Early Decision at Duke

Duke Early Decision, Early Applicants at Duke, Duke University Early Applications

The Duke Early Decision applicant pool is up 26% this year. That’s quite the jump!

Applications for Early Decision at Duke are up tremendously this year. With almost 3,200 students submitting applications in the Early Decision round, Duke saw a whopping 26% rise in applications this fall. The applicant pool was in fact up by more than 600 students over last year’s pool. According to an article on the Early Decision figures at Duke in “Duke Today,” “The jump from last year’s 2,540 applications to this year’s 3,191 represents a record for the number of students applying Early Decision (ED) as well as the largest jump in ED applicants in a single year.” 26% is indeed quite the jump for a university!

According to the article in “Duke Today,” “‘We’re very pleased with this increase in interest in Duke,’ said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions. ‘It’s not always easy for students to be ready to make this level of commitment to a college so early in their senior year. The breadth of the pool this year reflects an understanding of the value of a Duke education and the Duke experience among a wide range of students.'”

An additional 600 applicants is quite the unusual jump in application numbers for Early Decision. We’re curious what Duke did differently this year to increase its applicant pool so dramatically. Their basketball team didn’t win the NCAA title and applications at Duke are always up the year after a great basketball run in March Madness. Do you think they sent more brochures to students who don’t have a shot of getting into Duke? Probably so. Last year, 44% of the incoming class was filled through Early Decision applicants. Do you think this figure will stand for this year? Let us know your thoughts on the subject by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!


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  • Roy Kiefer says:

    Your suggestion that “they (Duke) sent more brochures to students who don’t have a shot of getting into Duke” is patently rediulous. While the University highly values ED candidates, the fact is the tremendous workload created by almost 3,200 (a single year 26 percent increase) early decision applications — probably with no Undergraduate Admissions staff increase — also causes great internal administrative and processing difficulties, from November and through mid-December.

    The far more logical — and simple — reason is this: serious, qualified applicants know their opportunity to attend Duke is substantially enhanced through Early Decision, the ardently wish to do so, and they therefore opt for ED.

    • Bev Taylor says:


      You’re incorrect. No school — including Duke — dreads getting more applications because of the “increased workload” it puts on admissions officers. Your comment reflects a naivety about the highly selective college admissions process.

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