Admissions by the Numbers

January 31, 2007
Duke admissions applications

Duke has received almost 18,500 applications for the 1,665 places in the class that will enter Duke this fall—the second-largest applicant pool in the school's history.

The total of 18,495 applicants was exceeded only by last year's total of 19,387, and represents 1,748 more applications, or an increase of 10.4 percent, compared to three years ago.

"For a long time we've been fortunate to have many more students applying than we can admit," says Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions. "I'm pleased that we're close to last year's record. The size and scope of the applicant pool this year reflects the continued recognition on the part of students and their families of Duke's academic and intellectual opportunities. We know, too, from talking with students that the university's sense of energy and spirit are an important part of what makes Duke so appealing."

Over three months, admissions officers will read and evaluate each of the applications. In early April the admissions office will notify applicants of its admissions decisions online as well as through the mail.

The entering class will include 475 applicants who were admitted in December through the early decision program, a drop of 20 percent from last year compared with a drop of 3.3 percent for regular decision applications. This round of early decision followed an announcement last fall by Harvard University that it was ending its early-action admissions program. At that time, some college-admissions experts speculated that the move might spark a trend among top colleges. But soon after, President Richard H. Brodhead announced that Duke would not follow Harvard's example, saying Duke's limited use of the process to accept qualified students who clearly want to enroll made sense.

Among the full applicant pool, a record 1,756 students applied from North and South Carolina, and more than 700 applicants are children of Duke alumni. This year's pool of applicants also includes 1,252 Latino students, 2,037 African-American students, and 4,995 Asian and Asian-American students. "The number of students of color applying to Duke continues to increase; as a result Duke now has one of the most diverse student bodies of any of the nation's leading private universities," Guttentag says.

In addition, 2,141 international students have applied for admission, up from 1,985 last year and nearly double the number of international applicants five years ago.

"Since the university expanded its financial-aid program several years ago to include international students, we've seen a steady increase in the number of students from foreign countries who are interested in Duke," Guttentag says.