DURHAM, N.C. -- Last week, 602 high school seniors received notice of their acceptance to Duke University as the first members of the Class of 2014.
This year, more than 2,000 students applied under Duke’s Early Decision program, a 31 percent increase over last year’s number, and 423 more than the previous record, set in 2001. Those who apply via this process know they want to attend Duke and commit to enroll at the university if they receive an offer of admission in December.
Last year, the university accepted 548 students through Early Decision. This year’s acceptances represent a 9 percent increase in the number of students admitted. Students admitted Early Decision this year will represent 35 percent of next fall’s incoming class, which is expected to include 1,700 students.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag said the growing interest in Early Decision made it a more competitive process than in previous years. The percentage of Early Decision applicants who were accepted decreased from 36 percent in 2008 to 30 percent in 2009.
“I’m pleased we were able to offer so many students admission in our Early Decision program,” Guttentag said, “This is a group of particularly enthusiastic and talented students.”
Guttentag said the increase in Early Decision applications is partly due to families “responding so well to our financial aid initiatives. They have understood our commitment to making Duke affordable for families from every background, and have responded accordingly.”
Guttentag added that while the overwhelming majority of places would continue to be filled by Regular Decision applicants, this year would likely be at least as selective as last year. “Last year we received more than 22,350 Regular Decision applications. This year, those Regular Decision applicants will be vying for just 1,100 spaces in the class.”
North Carolina was the state most represented among students admitted Early Decision, with New York, New Jersey, California and Florida rounding out the top five. Students of color also are well represented among students admitted Early Decision, comprising more than 25 percent for only the second time in Duke’s history.
Again this year, most students received their decisions online by visiting a website. More than 400 students received their decisions in the first minute, and almost 900 received their decision in the first five minutes. Within 12 hours, 94 percent of students received their decisions online.
And about half of the admitted students joined the Duke 2014 group on Facebook within hours of receiving their decisions.
Of those that applied, 609 were denied admission and 713 were deferred to the spring Regular Decision process. The deadline for Regular Admission is Jan. 2, and decisions will be distributed in late March.