Frequently Asked Questions

Preparing for Arrival

Approaching Stanford Forms


Financial & Medical

Academics & Enrollment



What do I need to do first?

  1. If you have not done so already, you must set up your SUNet ID. Your unique Stanford University Network ID (SUNet ID) identifies you as part of the Stanford community and will allow you to gain access to your Stanford email account, financial aid information, the Stanford Canvas portal, course enrollment, and other secure websites and applications.
  2. Check your Stanford Email. Weekly Approaching Stanford newsletters will be delivered to your Stanford email address beginning in May. Note: You will need to wait 24 hours after setting up your SUNet ID before you can access your Stanford email.
  3. Visit Approaching Stanford's website and familiarize yourself with the contents:

I'm an international (non-U.S. citizen) student, what do I need to do?

International students are non-US citizens/permanent residents for whom Bechtel issues visa documents. You will receive more information from Bechtel during the summer. In the meantime, you can find new international student information on their website or email Bechtel with your questions. 

All international students should:

Where do I find my Stanford student ID number (SUID)?

You can find your SUID number on on your acceptance letter from Dean Rick Shaw and on your Approaching Stanford Forms under your student photo.

How do I change my preferred name?

Go to Axess > Click on “Student Center” > Scroll down to Personal Information > Edit your Preferred Name. You can edit your Preferred First and Preferred Middle Name(s). If you do not want your middle name to appear on your account (Stanford email, Canvas, etc.) as part of your preferred name, you can delete your middle name from the preferred middle name field. If you change your preferred first name this summer, please notify the Approaching Stanford team and we will update your name in our e-Newsletter program. Note: changes made in Axess will take about 24 hours to register in the system.

What's Canvas and how do I access it?

Canvas is a secure Stanford system which all students will be required to use for their courses during the academic year. In the Approaching Stanford portal in Canvas this summer, we will provide the Approaching Stanford Checklist for required actions items to be completed this summer. We will also host online chats with staff and faculty, Q&A sessions with university offices, and also various discussion boards answering FAQs about topics such as moving to Stanford, completing the Approaching Stanford Forms, housing preferences, and more. Log in to read questions posted by your classmates and post your own questions for the Approaching Stanford team and other University administrators to answer in this secure setting. Your SUNet ID and password will be required to log in. Canvas will open on May 8 for first-years, and on June 5 for transfers.

What if I need an academic or housing accommodation?

If you have a medical condition, including severe food allergy, pet allergy, or documented disability, contact the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) to discuss accommodations you might need at Stanford: (650) 723-1066 or TTY (650) 723-1067. Be sure to contact the OAE by June 26, 2020 if you need to request a housing accommodation. For more information, review the registration process online at for OAE Accommodations.

How do I change my mailing address?

Go to Axess > Click on “Student Center” > Scroll down to Personal Information > Edit your mailing address. We use the mailing address you list in Axess for your Approaching Stanford mailings, so be sure it is up-to-date and notify if it changes during the summer. We use the US Postal Service (USPS) for all our mailings. Note: changes made in Axess will take about 24 hours to register in the system.

Where does my high school counselor send my final report and transcript?

Your final report and transcript should be sent by your high school counselor to the Office of Undergraduate Admission by July 1. Instructions for sending these reports were included in your acceptance packet from the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

  • Mail: Stanford University | Office of Undergraduate Admission at Montag Hall | 355 Galvez Street | Stanford, CA 94305-6106
  • Email:

How do I join "The Official Stanford Class of 2024" or "Official Stanford University Transfers 2020" Facebook group?

Members of the incoming undergraduate Stanford Class of 2024 or the 2020 Stanford transfers can request to join "The Official Stanford Class of 2024" or "Official Stanford University Transfers 2020" Facebook Group after they have watched our Stanford Community Video. Only matriculated undergraduate members of the class will be approved to join. The Facebook Group is a great way for classmates to get to know each other and is managed by the Office of Undergraduate Admission "Auguste Rodin" profile from December - May and by the Approaching Stanford "Jane Stanford" profile from May and on. If you have questions about Stanford and would like a response from University administrators, please send an email to We will not respond to inquiries from Facebook. Note: there are many unofficial Facebook Groups that exist with Stanford Class of 2024 in their names. These other groups are NOT affiliated with Stanford University and we do not recommend that you join them, as information they post may be incorrect and/or they may try to mis-use your identity.

Can I change information on my Approaching Stanford Forms before the deadline?

If you have already submitted your Forms and the deadline has not yet passed, send an email to indicating your requested change and we will help you make the change. Some information on the Personal Information Form has been auto-filled from details on your admission application - to request a change, contact

Can I change information on my Approaching Stanford Forms after the deadline?

If you need to make a change to the Forms after the deadline, please send an email with the request to using your email account. Depending on the issue, we may be able to make the change, but many offices start using the information right away so only certain changes are allowed.

How do I check my email?

Log in to your Stanford email account at The University will send communications, including important notifications, only to this email account and you should use it when contacting university offices so that they can verify your identity as the sender. You are responsible for checking your Stanford email regularly. You can configue your email settings at For problems with your Stanford email, submit a Help Ticket to Stanford IT.

How do I access my email on my mobile device or desktop computer?

All new undergraduate students can access their email account using the Microsoft Exchange online service, Office 365, which provides cloud-based email and calendaring. Outlook is the web-based email client for Office 365 and will let you access your Stanford email, calendar, address book, and tasks on any computer through a web browser. To set up a desktop email client or mobile device to access your email, see the Office 365 configuration instructions. You can also use your account to log in to Google Drive and to use Google Apps, but you cannot access Stanford email on Gmail.

What if I'm having problems with Two-Step Authentication or with my SUNet ID?

Two-Step Authentication is required to access secure Stanford systems and protects your Stanford account should someone else learn your password. You can read more and update your authentication method at We recommend that anyone who travels internationally set their two-step authentication method to Duo Mobile Passcode, which allows you to generate your authentication code on your mobile device without an internet or cellular connection.

If you need a one-time only Two-Step Authentication bypass code, go to, select "Lost your two-step device", get your one-time bypass code, and immediately resest your Two-Step Authentication method. You will only be able to use this option once, so be sure you reset your Two-Step method as soon as you gain access to your account.

If you lose access to your account a second time or if you have forgotten your SUNet ID/password, contact Stanford IT by calling (650) 725-HELP, Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. If you cannot call them, submit a Help Request - they will still need to talk to you via phone/internet to verify your identity before giving you access to your account.

How do I submit a photo for my ID card?

Your photo is required for your Stanford ID card. The photo upload process is through a system maintained by the ID Card Office. If you have trouble uploading your photo, check to ensure that:

  • You are using a compatible browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. Safari is not compatible.
  • You have selected a photo that meets the requirements: you are the only person in the photo; the background is solid white or light; you are facing forward with eyes open; no hats or sunglasses.
  • You have submitted your photo in an acceptable format: png, gif, jpg, or jpeg.
  • You have submitted a photo file that is 2MB or smaller.
  • You have correctly cropped your photo. It will not be accepted if the width is larger than the height.

If you have met the above requirements and are still experiencing trouble, please submit a Help Ticket for the ID Card Office.

In addition to being used for your Stanford ID card, this photo is used for the printed Stanford Lookbook, a publication of the photos, names, hometowns, and dorm assignments of first year students and new transfers which every new student receives on Move-In Day. Your photo may also be displayed in your dorm by your residence staff. You may opt out of being included in the Stanford Lookbook and residence displays by sending an email to with your request by the Approaching Stanford Forms deadline of June 5.

How do I enroll in the Installment Payment Plan (IPP)?

To enroll in the Installment Payment Plan (deadline extended to August 1, 2020 for Autumn Quarter) you must log in to Axess > Click on "Student" > Scroll down to the "Finances" section > Select "Other Financial" on the drop-down menu > Select "Enroll in Installment Payment Plan".

If I complete the online Vaden Health Forms, do I also need to send in my immunization record?

You must complete both the online Forms as well as send in an official copy of your immunization forms to Vaden Heath Center using the Stanford Immunization Form for Non-Medical Students. You can submit an electronic record in VadenPatient or email, fax, or mail these records to Vaden Health Center.

Why is there an Enrollment Hold on my account in Axess? How do I get it lifted?

New Student Advising: Every incoming first-year and transfer student has a standard "New Student Advisement" enrollment hold. While enrollment opens on September 1 for continuing students, new students will not be able to enroll until they have completed an initial academic advising conversation with your Academic Advisor (Academic Advising Director or Academic Advisor for Student-Athletes) and attended the required programs of New Student Orientation (NSO). In August, your Academic Advisor will contact you by email and invite you to schedule an advising conversation. In September, during NSO, the enrollment hold will be released for all new students and you will be able to log in to Axess and enroll in your Autumn Quarter courses if you have completed this advising conversation.

Student Check-In: You will also have a "Student Check-In" hold that will prevent enrollment. You will complete the Student Check-In as part of the Approaching Stanford Forms process by logging into Axess and following the Student Check-In instructions online. You will be required to update your Student Check-In on an annual basis.

Vaden Health Center: If you did not complete your Vaden Health Requirements by the required deadlines, there may be a "Vaden Health Requirements" enrollment hold on your account. To have this hold released, you must submit your missing health records/forms.

International Students: International students (non-US citizens, non-Permanent Residents) have an enrollment hold that Bechtel International Center will release upon confirmation that you have arrived to Stanford. More information will be provided for remote enrolled students.

Can I get proof of enrollment?

Once you enroll in courses and submit a Study List, enrollment verifications can be obtained online through Axess. However, as a new student, you cannot enroll in Autumn Quarter courses until your New Student Enrollment Hold is released in September. If you need verification for scholarship or insurance purposes, you should first inform the scholarship agency or insurance company that Stanford frosh will not be able to enroll in courses until September; thus, enrollment verifications will not be available until after that date. Sometimes a copy of your acceptance letter will suffice or companies will provide an extension. If you still need proof of enrollment, please send an email to and we will provide a letter of explanation.

When are the Language Placemnt Tests? Should I take one?

Online written language placement tests are offered June-August. Check the schedule at Language Sequences and Placement.

The placement tests are necessary if you are trying to fulfill the language requirement or if you plan to continue classes in a language with which you have familiarity. Placement tests may diagnose you as needing one to three quarters of additional study for the language before the requirement can be fulfilled. Placement test results are valid for one year.

When is International Student Orientation (ISO) and how do I register for it? Who should attend ISO?

All international students attending ISO must register by checking the ISO box on the "Life on the Farm" form of their Approaching Stanford Forms. International (non-US citizen, non-permanent resident) students for whom the Bechtel International Center will issue visa paperwork are required to attend and therefore cannot participate in any pre-orientation program that conflicts with ISO timing. US citizens living abroad, including those with dual citizenship, US Permanent Residents, and students for whom Bechtel does not issue immigration documents for, are not required to attend, but may request approval to attend on the Approaching Stanford Forms and provide an explanation. Bechtel will review all requests and determine which ones are appropriate to approve. All other students will arrive on Move-In Day for New Student Orientation (NSO).

When is New Student Orientation (NSO)? Is NSO required?

New Student Orientation (NSO) is required for all new incoming transfers and first-year students. NSO will be fully virtual for 2020-21, with schedule information and links in Canvas. Orientation programming will be September 9-13, with classes beginning September 14.

Why do I see different terms used at Stanford; am I a "first-year", "frosh", or "freshman"?

At Stanford, we are gradually moving away from the term "freshman/freshmen" and beginning to use the term "first-year(s)" to refer to undergraduate students in their first year. As we make this shift, you will continue to see both "first-year" and "freshman" being used by different offices and departments, but should gradually begin to see "freshman" being phased out. We will continue to use "frosh" more informally when referring to first-year students and the first-year experience!

Can I enroll in Summer Quarter at Stanford?

No, new incoming undergraduate first-year and transfer students cannot enroll at Stanford in the Summer Quarter (including online courses) nor can they live in campus housing designated for undergraduate students prior to their first year, unless they are participating in a VPUE-sponsored program by invitation. Exceptions are very rarely granted.