On Wednesday evening, 753 high school seniors will find out they are the first members of Duke University's Class of 2017.
This year, 2,540 students applied under Duke's Early Decision program, the second-largest number recorded. Those who apply via this process have already selected Duke as their first-choice college, and commit to enroll at the university if they receive an offer of admission in December.
Students admitted through Early Decision this year will represent 44 percent of next fall's incoming class, which is expected to include 1,705 students. Of the 753 students offered admission, 618 will enroll in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the remaining 135 will enroll in the Pratt School of Engineering.
North Carolina, New York, California, Florida and New Jersey are the states with the greatest representation among students admitted through Early Decision. States with the largest increases include North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Colorado and Maryland.
Students of color comprise 29 percent, 1 percent fewer than last year, and international students make up 7 percent of those admitted, unchanged from 2011.
Last year, the university accepted 647 students through Early Decision. Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag said the quality of the Early Decision pool led to the increase in offers of admission.
"We always approach Early Decision curious to see what the applicant pool will be like, and without a preconceived notion of how many students we will be able accept," Guttentag said. "Some years -- such as last year -- we end up admitting the same number as the year before. This year there were considerably more students whose applications were compelling, and we appreciate the interest of those exceptional students who know Duke is their clear first choice."
Starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, students will be able to receive their decisions online by visiting a website. Typically several hundred students view their decisions in the first several minutes, with most viewing their decisions within an hour.
Guttentag said the majority of places in the Class of 2017 would continue to be filled by Regular Decision applicants. Last year, Duke received almost 29,000 Regular Decision applications, a record, and this year will likely be as selective to fill the remaining 962 places in the class, he added.
Of those who applied via Early Decision this year, 607 were deferred to the spring Regular Decision process.
The deadline for Regular Admission is Jan. 2, and final decisions will be made available to students on March 30.