How to Get Into Stony Brook University – Acceptance Rate and Strategies

July 19, 2022

Located 60 miles east of New York City, Stony Brook University boasts the largest campus of any public school in the state of New York. One of two flagship institutions in the SUNY system, Stony Brook receives close to 40,000 applications. SBU has become one of the top-ranked and most diverse public schools on the East Coast. Therefore, it’s no shock that, in 2022, the Stony Brook acceptance rate is now under 50%.

In order to help you prepare for the challenges ahead on the path to becoming a Seawolf, this article will cover the following topics:

  • Stony Brook University acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, GPA, and class rank of accepted Stony Brook University applicants
  • Admissions trends
  • SBU’s system for rating applicants
  • A look at the demographics of current Stony Brook University undergraduates
  • The percent of accepted students that attend Stony Brook University (yield rate)
  • Tips for applying
  • How to assess whether applying to SBU is even worth the $50 application fee (for you)

Many students applying to SBU may also find the following blogs to be of interest:

How to Get Into:

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Stony Brook University Acceptance Rate

The Stony Brook University acceptance rate was 48% for the Class of 2025. This is a comparable figure to the 49% the previous year. Class of 2026 figures have yet to be officially released.

Stony Brook University Admissions – SAT, ACT, GPA, and Class Rank

For Class of 2025 members, the mid-50% SAT was 1320-1460. The ACT range was 29-33. It is important to point out that Stony Brook University is test-optional through at least 2023-24. Further, the average GPA was 3.94 and 71% of entering 2021-22 freshmen earned above a 3.75. Forty-four percent of this cohort placed in the top decile of their high school class and 76% finished at least in the top quartile.

Admissions Trends & Notes

  • Firstly, Stony Brook University will continue to be test-optional in 2022-23.
  • Only 8% of the 9,168 applicants to the Honors College were admitted.
  • The SAT range for admitted Honors students was 1400-1520.
  • 1,166 of the 2,900 students on the waitlist were ultimately accepted.
  • Lastly, the average accepted transfer student possesses a mid-50% college GPA of 3.3.-3.8.

How Stony Brook University Rates Applicants

Stony Brook University views three factors as “very important” to the admissions process: rigor of high school course load, GPA, and standardized test scores (despite being test-optional currently). Additionally, items that are “important” as part of the admissions process are application essays and recommendations. Further, there are 12 considered factors included extracurricular activities and class rank.

For a slightly different look at the school’s institutional priorities, we go right to their own admissions office:

  • “Admission to Stony Brook is based on a holistic review of a student’s academic record including the overall grade point average and strength of curriculum, as well as other academic and personal factors such as co-curricular and community involvement, evidence of leadership, special talents or interest.”

Since Stony Brook University wants to see achievement and leadership outside of the classroom as well, it’s important to grasp what competitive colleges are looking for when evaluating extracurricular activities. In short, they are looking for commitment and achievement in 2-3 core areas. For more, check out our blog entitled: How Many Extracurricular Activities Do I Need for College?

SBU Demographics

Next, let’s look at the demographics of Stony Brook University undergraduate student body.

The regional representation among the undergraduate student body is as follows:

  • New York State: 80%
  • Out-of-State/International: 20%

The greatest percentage of international students come from the following countries:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Taiwan
  • Canada

In terms of ethnic identity, the breakdown of the undergraduate student body is as follows:

  • White: 30%
  • Asian: 30%
  • Hispanic: 14%
  • African American: 7%
  • International: 10%

A look at the gender split reveals that university enrolls an even number of men and women.

  • Men: 50%
  • Women: 50%

Stony Brook University’s “Yield Rate”

Stony Brook University’s yield rate is 18%. For comparison, other top state schools have the following yields: University of Washington (28%), UCLA (44%), and Binghamton University (18%).

Tips for Applying 

If you plan on joining the 38,000+ Stony Brook University hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • Firstly, we encourage you to check out the step-by-step application directions offered by the university.
  • This school does not use interviews as part of their evaluation process.
  • Stony Brook University does judge you on your level of demonstrated interest. We suggest making the effort to follow them on social media, sign up for a virtual info session, visit campus (if possible), contact an admissions officer, etc.
  • Lastly, make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the 2022-23 Common App essay prompts required by SBU. In 2021-22, they also required the following supplemental prompt:

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)

Should I Apply to SBU?

Three-quarters of teens admitted to SBU finished in the top quartile of their high school class and 89% possessed at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA in a rigorous curriculum. If you check those boxes then you may be a competitive applicant and, if the school is a good fit for you, submitting an application will certainly be worth your time and $50. However, most students applying to a school of Stony Brook University’s caliber also need to also have a proper mix or “target” and “safety” schools on their college list. More on creating a balanced college list can be found here.