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Duke Offers Admission to 3,342 Applicants
Durham, NC - Duke University this week offered admission in the Class of 2012 to 3,342 high school seniors from across the country and around the world.
The students were selected from a pool of 20,337 applicants, the largest in Duke's history. The university seeks to enroll 1,657 first-year students this fall. In December, 472 students were admitted under Duke's early decision program, bringing the total number of admitted students to 3,814. They were notified by mail and online.
This represents an 18.8 percent overall acceptance rate, a record low for the university. Last year the rate was 20 percent.
"While we're naturally pleased with the size and quality of the applicant pool, what matters more is that the students we've accepted are exactly the kind of individuals we want at Duke -- talented, accomplished, interesting, deeply engaged in their communities, ambitious and just good, nice people," said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions.
Almost one in six applicants with a class rank was ranked first in his or her class. Of those admitted, 585 were valedictorians and 1,570 had SAT scores of 1,500 or higher.
Of the total admitted, 2,933 were accepted to the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and 881 were accepted to the Pratt School of Engineering.
The admitted class includes a record number of international students (277), students from North Carolina (466) and children of alumni (300).
Guttentag said Duke's new financial aid initiatives and the new DukeEngage program were likely factors in the increased interest in Duke among students.
"Many of the admissions officers noticed in particular that DukeEngage came up often in applicants' essays," Guttentag said.
In February 2007, Duke announced the DukeEngage program, which provides significant funding and faculty support to undergraduates who want to apply classroom learning to addressing societal issues at home and abroad in an immersive service experience.
"I believe much of the increase in applications has arisen from the visibility and considerable appeal of DukeEngage, and from the changes in our financial aid practices benefiting low- and middle-income families," Guttentag said.
In December, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead announced significant enhancements to the university's financial aid program. These included eliminating parental contributions for families who make less than $60,000 a year; making it possible for students from families with incomes below $40,000 to graduate debt-free; reducing loans for students from families with incomes up to $100,000; and capping loans for eligible families with incomes above $100,000.
The new financial aid initiatives -- expected to benefit as many as 2,500 of Duke's 6,250 undergraduates -- are projected to increase average grant support $2,500 annually for each need-based aid recipient, reducing the average costs to these students and their families by $10,000 over four years. Officials estimate that next year's average need-based grant will exceed $30,000.
Guttentag said it's difficult to predict how many students will accept Duke's offer of admission, in part because of changes in financial aid practices and early-decision programs at peer institutions.
"There's a little more uncertainty for all of us this year in predicting the exact number of students accepting our offer of admission. Normally we prefer to admit about 50 students from the waiting list, but we're less sure this year how many we'll be able to admit. We might end up admitting a few more but, given the increased response we've seen so far to our on-campus programs, we might end up admitting fewer. It's an interesting year," he said.
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