The Ivy Coach Daily

December 2, 2020

Duke University Class of 2025 Early Decision Applications

Duke’s Early Decision applications are up. In fact, the school set a new record.

Early Decision applications to Duke University’s Class 0f 2025 are up from last year and they are up significantly. ED applications to the Durham, North Carolina-based institution are up by a margin of 20% from this time last year. In fact, Duke set a new benchmark this ED cycle — receiving over 5,000 binding Early Decision commitments. Of these 5,000 ED applicants to the Class of 2025, Duke’s admissions office anticipates admitting between 800-850 applicants. To put this number in historical context, Duke offered admission to 887 students out of last year’s ED pool of 4,300 applicants. 882 students earned admission in the ED round to the Class of 2023 from a pool of 4,582 applicants. So the university — which attracted a record haul of applications this fall — will be admitting fewer students than normal out of the pool. Indeed it’s a trend we suspect will be consistent at the vast majority of our nation’s elite universities this fall: more applications and fewer available seats. Sure, applications may be down at the vast majority of our nation’s 900+ universities…but not at the vast majority of our nation’s top 25 universities.

Duke Receives Record Applications This Early Cycle, Will Admit Fewer Students

And why would Duke admit fewer students out of a larger Early Decision pool this year? Because, as we’ve been saying all along, it all comes down to the gap year students. As Christoph Guttentag, Duke’s longtime Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, states in a letter to colleagues, “We expect to admit between 800 and 850 students in our Early Decision process, somewhat fewer than normal because of the number of students taking a gap year this year. We expect an Early Decision admit rate of between 16 and 17 percent, and our entering class size (including students returning from a gap year) will remain the same as it has been the last few years — between 1720 and 1730 first-year students.”

Majority of Duke’s ED Applicants Submitted SAT or ACT Scores

Oh, and if you’re wondering what percentage of ED applicants to Duke’s Class of 2025 submitted SAT or ACT test scores in a year in which the submission of test scores has been deemed optional, the majority of applicants wisely submitted scores. In fact, 60% of this year’s ED applicants submitted SAT or ACT test scores, while 40% opted not to do so. As our loyal readers know all too well, we believe test-optional policies aren’t worth the paper they are written on since, all else being equal, a student with a great SAT or ACT will always have an advantage over a student who doesn’t submit an SAT or ACT score. This, of course, is irrespective of what admissions officers may tell you to the contrary — because of course admissions officers often don’t tell it like it is.

What do our readers think of Duke’s record haul of Early Decision applications this fall? Let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below.

You are permitted to use (including the content of the Blog) for your personal, non-commercial use only. You must not copy, download, print, or otherwise distribute the content on our site without the prior written consent of Ivy Coach, Inc.


If you’re interested in Ivy Coach’s college counseling,
fill out our complimentary consultation form and we’ll be in touch.

Get Started