18.8% of reg. decision applicants admitted
By: Emmeline Zhao
Anxious students will open their mailboxes this week to find large envelopes-invitations to Duke's Class of 2012.
A total of 3,814 acceptance letters were mailed out earlier this week to the 20,337 high school seniors that applied to Duke in the Fall, resulting in a record-low regular decision acceptance rate of 18.8 percent. Of the applicants, 2,933 were accepted to the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and 881 were admitted to the Pratt School of Engineering.
"We're extremely happy with our applicant pool," Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag said. "I'm very pleased with who we admitted and I could tell just in the early-decision applicants that these were some really interesting and very talented students."
With the 472 students who were accepted under the early-decision process, a total of 4,286 applicants have been invited to be a part of Duke's Class of 2012. The University expects to admit an additional 50 to 75 students off the waitlist in May, Guttentag said.
"It turns out that applicants to elite institutions seem to be on the rise in general, but I think that our acceptance rate going down is really the key statistic," Dean of Undergraduate Education Steve Nowicki said. "And that's evidence that we're very much on the rise-Duke still hasn't hit a plateau of excellence, we're still getting better and better."
The record-low acceptance rate is an indicator of the University's record-high selectivity, Provost Peter Lange said.
This year's applicant pool also had a record number of international applicants, applicants from North Carolina and children of alumni, as well as more students from a wider range of income levels and geographic locations away from the east coast. Guttentag said this shift in concentration reflects the size and quality of the applicant pool.
"The west coast is interesting because nationally it's the farthest away, so really getting recognition out there is another indicator of how important Duke is," Nowicki said. "Let's not forget that one of our biggest competitors is out there, so if we're stealing some students from Stanford [University], that's great."
Still, Guttentag said a certain level of uncertainty exists regarding who will actually make up next year's freshman class. Peer institutions such as Harvard University, Princeton University and the University of Virginia discontinued their early decision and early action programs, and the effects of that change are hard to predict, he said.
Another source of uncertainty stems from the many financial aid changes recently implemented by other universities.
"We don't know how families will respond to all of those, but I expect that we will see a benefit from the change," Guttentag said.
The admitted Class of 2012 also boasts one of the most diverse groups of students in recent years as a record number have already signed up for the Black Student Alliance invitational and Latin student orientation, Guttentag said.
"We can actually demonstrate that diversity matters," Nowicki said. "For students to be interacting with others who are not like themselves... that really matters in the long run in terms of the education of our students because students who encounter other people who are not like them simply do better."
Guttentag said the admitted students have already produced a record-high number of registrants for Blue Devil Days, indicating that interest in Duke is on the rise.
"Even if it's hard to quantify, this feels like an interesting, fun class-a class where the students are really going to enjoy each other's company and learn from each other," he said. "It just feels like a lot of great, nice, talented, smart students. And we'll find out for sure in August."