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. We strive to keep our classes small, therefore we cannot accept all qualified students. Our Admissions Committee reviews each application holistically, taking 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. 


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 applicants mid-year.

Standardized Testing

Test Score Requirement

Standardized test scores are required if the applicant meets one or both of the conditions listed below:

  1. The applicant's schooling has been conducted in a language other than English.
  2. The applicant has been homeschooled in the current and/or previous academic year (Homeschooling is defined as an education conducted outside the direction of a public, charter, parochial, or private school. Attending an online school that is accredited and provides a transcript is not homeschooling, nor is attending a public, charter, parochial or private school online from home due to COVID-19.)

If you are unsure if a standardized test score will be required for your application, please contact our Office of Admissions.

Standardized test scores are optional if the applicant has attended schooling conducted primarily in English, and have not been homeschooled in the last two years. There will be no disadvantage for choosing not to submit standardized test scores, if the scores are not required. We evaluate applications holistically; no one factor is deciding.

Test Options

If the applicant chooses or is required to submit a standardized test score, it must be from one of the tests listed below. We will not review scores from other tests. The test score must be from a sitting between September 2019 and mid-December 2020.

Any of the tests below will fulfill our standardized test score requirement, regardless of the applicant's grade level. Stanford OHS will norm your test score for your age. 

Please note that Stanford 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 below in or after September 2019, you may submit your results for your application to Stanford OHS.

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

Registering for a Test

Please visit the individual website for each test service to register for a test. Be sure to schedule your test by mid-December 2020 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 and PreACT: These tests are 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.