The independent news organization of Duke University

Early decision applications see 23 percent increase

Duke attracted 2,716 early decision applications from high school seniors this year—509 more applications than last year’s 2,207.

The 23 percent increase is the largest single-year increase in early decision applications in the University’s history. This significant increase follows a 14 percent single-year increase in 2010.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag said in a news release Nov. 3 that early decision applicants will likely not make up more than 40 percent of the Class of 2016. Early decision applicants compose 38 percent of the Class of 2015.

“Since early decision represents a binding commitment to Duke for those admitted in December, we do like to be responsive to the interest in Duke as a clear first choice,” Guttentag said in the release. “Part of the special spirit of Duke is the enthusiasm that students have for it, and students admitted under our early decision plan are among the most enthusiastic. At the same time, we understand that many students aren’t ready to make that commitment so early in their senior year, and we like to reserve the majority of spots at Duke for those students.”

The University expects a large number of regular decision applicants for the Class of 2016. Last year, Duke received more than 27,500 regular decision applications—the greatest number to date.

Early decision applications also increased this year for both the Pratt School of Engineering and Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. Increases also occurred among international and U.S. students, students applying for financial aid and each racial and ethnic group.

Duke received the most applicants from North Carolina, New York, California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas.

Early decision numbers for many peer institutions—such as Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University—have not yet been released since these institutions extended their application deadlines for East Coast students affected by a snow storm last week.


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