Slightly more than 3,100 high school seniors from across the country and around the world can go online at 6 p.m. Thursday (today) to learn that they have been accepted to Duke University.
A record 31,600 students applied for admission this year -- a 6 percent increase over last year and a 55 percent increase over just four years ago. Only 3,105 students -- 11 percent of the Regular Decision applicant pool -- will receive a notice of acceptance today, inviting them to become members of the Class of 2016.
These students have until May 1 to make their final decision.
In December, 648 students were admitted under the university's binding Early Decision program.
"This was clearly the most challenging year Duke has seen, both for the applicants and for the staff of the admissions office," said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions. "We've been careful not to take the dramatic increase in applications of the last several years for granted, and the admissions officers worked hard to make sure each applicant received a thorough and complete review. Many applicants received multiple evaluations, including some that were reviewed as many as seven or eight times."
Duke's admissions policy is "need blind" for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, meaning applicants are accepted regardless of their ability to pay for college. Duke also meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.
All admitted students are invited to campus for Blue Devil Days, which provides the opportunity for students and their parents to discuss Duke's offerings with faculty and administrators, attend classes and tour Duke's campus, as well as the chance to get acquainted with other members of the Class of 2016. This year, the two-day event will be held three times: on April 9-10, April 12-13 and April 15-16.
"We were struck not only by the academic qualities of our applicants, but by the degree to which so many of them were involved in community service or civic engagement programs," Guttentag said. "Over the last several years a sense of participation in a larger community has been a notable aspect of many of our applicants. They seem particularly aware of the possibilities that programs like DukeEngage, study abroad or the Center for Civic Engagement provide, and look to be especially ready to make a difference in the world beyond Duke."
All students will be able to receive their decisions online, but only those students who are admitted will automatically receive mailed letters. Students who are placed on the waiting list or denied will be sent printed letters on request, or if they have not viewed their decision online within 72 hours. For the second year in a row, students will be able to reply online to offers of admission or the opportunity to be placed on the waiting list.
For the first time, admitted students can download a Duke-themed Facebook cover image from undergraduate admissions' Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/DukeUndergradAdmissions.
"It's a great way to show school pride and get excited about sharing their news with friends and family," said Cara Rousseau, Duke's social media manager.