So, you’re thinking about applying to Duke, and you’re curious about your chances of admission. Well, we’re here to help! Of course, there are a lot of factors in the admissions process, and it’s impossible to accurately predict whether you’ll be admitted or not. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores. So, using those as a measure, we can give you an estimate of your chances.
With an acceptance rate of 9%, admission to Duke is extremely competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class, and have an SAT score of close to 1590, or an ACT score of around 35.
Not quite there? You still have a chance of getting in, but it’s in the single digits. Let’s take a closer look at Duke’s admission statistics.
Duke Admissions Statistics
Duke’s acceptance rate in 2016 was 9%. For students applying to the class of 2020, out of 32,110 applicants, Duke admitted 3,432. The average GPA of admitted applicants was 4.17, the average ACT score was 33, and the average SAT score was 1495.
For students who took the ACT, the 25th percentile score of successful applicants was 31, and the 75th percentile score was 34.
For students who took the SAT, the 25th percentile score was 1400. The 75th percentile score was 1590.
If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score can compensate for a slightly lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements. Still, at the 25th percentile, your chances of getting in are in the low single digits.
Other aspects of your application, such as athletics, extracurricular and recommendations, are important, but will likely only make a difference for admission if you’re in the 75th percentile range for your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.
As we said, admission to Duke is very competitive. Even if Duke is your dream school, and even if you’re in the 75th percentile, you’ll still want to make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools to ensure you’ll gain admission somewhere. Generally, you should have at least three safety schools (where you are in the 75th percentile of GPA/test scores), three reach schools (where you are in the 25th percentile of GPA/test scores) and three target schools (where you are near the average for GPA/test scores) on your list.
OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took at a look at Duke’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.
Duke Application Requirements
To apply to Duke, you’ll need to fill out the Common App, answer Duke’s supplementary questions, submit an ACT or SAT score, two SAT Subject Test scores (strongly recommended, but not required), a school report, and two letters of recommendation from your teachers. Everything should be submitted by November 1 for Early Action, and January 3 for Regular Decision.
Here’s a full list of the application requirements:
- Fill out the Duke Application, answer Duke’s supplementary questions, and pay an application fee of $85 (or apply for a fee waiver)
- Submit an ACT or SAT score
- Submit two SAT Subject Test scores (optional)
- Submit your high school transcript and a mid-year school report
- Submit two letters of recommendation from your teachers
The application deadline is November 1 for Early Action, and January 3 for Regular Decision. February 1 is the financial aid application deadline for Regular Decision, with a November 15 deadline for Early Decision. Early Action notifications are released December 15, and Regular Decision applicants find out their fates on April 1. May 1 is the reply date for admitted students.
Have you been admitted to Duke? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse at what your classmates will be like.
Duke Admitted Students Profile
If you matriculate at Duke, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study in dozens of fields.
Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:
- 48% are female, and 52% are male
- 60% attended public schools, and 40% attended private schools
- 9% are first-generation college students
Duke has a diverse class, as well, with a large number of people of color. The ethnicities of admitted applicants are:
- African American: 12%
- Asian American: 28%
- Hispanic/Latino: 10%
- Native American: 1%
What do these admitted students plan to study? Duke offers dozens of majors, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a list of some of the top programs:
- Public Policy Analysis
- Biology/Biological Sciences
Now, how are you going to pay for this?
Duke Tuition Figures
At $69,959, Duke’s cost of attendance is astronomical. But, don’t panic! Duke reports that 100% of student need is met with financial aid, and the average financial aid award is $47,816.
Here’s a fuller look at Duke tuition and financial aid in 2017:
- Total budget: $69,959
- Average financial aid package: $47,816
- The average student debt of a Duke graduate is $19,104
Now, what is life like at Duke? Let’s take a look.
Duke is located on a suburban campus in Durham, North Carolina. It is comprised of 254 Collegiate Gothic buildings, on over 8,691 acres, which include Duke Forest. Travel+Leisure Magazine named Duke as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.
Remember, you’re going to Duke for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.
Duke has dozens of majors. Some of the school’s more interesting majors are:
- Environmental Engineering
- Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies
- Global Cultural Studies
- Cultural Anthropology
- Biomedical Engineering
- Medieval & Renaissance Studies
- Political Science
- Statistical Science
- Visual & Media Studies
- Religious Studies
- Slavic & Eurasian Studies
- Theater Studies
- International Comparative Studies
- Italian Studies
- Earth & Ocean Sciences
Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at Duke.
Student Life at Duke
Duke has hundreds of student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and politics interests, and various media and publications.
Here’s a sampling of Duke’s student activities:
- Fix My Campus
- Food for Thought
- Scale & Coin
- Biology Majors Union
- Happy Kids, Healthy Kids
- On Tap
- Out of the Blue
- Duke Chinese Student Association
- Duke Students with Interracial Legacies
- Eastern European Association at Duke
- Japanese Culture Club
- Mi Gente
- Native American Student Alliance
- Black Men’s Union
- Cuban American Student Association
Are you an athlete? Duke’s got plenty of options for you.
Duke offers a large number of sports, with extensive varsity, as well as club, offerings, for both men and women. So, if you’re not up to varsity level, remember there are plenty of club and intramural sports to try out for, too.
Duke’s sports include:
- Cross-Country Running
- Field Hockey
Who might you become with a Duke degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:
Duke has produced politicians, business tycoons, entertainers, musicians, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.
Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:
- Apple CEO Timothy Cook
- Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Gates Foundation
- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver
- WNBA star Alana Beard
- Journalist Judy Woodruff
- United States Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
- United States Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky
- Pulitzer Prize winning novelist William Styron
- Musician Les Brown
- Former President of the United States Richard Milhous Nixon
- Journalist Charlie Rose
- Physician Paul Farmer
And this is only a partial list!
Getting into Duke is extremely competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no. If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you have a great chance of getting into at least one of the more competitive schools. And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are. If you work hard, you’ll end up at a school that’s right for you, and still get a great education.
If you need to boost your GPA or test scores before application time rolls around, you should consider signing up for a course with Prep Expert. We offer one-on-one tutoring and classes, both in-person at locations throughout the United States, as well as online. Our expert teachers and tutors will not only share with you tried and true methods for improving your score, but also help you correct deficiencies in any subject that you’re having difficulty with—English, Writing, Mathematics or Science. Additionally, online classes can be watched On Demand, so if you miss a class due to your busy schedule, you can catch it online later. We have helped hundreds of students get the scores they need to attend the school of their dreams.
Best of luck with your applications and go check out Prep Expert!
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