Hi everyone,

This is Mr. Daniel. Welcome to another week’s newsletter!


Every young person in the United States regardless of their background or interests is told to go down this path: College.

Pick your major, choose your classes, do the best you can and graduate. If at some point in this educational system you feel stuck, choose another major, or go to graduate school and make a difference. Everything will fall in place.


In this overly simplistic view, college is often perceived as a solution to life’s bigger problems, and getting into the best colleges is everything.


Why go to college? 


To experience a new place? To make your parents proud? To learn new skills? To make money? To change the world? To find a direction in life? To secure financial freedom?


The college application process is complex. It is biased and unfair. It is a game designed to sort young people into categories. The college admission process sorts you by your GPA, your perceived future potentials, and intellectual capacities as viewed by the Admission Officers and policies.


The fact is that you are much more than just the letters and numbers on your transcript. Your unweighted, fully weighted, UC-capped GPA and your test scores further objectify you. 


You are a complex human being with kinks and quirks, faults, and virtues. To play and beat the college admission game and puzzle, one of the most important aspects is to find a college that fits you. To do that, you would need to look into all the nooks and crannies about the college.


What is finding college fit? 


In short, college fit varies by individual. Your academic interest, the campus life, the career opportunities the college can provide, the social network effects, and the unique culture and financial factors are all part of a fit. It is therefore imperative to research thoroughly about the college you are applying to and really look at the reasons for wanting to attend the college.


Let’s say a Pre-Med student wants to go to Stanford University. 


For Class 2024, Stanford admitted 2349 out of 45227 well-qualified applicants (5.19% admit rate). Only 1607 students actually enrolled. About 10% accepted or 235 students are international students across the world.


In 2020, it is estimated that out of the 1607 Stanford undergraduates, 35% are from California (about 562 students), 52% from other parts of the United States (about 836 students), and 13% are international about 209 students)


Considering there are about 3.7 million graduating seniors in the 2020-2021 school year in the United States according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the chance of getting into Stanford is extremely low. Stanford would most definitely be a reach school for anyone regardless of their academic profile.


So how do you know if Stanford is a fit? And how to answer Stanford-specific essays?


Here is my 8 step process, we use them in our meetings with students.


Step1: Check for college & university facts and any relevant details on the college.

Google research for facts, stats, and anything you can find. Don’t just search for college ranking. 

For example:

Start by looking into Stanford’s website: www.stanford.edu and search for Academics, Research, Campus life & Admissions. I also use Niche.com, usnews.com, collegevine.com.


Stanford has 7 schools: Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences; Education; Engineering; the Graduate School of Business; Humanities and Sciences; Law; and Medicine.

Stanford does review SAT or ACT scores (with or without writing) if submitted.

Stanford has non-binding Restrictive Early Action Single Choice and Regular Admissions. Know your application options.

Here is a table of qualities Stanford emphasizes in their selection. As you can see, the academic foundation and real skills are very important to Stanford. This translates to maximizing all your AP/IB/Tech programs both in and outside of school. Current junior & seniors should be taking college credit courses as soon as possible. I personally prefer Community college courses over fancy short-term summer programs. Invest your time to learn career-orientated skills beyond high school, especially during your senior year.


Step 2: Look into academic courses offered your major

  1. One related to your major/career

For example:

Stanford requires 2 lab courses for Biology majors: Lab research in Cell Molecular Biology & lab in Marine Science and Conservation in a Changing World. There is also an Honors program for Biology majors with BIOHOPK 199H. It is undergraduate research on top of other requirements. Seniors in Biology majors also can take a creative Capstone project that combines art & science. Understanding your 4-year plan helps you to visualize the academic rigor and explore possibilities at Stanford majoring in Biology

  1. One interdisciplinary course

For example:

You may also be interested in taking Translational Bioinformatics CS275 where you learn about the use of biomedical data in medicine through the use of machine learning and data mining. This brings a real connection to the technological disruptions in AI and deep learning.

  1. One outside your intended major

For example:

A course that is fun for the mind that you really have an interest in. One fun class can be SOC31N: Social Networks where you learn about the role of social networks in central human experience.


Step 3: Research institutes & specific programs relevant to you.

  1. Look for 1-2 professor research that you want to participate in.

For example:

Stanford has a Biology Summer Undergraduate Summer Research Program you can apply for.

A Pre-medical Biology major student who wishes to study infectious disease can apply for Prof. Erin Mordecai’s research; Effects of Climate on Mosquito-Borne Disease in Queensland, Australia. Check out his lab https://www.mordecailab.com/

  1. Look for a particular pathway/summer program/minor/specialization you are interested in. 

For example:

Bio199X allows Biology Majors to undertake research outside the Biology department. You can look for Stanford school of medicine for faculty labs related to medical research and get undergraduate credits. Check out all the research centers and institutes here. https://med.stanford.edu/school/directory.html#research-centers-&-programs

You can look into Stanford’s cutting-edge researches and technological innovations and get a glimpse of the power of collaborative minds working together to cure human disorders.


Step 4: Are there Stanford graduates that made an impact on the world? What they studied at the college and what they have accomplished post-graduation. You can read their biography, style & what makes them successful. 

  1. Pick 1-2 persons/businesses and see how this college affected the development of the person or business. 

For example:

Check out https://facts.stanford.edu/alumni/

One of the entrepreneurs, Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, and current chairman of upcoming Palantir Technologies graduated from Stanford. You can read or watch his talks here. https://news.stanford.edu/thedish/2014/09/30/thiel-says-stanford-is-where-my-whole-life-began/

Private universities follow their alma maters. Their ways of thinking influence financially and philosophically Stanford admission policies.

  1. Identify 3 traits you aspire to from these people or businesses. Colleges want to see their graduate succeed and really make an impact.

For example:

Peter Thiel discussed the importance of optimism that influences the future! You can read more here. https://www.inc.com/david-van-rooy/billionaire-peter-thiel-on-the-one-trait-that-will-shape-the-future.html

These details enrich your essays and give you a unique perspective in your writing.


Step 5: Look into the community and campus culture 

Find out about the student culture, what does the school stand for? Can you find some humorous details that show the school’s personality? 

  1. Youtube search related to college.

For example:

Look for great reviews & insights that you can’t find on the college’s main website. Here is one of my favorite Youtube videos on Stanford by Tiffany Ong. She gives 10 awesome insights as a CS graduate with a minor in classics. As you watch this, you will see her amazing personal experience and life lessons at Stanford demonstrate that even at Stanford, college life can be exciting, full of uncertainties and surprises. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IFbJfIjMZ8&ab_channel=TiffanyOng

  1. Online platform related to major/college.

For example:

Jot down specific details you find online or else you will forget about them.

https://www.reddit.com/r/stanford/comments/if6g6o/bio_vs_humbio/ Here you have some candid conversations on Biology vs Human Bio majors at Stanford pertaining to medicine.

  1. Publications like magazines and newspapers. Look into interesting publications & current affairs. Write down 2-3 interesting findings. These usually have real-life applications and interests. 

For example:

Stanford Medicine Magazine has publications plus archives on a variety of topics in Medicine and Science. It is an amazing resource for general knowledge and insight into Stanford University. These are also great sources of inspiration for your essays.

  1. Look for creative activities like art, music, theatre, lifestyle, clubs, and quirks about the college. List 2-3 activities and state why you are interested in participating. 

For example:

https://www.stanford.edu/campus-life/ has some great resources on the museum, arts and performance art, athletics, and community surrounding Stanford Campus. As a group of seniors graduating from Stanford, the Admission Officers are looking for incoming freshmen with diverse interests that can replace the graduating seniors and keep the Stanford community vibrant. Furthermore, Stanford’sHome of Champions for athletes, the substance-free social cardinal nights, fountain hoppings tradition are all little quirks that represent Stanford culture.

  1. Look for resumes or activities lists from alumni or current attendees from the college.

For example:

I encourage my students to interview Stanford alumni and come up with a list of Q&A to ask. It is a great way to train for college interviews. Meeting an alumnus also allows serious applicants to discover more in-depth about life at Stanford.


Step 6: Look for an online course that you can take right now. Focus on skills that transition you into the major. This gives you content to write about in college essays as well as college points on application.

For example:

For Biology Major who is interested in Medicine and infectious diseases may look forward to research with professor Cremer https://cremer.sites.stanford.edu/ His lab has developed many codes on GitHub using python. If you don’t have experience in Python, you can take an online course Python for Research with a Harvard professor right now. https://www.edx.org/course/using-python-for-research

Technology and coding have already become an indispensable part of scientific research that we believe all students must have under their belt. This is why we offer python, programming, machine learning courses in the summer and school year.


Step 7: Look over and really understand the college-specific questions and writing supplements

For example:

Here are the short Questions on Stanford Application – 50 words

  1. What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?*
  2. How did you spend your last two summers?*
  3. What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?*
  4. Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family.*
  5. Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford.*

Here are short essays on Stanford Application – 250 words

  1. The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning.*
  2. Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate – and us – get to know you better.*
  3. Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why.*


It is never too early to understand what Stanford looks for in college essays. Think outside the box as there are many stylistic approaches to write them according to your PIG (Personality, Interest, and Goals).


Step 8: Make personal connections to Stanford college-specific questions and essays.

For example: 

This part is going to be about you. Intricate details. Your essays must communicate with your activities and personality. Think about these, 

  1. Your story or your angle – what does this college have to do with your life story; your past, present, and future.
  2. Your relevant works and how they relate to your major at Stanford.
  3. Your contributions – near and long-term contribution to Stanford.
  4. Your aspirations & intellectual curiosity. Be able to explain in a few sentences why this college is an important part of your life journey.


Is college the only pathway after high school? Not necessarily.


Is college a solution to life’s bigger problems? Most likely not. But if you have the right approach and attitude towards college, you can get so much out of it.


What you get out of college is entirely up to you. Graduating from college does not guarantee job security or happiness, even if you graduated from Stanford University with 4.0 GPA bragging rights. The internet entrepreneur Justin Kan graduated from Yale with a Physics and philosophy. In 2014, he sold Twitch to Amazon for $970 million dollars and did not end up working in a physics lab in graduate school pursuing a Ph.D. College gave Justin opportunities to collaborate with like-minds and provided social platforms for his creativity and entrepreneurship to grow and excel.


Life is full of exciting uncertainties. The road to where you want to be is filled with twists and turns and is never a straight line. Make the most of every opportunity to learn, redeem the time, starting now.


Best regards,

Mr. Daniel



我是丹尼爾。 歡迎閱讀另一周的時事通訊!



選擇你的專業,你的課程,盡你所能完成學業並畢業。 如果在這個教育體系中的某個時候你陷入困境,你也可以選擇另一個專業,或者到研究所再做改變。 一切都會水到渠成。






去體驗一個新的地方? 讓父母驕傲? 學習新技能? 去賺錢? 去改變世界? 尋找人生的方向? 確保個人財務自由?


大學申請過程複雜。 並且包含有偏見和不公平的因素。 這是在將年輕人分類的一種遊戲。 大學錄取過程根據對你的 GPA、未來潛力以及招生官和政策所看到的智力能力對你進行分類。


事實上,你不僅僅是成績單上的字母和數字。 您的未加權、完全加權、UC 上限 GPA 和您的考試成績進一步物化了你。


每個人都是複雜的,有各種不同的喜好、怪癖、缺點和優點。 要參與並擊敗大學入學競爭的拼圖遊戲,最重要的方面之一是找到適合您的大學。 要做到這一點,你就必需對大學的各個角落和縫隙進行調查。




簡而言之,大學適合度因人而異。 你的學術興趣、校園生活、大學可以提供的職業機會、社交網絡效應以及獨特的文化和財務因素都是適合的一部分。 因此,必須徹底研究您申請的大學,並真正了解想要上這所大學的原因。




對於 2024畢業學生 ,斯坦福大學在合格申請者中的45227名中錄取了 2349 名(錄取率為 5.19%)。但是實際只有1607名學生入學。 而大約 10% 所錄取的學生或 235 名學生是世界各地的國際學生。




根據美國國家教育統計中心的數據,考慮到美國 2020-2021 學年大約有 370 萬應屆畢業生,然而進入斯坦福大學的機會卻極低。 無論學術背景如何,斯坦福大學絕對是一所大家的目標理想學府。


那麼你怎麼知道斯坦福是否合適你呢? 以及對於斯坦福特定的論文如何做相對應的論述?


這是當我們在與學生進行重點培訓中我會使用的 8 個步驟流程。


 1 步:檢查確認學院和大學以及有關學院的任何相關詳細信息。

從谷歌搜尋大學研究事實、統計數據和任何你能找到的東西。 不要只搜索大學排名。


首先查看斯坦福大學的網站:www.stanford.edu 蒐索學術、研究、校園生活和招生。 同時我也會使用 Niche.com、usnews.comcollegevine.com


斯坦福有 7 所學院:地球、能源和環境科學; 教育; 工程; 商學院; 人文科學; 法律; 和醫學。

如果提交,斯坦福大學會審核 SAT 或 ACT 分數(寫作:有或沒有)。

斯坦福大學有非綁定試錄取單一選擇和常規錄取。 先要了解您的申請選項。

這是斯坦福大學在他們的錄取要素選擇中所注重的評估表。 正如你所看到的,學術基礎和真正的技能對斯坦福來說非常重要。 這意味著最大限度地提高您在校內外的所有 AP/IB/Tech 課程。 當前的大三和大四學生應該盡快參加大學學分課程。 我個人更喜歡社區大學課程,而不是花哨的短期暑期課程。 花時間學習高中以外的職業技能,尤其是在高三期間。


 2 步:查看您的專業提供的學術課程

  1. 一個與​​你的專業/職業相關的


斯坦福大學要求生物學專業的 2 門實驗室課程:細胞分子生物學實驗室研究和海洋科學與變化世界中的保護實驗室。 還有一個 BIOHOPK 199H 的生物學專業榮譽課程, 這是本科研究中高於其他科目的要求。 生物專業的大四學生還可以參加結合藝術與科學的創造性 Capstone 項目。 了解您的 4 年計劃可幫助您形象化學術嚴謹性並探索斯坦福大學生物學專業的可能性

  1. 一門跨學科課程


您可能還對 Translational Bioinformatics CS275 感興趣,在那裡您可以通過機器學習和數據挖掘了解生物醫學數據在醫學中的使用。 這為人工智能和深度學習的技術顛覆帶來了真正的聯繫。

  1. 一個專業以外的學習


一門對您真正感興趣的人來說很有趣的課程。一個有趣的課程可以是 SOC31N:社交網絡,您可以在其中了解社交網絡在人類核心體驗中的作用。


  3 步:與您相關的研究機構和特定項目。

  1. 尋找1-2位您想參與的教授研究。



希望攻讀傳染病學的醫學預科生物專業學生可以申請Erin Mordecai教授的研究; 澳大利亞昆士蘭氣候對蚊媒疾病的影響。 查看他的實驗室 https://www.mordecalab.com/

  1. 尋找您感興趣的特定途徑/暑期課程/輔修/專業。


Bio199X 允許生物學專業的學生在生物學係以外進行研究。 您可以在斯坦福醫學院尋找與醫學研究相關的教師實驗室並獲得本科學分。 查看這裡的所有研究中心和研究所。  https://med.stanford.edu/school/directory.html#research-centers-&-programs



 4 步:是否有斯坦福大學的畢業生對世界產生了影響? 他們在大學學習的內容以及畢業後取得的成就。 您可以閱讀他們的傳記、風格以及他們成功的原因。

  1. 選擇1-2 個人/企業,看看這所大學如何影響個人或企業的發展。


查看 https://facts.stanford.edu/alumni/

其中一位企業家、PayPal 的聯合創始人、即將到來的 Palantir Technologies 的現任董事長 Peter Thiel 畢業於斯坦福大學。 你可以在這裡閱讀或觀看他的演講。  https://news.stanford.edu/thedish/2014/09/30/thiel-says-stanford-is-where-my-whole-life-began/

私立大學追隨母校。 他們的思維方式在財務和哲學上影響斯坦福大學的錄取政策。

  1. 發現並渴望從這些人或企業中獲得的個特點。 大學希望看到他們的畢業生取得成功並真正產生影響。


Peter Thiel 討論了影響未來的樂觀主義的重要性! 你可以在這裡閱讀更多。  https://www.inc.com/david-van-rooy/billionaire-peter-thiel-on-the-one-trait-that-will-shape-the-future.html




了解學生文化,學校代表什麼? 你能找到一些體現學校個性的幽默細節嗎?

  1. 與大學相關的Youtube 搜索。


尋找在大學主網站上找不到的精彩評論和見解。 這是 Tiffany Ong 在斯坦福最喜歡的 Youtube 視頻之一。 作為一名副修經典的 CS 畢業生,她給出了 10 條精彩的見解。 當您觀看此視頻時,您會看到她在斯坦福大學的驚人個人經歷和生活課程表明,即使在斯坦福大學,大學生活也可能令人興奮,充滿不確定性和驚喜。  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IFbJfIjMZ8&ab_channel=TiffanyOng

  1. 與專業/學院相關的在線平台。



https://www.reddit.com/r/stanford/comments/if6g6o/bio_vs_humbio/ 在這裡,您有一些關於斯坦福大學生物學與人類生物專業與醫學有關的坦誠對話。

  1. 雜誌和報紙等出版物。查看有趣的出版物和時事。 寫下 2-3 個有趣的發現。 這些通常具有現實生活中的應用和興趣。


斯坦福醫學雜誌有關於醫學和科學的各種主題的出版物和檔案。 這是對斯坦福大學的一般知識和洞察力的驚人資源。 這些也是您論文的重要靈感來源。

  1. 尋找創意活動,如藝術、音樂、戲劇、生活方式、俱樂部和有關學院的怪癖。列出 2-3 項活動並說明您有興趣參與的原因。


https://www.stanford.edu/campus-life/ 有一些關於博物館、藝術和表演藝術、體育以及斯坦福校區周圍社區的大量資源。 作為一群從斯坦福大學畢業的大四學生,招生官正在尋找具有不同興趣的新生,以取代即將畢業的大四學生並保持斯坦福社區的活力。 此外,斯坦福大學的運動員冠軍之家、無物質社交紅衣主教之夜、噴泉跳躍傳統都是代表斯坦福文化的小怪癖。

  1. 查找校友或學院當前參加者的簡歷或活動列表。


我鼓勵我的學生採訪斯坦福校友,並列出要問的問答清單。 這是訓練大學面試的好方法。 與校友會面還可以讓認真的申請者更深入地了解斯坦福大學的生活。


 6 步:尋找您現在可以參加的在線課程。 專注於使您過渡到專業的技能。 這為您提供了可以在大學論文中撰寫的內容以及申請時的大學積分。


對醫學和傳染病感興趣的生物學專業可以期待與 Cremer 教授一起研究 https://cremer.sites.stanford.edu/ 他的實驗室在 GitHub 上使用 python 開發了許多代碼。 如果您沒有 Python 方面的經驗,您可以立即與哈佛大學教授一起學習 Python for Research 在線課程。  https://www.edx.org/course/using-python-for-research

技術和編碼已經成為科學研究不可或缺的一部分,我們相信所有學生都必須掌握這些。 這就是我們在夏季和學年提供 Python、編程、機器學習課程的原因。




以下是斯坦福申請的簡短問題 – 50 

  1. 當今社會面臨的最重大挑戰是什麼?*
  2. 你是如何度過最後兩個夏天的?*
  3. 您希望自己見證什麼歷史時刻或事件?*
  4. 簡要說明您的一項課外活動、您從事的工作或您對家庭的責任。*
  5. 說出您期待在斯坦福大學體驗的一件事。*


 以下是關於斯坦福申請的短文 – 250 

  1. 斯坦福社區對課堂內外充滿好奇和動力。反思一個讓你真正對學習感到興奮的想法或經歷。*
  2. 斯坦福大學幾乎所有的本科生都住在校園裡。給你未來的室友寫一張便條,揭示一些關於你的事情,或者這將有助於你的室友——以及我們——更好地了解你。*
  3. 告訴我們一些對您有意義的事情以及原因。*


了解斯坦福大學在大學論文中尋找什麼永遠不會太早。 跳出框框去思考,根據您的 PIG(個性、興趣和目標)用很多不同風格方法去編寫。


 8 步:與斯坦福大學特定的問題和論文建立個人聯繫。


這部分將是關於你的。 複雜的細節。 你的論文必須與你的活動和個性相聯繫。 想想這些,

  1. 你的故事或你的角度——這所大學與你的人生故事有什麼關係?你的過去、現在和未來。
  2. 您的相關工作以及它們與您在斯坦福大學的專業的關係。
  3. 您的貢獻– 對斯坦福的近期和長期貢獻。
  4. 你的抱負和求知欲。能夠用幾句話解釋為什麼這所大學是你人生旅程的重要組成部分。


大學是高中畢業後的唯一途徑嗎? 並不一定是。


大學是生活中更大問題的解決方案嗎? 很可能不是。 但是如果你對大學有正確的方法和態度,你可以從中得到很多。


你從大學裡得到什麼完全取決於你。 即使你畢業於斯坦福大學並獲得 4.0 GPA 有炫耀的權利,大學畢業也不能保證工作安全或幸福。互聯網企業家賈斯汀·坎畢業於耶魯大學,主修物理學和哲學。  2014 年,他以 9.7 億美元的價格將 Twitch 賣給了亞馬遜,並最終沒有在研究生院的物理實驗室工作,攻讀博士學位。 大學為賈斯汀提供了與志同道合的合作機會,並為他的創造力和創業精神的成長和卓越提供了社交平台。


生活充滿了令人興奮的不確定性。 通往你想去的地方的道路充滿曲折,從來都不是一條直線。 充分利用每一次學習的機會,珍惜時間,從現在開始。