The Ivy Coach Daily

January 14, 2021

Duke Is A Harbinger of Class of 2025 Regular Decision Figures

Duke received a record haul of applications this year.

The early word is that Duke University has received just over 49,500 applications to the Class of 2025. It’s a figure that includes both Early Decision and Regular Decision applications. In the Early round, as our readers may remember, over 5,000 students made binding commitments to attend the Durham, North Carolina-based institution (a figure that was up by about 20% from the Early round for the Class of 2024). By our math, this means that about 44,500 students applied Regular Decision to Duke’s Class of 2025. It’s a figure that is about 10,000 applications higher than last year, which is most remarkable. And what percentage of Regular Decision applicants does Duke intend to admit?

Duke Anticipates Admitting Between 4.5 – 5% of Regular Decision Applicants

According to Duke University’s always forthright Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag, as stated in a letter he released to colleagues, “We expected more applications than last year, considering our increases in Early Decision and QuestBridge candidates, but the increase in our Regular Decision applicants significantly exceeded our predictions. Given the number of applications and the number of students returning from a gap year, we anticipate admitting between 4.5 and 5 percent of our Regular Decision applicants. It’s a humbling and sobering task to identify essentially one in twenty applicants for an offer of admission, and we know we’re going to disappoint many exceptionally qualified candidates, but my staff and I remain committed to giving each applicant full consideration.” Last year, by comparison, 6% of Regular Decision applicants earned admission to Duke. And, hey, it’s not like applications surged because Duke advanced far in March Madness last spring. Often times, applications do go up big time at Duke when Coach K leads the men’s basketball team to the Final Four and beyond. Yet there was no March Madness last spring! It was, of course, canceled due to the pandemic.

We Believe the Regular Decision Figures at Duke Are a Harbinger of RD Numbers at Many Elite Universities

So to all those folks who left us scratching our heads by suggesting that our nation’s elite universities would expand their class sizes to accommodate the admits to the Class of 2024 who deferred their admission by a year, well, it does not look like you were right. We told you that these schools weren’t building dorms during a worldwide pandemic to make room for increased class sizes yet you doubted Ivy Coach’s crystal ball. If there is one thing and only one thing our loyal readers know, it’s don’t ever doubt Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball. And why? Because it’s too often right. More students applied to more universities this year — maybe due to uncertainty, maybe because they simply had more time on their hands since we’re all stuck at home. Students who in an ordinary year likely wouldn’t have applied to some elite universities applied this year thinking they just might get in without scores. And all this has led to skyrocketing applications and nosediving admission rates. Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball hereby forecasts that Duke’s Regular Decision numbers will be a harbinger of Regular Decision numbers at the vast majority of our nation’s elite universities this year. They are going to be up. And they are going to be up big. You heard it here first.

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