Criteria & Standardized Testing

Stanford OHS seeks students who are intellectually curious and academically driven, eager to engage in our school community, and primed to succeed in our extraordinary online environment.

How We Assess Applicants

Admission to Stanford OHS is competitive. Because we strive to keep classes small, we cannot accept all qualified students. When reading applications, our Admissions Committee takes into consideration a range of factors; no one item is the deciding factor.

We evaluate an applicant's candidacy in three areas:

Academic Ability

Applicants must be prepared for the rigor of Stanford OHS classes and have demonstrated a history of academic achievement and desire for challenge. We look for this dedication to academic pursuits and intellectual curiosity by assessing:

  • Grades (over time)
  • Rigor of current academic program
  • School type and curriculum
  • Academic classes taken outside the student’s school
  • Standardized test results
  • Teacher recommendations
  • Personal essays

Personal Qualities

We select students who will become contributing members of the Stanford OHS community and who will engage in the life of the school and its extracurricular pursuits. We look for this level of engagement by assessing:

  • Personal essays 
  • Current extracurricular involvement 
  • Demonstrated leadership in student’s current school community 
  • Teacher recommendations 
  • Parent questionnaire

A Good Fit

The Admissions Committee seeks students who demonstrate a clear understanding of the school’s teaching model and show independence, self-advocacy, strong time-management skills, and appropriate maturity. We assess this in:

  • Personal essays
  • Teacher recommendations
  • Parent questionnaire

Nondiscrimination Statement

Stanford University and Stanford Online High School Nondiscrimination Statement: Stanford University admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the University. Consistent with its obligations under the law, Stanford prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in the administration of the University's programs and activities; Stanford also prohibits unlawful harassment including sexual harassment and sexual violence. 

Eligibility

Younger Applicants

While Stanford OHS places students by ability rather than age or grade level, we typically encourage students to apply for grade 7 when they are in grade 6 or ages 11–12. 

Applicants for Senior Year

Very rarely does Stanford OHS accept students who apply to spend only their senior year at Stanford OHS and graduate with a Stanford OHS diploma. Rising seniors are subject to a different application process that may include interviews, placement tests, and additional work samples. Most applicants will be asked to consider taking two years to satisfy Stanford OHS Graduation Requirements. For more information, please contact Admissions.

We do not accept mid-year admissions.

Standardized Testing

Recent test scores (within 12 months of the application deadline) are required for all applicants and are due on the application deadline. Applications that are missing a standardized test score report on the day of the application deadline will not be reviewed. 

While they are not the only measure of an applicant's academic success, they provide us with the following:

  • A national standard by which to evaluate academic ability
  • A common metric with which to compare applicants from all over the world

Tests by Grade Level

Applicants must submit standardized test scores from one of the following standardized tests taken within 12 months of your application deadline: SSAT, ISEE, PSAT, SAT, or ACT. Please note that OHS does not require the optional ACT writing section or the optional SAT essay.

If you have already taken an approved standardized test from the list above within the last 12 months, you may submit your results for your application to Stanford OHS. Stanford OHS will norm your test score for your age. 

If you have not taken a standardized test, please use the guidelines below to choose one:

The SSAT is the preferred test for students who have not already taken an approved test.

Registering for a Test

Please visit the individual website for each test service to register for a test. An application can't be evaluated without standardized testing, so be sure to schedule your test at least three weeks before an application deadline to ensure timely delivery.

  • SSAT: Select Stanford University Online High School as a score recipient. Stanford OHS Member Code: 7454
  • ISEE: Select Stanford Online High School as a score recipient. Stanford OHS Member Code: 570520
  • PSAT: This test is administered by individual high schools once per year in October. Results are usually sent to the student's school in January.
  • SAT: The College Board will send results to the student, not directly to Stanford OHS.
  • ACT: The ACT will send results to the student, not directly to Stanford OHS.