Early-decision applications at Duke University skyrocketed for the class of 2014. The numbers have increased by 33 percent, thanks in large part to the state of California: The number of Californians applying early decision nearly doubled from last year's 62 to 115 this year.
The major increase in early applications wasn't expected at Duke, the Chronicle reports. The total—more than 2,000 early-decision applicants—is easily the most ever, breaking the record of 1,589 that was set in 2001.
"I think if anybody had said, 'This fall, you'll see a 33 percent increase in applications . . .' I think nobody would have thought that was a reasonable prediction," Duke's Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag tells the Chronicle.
A U.S. News report says that Duke's early-decision acceptance rate is 38.3 percent. That's almost 16 percent higher than the school's overall acceptance rate, which is just 22.4 percent. Duke recently cut back its recruiting efforts because of budget constraints, visiting fewer high schools, the Chronicle report says.
"That's the odd thing—there were no extra or unusual recruitment efforts this year. We were a little more conservative with our recruitment," Guttentag tells the Chronicle.
Duke's need-blind admissions may have had an impact on the uptick in early decision applicants, the Chronicle reports. That means the current economic climate makes Duke very attractive this time of year.
"I think that people got the message that in fact . . . we're really working to make Duke affordable from a wide range of economic backgrounds," Guttentag says. "This has probably sunk in some more than in the past."