Duke Offers Admission to 2,500 High School Seniors

More than 32,000 students applied for admission this year -- the second highest number ever received.

About 2,500 high school seniors from across the country and around the world who go online at 7 p.m. ET Thursday will learn they have been accepted to Duke University.

More than 32,000 students applied for admission this year -- the second highest number ever received -- with more than 28,600 students applying under Duke’s Regular Decision program. Among the Regular Decision applicant pool, 2,501 students -- 8.7 percent -- will receive a notice of acceptance today inviting them to become members of the Class of 2020. Another 49 students who applied Early Decision and whose decisions were deferred to March will also learn they have been admitted.

These students have until May 1 to make their final decisions.

In December, 818 students were admitted under the university's binding Early Decision program, comprising 48 percent of the Class of 2020.

"This is the first year we’ve admitted fewer than 9 percent of our Regular Decision applicants," said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions. "In reading their recommendations it’s clear that overwhelmingly these are students committed not just to their own education, but to their schools and communities as well. They’re so involved and engaged outside of the classroom, and we’re delighted when they bring that energy and commitment to Duke.

“What’s difficult is that we end up not being able to admit so many applicants who would be terrific Duke students. We only have 1,705 places in the class, and we didn’t have room for many of the compelling candidates.”

Duke's admissions policy is "need blind" for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, meaning that applicants are accepted regardless of their ability to pay for college. Duke also meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

This is also the first year for the Washington Duke Scholars, a program for exceptionally talented students from around the country who are the first in their families to attend college and who have demonstrated financial need.

"I’m proud of the commitment that the university makes to an affordable Duke education," Guttentag said. "We’re encouraged to admit students who are not just talented, but who will bring a wide range of experiences and perspectives to campus as well. There’s no doubt that the university benefits from what they bring to campus.”

All admitted students are invited to campus for Blue Devil Days, a series of two-day events that provide students and their parents opportunities to discuss Duke's offerings with faculty and administrators, attend classes and tour Duke's campus. Participants also can get acquainted with other members of the Class of 2020. This year, Blue Devil Days will be held at three different times: April 7-8, April 18-19 and April 24-25.  

All applicants will be able to receive their decisions online, but only those students who are admitted will receive mailed letters. As in previous recent years, students will be able to reply online to offers of admission or the opportunity to be placed on the waiting list.