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2024 Early Decision rates and numbers look like a mixed bag for Duke and peer schools

With Early Decision Blue Devil Days having wrapped up this past weekend, The Chronicle decided to look into how Duke fared in Early Decision compared to its peers.

Duke, among other elite universities, experienced higher Early Decision acceptance rates to the Class of 2024.

Duke accepted 21% of the Early Decision applicants to the Class of 2024, offering admission to only 887 high school seniors out of the 4,300 that applied. This marks the first time since the Class of 2021 that the acceptance rate has increased from year-to-year. With only 18% of applicants accepted from the Class of 2023 Early Decision pool, last year’s application cycle experienced 552 more applications than this year’s.

Brown and Johns Hopkins all experienced more selective rates, while the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell and Dartmouth—like Duke—did not. Additionally, Cornell, Brown and Johns Hopkins saw higher application numbers than last year. Duke, UPenn and Dartmouth saw their application numbers drop in 2019.

Becoming less selective for the first time in almost a decade, UPenn accepted 19.7% of Early Decision applicants this year, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. There was a 9% decline in total Early Decision applications from the prior year, decreasing from 7,109 applications to the Class of 2023 to 6,453 applications to the Class of 2024.

Cornell University also saw their Early Decision acceptance rate increase for the first time in four years, admitting 23.8% of ED applicants, The Cornell Daily Sun reported. However, Cornell also experienced the highest number of Early Decision applications in its history. According to the press release, early decision applications for the Class of 2024 rose by 7.4 percent when compared to the Class of 2023 and 4.6 percent over the Class of 2022.

Some universities saw their acceptance rates hit record-lows.

With 4,562 applicants, Brown University was both the most selective and had the highest number of Early Decision applications in its history. Brown saw an 8% increase in the size of their Early Decision applicant pool from last year, according to The Brown Daily Herald, and only 17.5% of applicants were admitted.

Johns Hopkins University also experienced record application numbers for the Class of 2024, with the number of Early Decision applicants to the Class of 2024 increasing from last year’s 2,068 to this year’s 2,345, according to the Office of Communications at Johns Hopkins University and College Kickstart. Johns Hopkins accepted 28% of the Class of 2024 Early Decision applicant pool, more selective than the prior year’s 31%.

Not all universities sifted through larger numbers of applications this season.

Only 2,069 high school students applied Early Decision to Dartmouth’s Class of 2024, a decrease from the 2,474 applicants to the Class of 2023. About 26.4% of these students were admitted this year, an increase from the 23.2% accepted the prior year.

Dartmouth did not have more than 2,000 Early Decision applications until the Class of 2021. Other universities, such as Emory, also routinely see small Early Decision numbers, with only 1,812 students applying to Emory under this year’s Early Decision I application cycle, amounting to an acceptance rate of 40.3%.

In 2019, the University of Virginia began to allow students to apply Early Decision for the first time since 2006, and 35% of the applicants were admitted. The program was originally ended to remove a “barrier for low-income students to access a top-tier education,” according to The Cavalier Daily.

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