The Ivy Coach Daily

April 5, 2021

Duke University Class of 2025 Admissions Statistics

Duke should release the percentage of students who earned admission without test scores.

Duke University has released Regular Decision notifications to its Class of 2025. In all, 2,014 students were admitted in the Regular Decision round to Duke’s incoming class, a figure that includes 107 students who earned admission subsequent to an Early Decision deferral. These students were drawn from a record-setting pool of 44,481 Regular Decision applicants. The Regular Decision tally, which stood at 35,478 for the Class of 2024, was up by a margin of 25.4%. Yes, 25.4%. Duke, as per usual, is seeking to fill their class with about 1,720 students. When you factor out the deferred Early Decision applicants who subsequently earned admission in April, this means that Duke’s Regular Decision admit rate dropped to an all-time low of 4.28%. To put the figure in historical context, the RD admit rate for the Duke Class of 2024 was 6%, while the RD admit rate for the Duke Class of 2023 was 5.7%. Of course, for the Class of 2024 and 2023, 10% of the seats weren’t already filled with students admitted the prior year who opted to take gap years as was true for the Class of 2025.

Duke’s Admissions Czar Reveals the Percentage of Students Who Applied Without Test Scores

As we correctly forecasted back in January, Duke proved a harbinger of Regular Decision application numbers across the spectrum of highly selective universities in America this spring. And why were applications up so much? Let’s allow Duke’s longtime Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag answer that one. As he states to The Duke Chronicle in a piece by Mona Tong entitled “Duke admits record-low 4.3% of regular decision applicants,” “’44 percent of our applicants didn’t submit SAT or ACT scores. I think a significant number of those students felt that their SAT or ACT scores might not have been the strongest part of their application, so they felt as if they could be stronger candidates without them. I also think that students who were never able to take the SAT or ACT were relieved that they weren’t required this year,’ he wrote. Guttentag added that the increase in early applications at other schools and the resulting decrease in early acceptance rates ’meant that some students and families were even more anxious about the chances of regular decision admission.’ He wrote that this may have led to students applying to more colleges than they normally would.”

Duke’s Admissions Czar Fails to Reveal the Percentage of Students Who Earned Admission Without Test Scores

And while we applaud Christoph Guttentag for releasing the percentage of applicants who didn’t submit test scores, we would urge him to be even more transparent in the days to come. How can he be more transparent? That’s easy. Duke needs to release the percentage of students who earned admission without test scores, a glaring omission in the current release. Who cares how many students applied without test scores? We want to stack up the percentage of students who earned admission with scores against the percentage of students who earned admission without scores. After all, if these numbers are even or if the students who earned admission without test scores outnumber the students who earned admission with test scores, Duke would have nothing to hide. But if Duke — and all highly selective colleges — expect parents and students to believe “test-optional” admissions policies in which students with great test scores allegedly have no advantage over students with no scores, then they’ve got to release the numbers. Christoph Guttentag, through his long tenure in Duke’s admissions office, has a history of telling it like it is. Now is no time to skirt the truth.

Congratulations to our students at Ivy Coach who earned admission to Duke University’s Class of 2025!

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