At 7 p.m. today, admissions results were released to the 29,300 applicants who applied regular decision to Duke—and for 2,640 of them, the news was positive. An additional 57 students who were deferred from the early decision process were accepted.
"It feels good and a little crazy at the same time," Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag said. "It feels good because it means we're able to find and choose the most interesting and talented and thoughtful and diverse students for Duke.... At the same time, the idea of turning away 91 percent of applicants feels a little odd."The acceptance rate is down almost 1 percent from the Class of 2017, which accepted 2,897 students for an acceptance rate of 9.9 percent, a record at the time.
Earlier this year, the Class of 2018 also set a record for early decision admissions, with 47 percent of its class admitted early—leaving fewer spots for regular decision applicants. With early decision students taken into account, the overall acceptance rate for the Class of 2018 is 10.8 percent, Guttentag said.
"Being that selective is a luxury," Guttentag noted. "I feel bad for the thousands of students who are completely qualified and completely capable of being terrific Duke students, who we are not able to admit through no fault of their own."
There were no major changes to geographic and ethnic representation in the class, Guttentag added.
This year, the admissions office chose to release decisions at 7 p.m. rather than 6 p.m., Guttentag noted. Almost half of all applicants viewed their decision within a half hour of the release time—2,000 more students than last year, he said.
"We approach the process with mixed emotions," he said. "When it’s all done, I’m glad to have been able to pick such a great group of students for Duke, but on a personal level, I'm aware of how individual students respond to what’s more often than not disappointing news."
Admitted students have been invited to attend Blue Devil Days, which will be held April 6-7, April 17-18 and April 21-22.
There are some students, however, whom Duke does not need to persuade.
"The first person to respond to say they're coming was at 7:07," Guttentag said.