Dance Team)


Social Justice and Service Organizations

  • Alternative Spring Break and Thanksgiving Back
  • Asha for Education
  • Project Dosti
  • Stanford Asian American Activism Committee (SAAAC)
  • Team Hepatitis B Virus Stanford University (Team HBV)
  • Tzu Chi (international humanitarian organization)


Greek and Professional Life

  • Alpha Kappa Delta Phi International Sorority, Inc. (aKDPHi) (international Asian-interest sorority)
  • Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Society (ASES)
  • Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA)
  • Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Inc. (Asian American interest fraternity)
  • Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc. (SYZ) (created to support women of color)
  • Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)


Theme and Focus Houses


Theme and focus houses are living options that center around some theme or shared interest. LLCs can have resources like theme-related events, workshops, and advising programs. 


  • Casa Zapata: Chicanx/Latinx Focus
  • Muwekma-Tah-Ruk: Native American Focus
  • Okada: Asian American Focus¬†
  • Ujamaa: Black Culture Focus
  • La Casa Italiana
  • La Maison Fran√ßaise
  • Haus Mitteleuropa¬†
  • Slavianskii Dom

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Plans to Improve Diversity at Stanford University


Stanford’s IDEAL (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access in a Learning Environment)


This plan aims to ensure that diversity is present in all aspects of the university’s education and research programs. The school wants all members of the campus community to feel supported regardless of their identity, and to have access to any resources they need. Their immediate priorities lie in increasing faculty diversity, improving the campus climate, and advancing free expression on campus. 


LGBTQ+ Inclusivity at Stanford


In 2014, Stanford was named the top LBGT-friendly campus in the nation by the Princeton Review. Since then, it has lost its title, but remains relatively highly-ranked in terms of LBGTQ+-friendliness. 


Queer Student Resources 


Most of Stanford’s LBGTQ+ resources are housed under its QSR department. The committee oversees campus inclusivity from gender neutral bathrooms to support services. A few of them are listed below, but for a comprehensive look at the resources, check out their website.




After their first year, students can explore gender neutral housing options, which are available in all residences with two-room doubles or two bedroom units. Group members will not be matched randomly, but rather, can choose who they wish to live with. 




Stanford’s Firetruck House is designed to welcome their diverse student population. The second floor is home to QSpot, a place for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities to relax, study, and hang out with other queer and allied students. The center has a library, meeting rooms, a media center, and computers for students to use. 


Vaden Health Center


The Vaden Health Center is a safe space for students of all genders and sexualities to get the healthcare they need. The clinicians have specialized training and offer medical services to anyone in the community. 


Weiland Health Initiative


The Weiland Health Initiative prioritizes intersectional clinical services, centering queer experiences. The initiative provides collaborative individual therapy, issue-specific group programming, and consulting for gender-based care. 


5-Sure: Students United for Risk Elimination


Like many other college campuses, Stanford has an escort service where students can get a ride to and from various campus locations. This is especially helpful for students who need to travel around late at night. 


Stanford LGBTQ Executive Leadership Program


Currently in its fifth year, this one-week program seeks to admit LGBTQ+ individuals seeking to augment their business strategy skills. The program intends for its members to operate in a leadership capacity, not only out, but visible with their sexuality to authentically lead in a business setting.  


All-Gender Restrooms


Stanford has multiple all-gender restrooms spread throughout the campus. The University is aiming to have gender-inclusive single-occupancy restrooms in all of its buildings within the next year or so. Most of the existing facilities are single-stall restrooms, though Stanford plans to make some multi-stall restrooms gender-inclusive with increased privacy features. 


Diversity and Access Office 


The Diversity and Access Office has a set of non-discrimination policies and resources that oversee and protect Stanford’s students. Students can report their discrimination concerns and grievances by filing a claim through this office. 


How Diverse and Inclusive is Stanford, CA?


Stanford is located in Palo Alto, California; aside from the university, the city is home to the Rodin Sculpture Garden and the Stanford Shopping Center. The town has a population of about 13,800 people. According to the 2010 census the ethnic demographics are as follows:


Ethnic Group




African American


Native American




Pacific Islander






Two or more races 



Out of 3,913 households, the breakdown was as follows:




Opposite-sex married couples


Children under the age of 18


Householder with no spouse


Unmarried opposite-sex partners


Same-sex married couples or partnerships



The area around Stanford University is chock-full of ethnic restaurants, with cuisines such as Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Mediterranean close by. There are also plenty of dining options for those with dietary restrictions, with ample vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the vicinity. 


The area is also relatively LGBTQ+ friendly, with Palo Alto ranking 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index, and designated a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. 


The Palo Alto area‚Äôs political climate is somewhat liberal, and about 73% of Santa Clara County citizens voted Democrat in the last presidential election. Stanford itself is considered a ‚Äúliberal bubble‚ÄĚ in the area, with most students leaning left.


Is Stanford University the Right Fit for You?


While diversity is an important factor in considering prospective schools, there are also a variety of other factors you need to consider when determining which school is the best fit for you. For example, you should look into their academic programs and see what unique resources they have for the major(s) you plan to pursue. You should also consider extracurriculars, such as the sports culture, available clubs, and campus life. 


In fact, there are lots of factors that can help you find your best-fit school, which can be overwhelming. If you’re not 100% set on Stanford, you should try our school search tool or our chancing engine to discover universities that match up with your interests and your chances of getting into them.

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Priya has been working at CollegeVine for two years in various capacities, including mentoring students, editing hundreds of essays, and creating blog content. She has also interned in healthcare consulting. She is extremely grateful for all the help she received as an applicant and wants to pay it forward by demystifying the admissions process for others.