Approaching Stanford Forms Instructions

**Approaching Stanford will begin for the class of 2022 on May 14, 2018. The information on this page will be updated for new students in the class of 2022 and new transfers in May 2018. The content on this page is for Approaching Stanford 2017.**


In order to enroll at Stanford, all new first-year and transfer students are required to complete the Approaching Stanford Forms. 

The information you provide in these forms (first-year housing preferences, academic information and interests, personal interests, parental/guardian contact information, etc.) will be used by university staff to get to know you better and to prepare for your arrival. First-year housing is assigned through the Approaching Stanford Forms. 

Detailed information about EACH Approaching Stanford Form


  • If you need a one-time only Two-Step Authentication code, go to, select "Lost your two-step device", get your one-time code and RESET your Two-Step Authentication method. You will only be able to use this option once, so be sure you reset your Two-Step method at as soon as you gain access to your account. If you lose access to your account a second time, contact Stanford IT by calling (650) 725-HELP, 7am-7pm M-F. If you cannot call them, submit a Help Request - they will still need to talk to you via phone/internet to verify your identity.
  • See "Questions" below for more common issues and questions.


Submit your Approaching Stanford Forms by the appropriate deadline. All students who submit their forms by the deadline will be considered equally; housing and first-year course assignments are not assigned by order of submission. 

Class Year

Forms Open

DEADLINE (Forms Close)

First-Years Monday, May 15, 2017 Friday, June 9, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. (PDT)
Transfers Monday, June 12, 2017 Friday, June 30, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. (PDT)

Important Notes

  • You, the student, must complete your own Approaching Stanford Forms. You may not authorize another individual to complete them on your behalf. Disclosure of your SUNet ID password is not permitted. 
  • Complete your forms by the deadline. We access your information immediately once the deadline has passed and begin the processes for program selections, housing assignments, course assignments, advisor match, and more. If you do not fully complete the required forms by the deadline, we may not be able to consider your preferences nor have critical items such as your Stanford ID Card ready for you when you arrive on Move-In Day.


  1. Log in to your Approaching Stanford Forms. You will need to authenticate with your SUNet ID and Two-Step Authentication.  
  2. Read the instructions on each form and complete all forms by the posted deadline. You can work on your forms in any order. You do not have to complete them all at once, just be sure to save frequently. For security reasons, the system will time out after 20 minutes of inactivity.
  3. First-year students will also need to read the Thinking Matters Catalog and information about First-Year Housing Options to complete the forms.
  4. When you are finished, click 'Find Errors' to have the system verify that your forms are ready to be submitted. If you receive error messages, please resolve them. 
  5. When all errors have been resolved and you are satisfied with your forms, click the 'Submit Forms' button. You will receive an email confirmation when your forms have been received. Once you submit them, your forms will be in 'View-Only' format. While you can see your responses, you cannot make any additional edits to your forms. 
  6. Log out of your session to protect the confidentiality of your information, especially if you are using a public terminal.


  • There are several forms to complete, so don't wait until the last minute to start. Start early to give yourself time to resolve any questions or form errors. 
  • Take your time & trust yourself- read the material provided and be thoughtful and honest in your responses and choices. Talk to your future classmates and Stanford adminstrators to ask questions, learn more, and gather various opinions, but in the end, make your own decisions for yourself. Everyone has a unique set of interests, experiences, and expectations - you know yourself the best.
    • Check the Discussion Boards on Canvas to learn more about various programs (FroSoCo, ITALIC, SLE, ESF, Thinking Matters, Housing Options) and to get your questions answered.
    • Read Student "Course Reviews" in Carta to hear from students who took these courses.
  • You don't have to complete all the forms in one sitting. You can work on them in any order and can save as you go. Just remember that the system will automatically log you out after 20 minutes of inactivity, so save your work frequently - especially if you are composing essay responses. You may want to compose your long responses (Letter to Advisor) in a separate document and copy/paste them in when you have finished.
  • Upload your PHOTO as soon as possible to avoid processing delays. Use a compatible browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Google Chrome. Safari is not compatible. Once your photo has been received, it will be reveiwed by the ID Card Office and you will receive an email notification within a few business days. You can submit your forms before receiving this email notification.
  • If you need to make a change after you have submitted your forms AND the forms deadline has not yet passed, email using your Stanford email account ( and indicate what changes should be made on your behalf. Changes to Housing Preferences and Thinking Matters, ESF, and ILE Preferences cannot be accepted after the deadline.


If you have questions or are having difficulty with your Approaching Stanford Forms, contact the Approaching Stanford team at (650) 723-7674,, or on Canvas. Please keep in mind that our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (PDT), so please do not wait until the evening before your forms are due to contact us with questions!


  • NameCoach: If you're unable to record the pronunciation of your name in NameCoach, you can wait until you arrive to campus in September to record your name. Faculty and staff will use it to learn to say your name correctly.
  • Personal Information in Axess: If you update your personal information in Axess (preferred name, phone, address, etc.), it will take about 24 hours for the changes to be reflected in systems such as your Approaching Stanford forms, Stanford email, and Canvas. You do not need to see the changes before submitting the forms. You can update your information in Axess at any time throughout your time at Stanford.
  • Parental Information: Click "Save" after each parental contact you enter; at least one is required. Do not add a new contact or delete an existing contact until you have saved the previous contact's record. If you experience trouble saving your parental contact(s) information, email with your contact(s) complete information and we will ensure your record is updated.
  • Academic Test Scores (Frosh): If you have not yet received your test scores, enter "Unknown" or "TBD."  If you took the newest version of the SAT, enter your combined Reading/Writing score in either the Critical Reading or the Writing box. Enter "N/A" in the other box or leave it blank.
  • Letter to Advisor (Frosh): If you receive an error message when trying to save your letter, it's likely you are over the 4,000 character limit. Please shorten your letter and try to save again. You do not need to include a salutation or closing to the letter.
  • Photo: If you have uploaded your photo, go ahead and submit your Forms. You do not need to receive the photo notification email before submitting your forms. If there is a problem with your photo, you can make the edits as needed later - the delay will not affect your forms.

See Also