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Duke University-- #10 National University (US News & World Report)

Duke University offers a unique and compelling combination of academic achievement, engagement with society, and athletic accomplishment at the highest levels. A private comprehensive teaching and research university, Duke traces its roots to 1838 when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892 and officially become Duke University in 1924 under the patronage of James B. Duke, who provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.

Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute and lead in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world. For this reason, Duke is characterized by innovation, entrepreneurship, energy and ambition.

Duke students have a wide range of opportunities available to them and freedom in choosing the academic path that best meets their needs. Duke students are encouraged to make a difference, to experiment with ideas and organizations and they are challenged to become engaged with society’s problems and solutions. The undergraduate and graduate education at Duke fosters this ideology. In addition to liberal arts and engineering education at the undergraduate level, Duke offers graduate and professional study in arts and sciences, business, divinity, engineering, the environment, law, public policy, medicine, and nursing. Duke is also well-known for its stellar athletic teams, specifically basketball, where their students are drafted into the national teams. Go Duke Devils!

Admissions Requirements

Application Fee$85, waived for financial aid applicants
Standardized TestsSAT or ACT Required. Essay recommended
SAT Subject TestsTwo strongly Recommended.
AP and IB examsYou may self-report.
Supplement Questions/Essays (found in the Writing Supplement section in My Colleges tab on the Common Application- Questions are updated August of every year.)2 Short Essays- One is required, One is optional
RecommendationsTwo Recommendations from major classes (Math, Science, English, History, Foreign Language), preferably from Junior and Senior years. If you are applying to the Pratt School of Engineering, at least one recommendation should be from a math or science teacher.
Additional RecommendationsOption to send two more.
From Your High School

  • Early Decision Agreement (for ED)

  • First Quarter Grade Report (for ED)

  • School Report,

  • Midyear Grade Report,

  • Final School, and

  • Transcript

OptionalArt Portfolio- dance; film, video, and digital media; music; photography; theater; and visual art. All supplementary materials must be submitted by November 3 for ED or January 7 for Regular Decision.  
International StudentsDuolingo English Test, TOEFL, IELTS or PTE
Early DecisionNovember 1, decision by mid-December.
Regular DecisionJanuary 2, decision by mid-to-late March

Academic Parameters

When applying to an institution, it is important to look at the academic information of previous applicants. This includes the SAT/ACT test scores. By looking at these data points, you may assess where you fall and how likely is your admission into this college. Please note, there are students who do fall below the middle range and are still admitted, but then their application has one or more factors that boosts their application, such as a special talent, a recruitable athlete, legacy, racial or socioeconomic minority. Use the chart below to see where you fall and if you may raise your test scores and grades to keep your application in the running.

Testing/GPA Guidelines

Middle 50 SAT (means the 50% of incoming students scored at or higher)Composite Score: 1490-1560
Middle 50 ACTComposite Score: 33-35

IvyBound Consulting featured Harvard University on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter from March 11-16, 2019

Day 1 • Duke University

According to US News & World Report, Duke University is ranked #8 in National Universities, tied with the University of Pennsylvania. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Please check their website to read up on these indicators. We are using US News for its popularity, but by no means should they be the only source in determining your “best fit” college. Your best fit colleges should be determined by your academic goals, your personality fit, and financial considerations.

Duke University:
Private, with total undergraduate enrollment of 6,994 and graduate enrollment of 8,898, making a total of 15,892 students.

Founded in 1838 when Methodist and Quaker families in rural Randolph County employed Brantley York as a permanent teacher for their subscription school. Officially becoming Duke University in 1924.

Suburban: located in Durham, North Carolina. Students spend four years on one of the most beautiful campuses in America — soaring Gothic buildings, modern teaching and research facilities, lush botanical gardens, and accessible athletics and recreational spaces. Dukes home of Durham is a historic tobacco and textile hub that has emerged as the heart of North Carolina’s hi-tech Research Triangle.

Tuition, Boarding & Fees:
$70,873 (2018-19)

$8.5 billion (2018)

Undergrads are required to live 3 years on campus, and freshmen live together on the East Campus. About 30 percent of the student body is affiliate with greek life. One of the most beautiful campuses in America — soaring Gothic buildings, modern teaching and research facilities, lush botanical gardens, & accessible athletics and recreational spaces.

Admit Rate:
Most competitive.

48% male/52% female. Ethnicity/Race: 28% Asian, 10% African American, 11% Hispanic, 2% American Indian, 11.5% International.

Religious Affiliation:

Other Awards by US News:
#8 (tie) in National Universities, #10 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, #13 in Best Value Schools

Day 2 • School Mission, Mascot, Sports

University motto:
The University’s official motto (in latin) “‎Eruditio et Religio” translates to “Knowledge and Faith.” The motto resonates to the beginnings of Duke in 1838 by Methodist and Quaker followers. Presently, Duke has no religious affiliation. It is a liberal arts university emphasizing high ethical practices and leadership endeavors that serve your community.

Duke Blue Devils. The name comes from the French “les Diables Bleus” or “the Blue Devils,” which was the nickname given during World War I to the Chasseurs Alpins, the French Alpine light infantry battalion.

Duke Blue

Dukes athletic program is regularly ranked among the nations strongest and most competitive, with some of the country’s most talented scholar-athletes and dedicated fans: the Cameron Crazies. Best known for their outstanding men’s basketball program, which is one of the top five most wins all-time college basketball programs in the country. The Duke Blue Devils are the athletic teams that represent Duke University, featuring 27 varsity teams in the NCAA Division I, as well as numerous intramural, recreational, and club sports. The Duke Blue Devils maintain a fierce rivalry with the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill Tar Heels.

Day 3 • Academic at Duke/Top Undergraduate Majors/Student Life

Duke offers instruction in 25 foreign languages. One of Duke’s most popular programs is DukeEngage, which supports undergraduates who want to pursue an immersive service experience in the U.S. or abroad.

Academic Calendar:
Semester system

Unique Academic Activity:  
Duke’s most esteemed undergraduate scholarship, the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program, is offered to students at both Duke University and the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. It provides about 18 students from each class with a four-year scholarship and the opportunity for unique academic and extracurricular opportunities at both universities.

Study Abroad:
About half of Dukes graduating class spends at least a semester in another country – one of the highest percentages of any of the nations top private research universities.

Top Undergraduate Majors:
Duke University is divided into 10 schools and colleges, many of which serve both undergraduate and graduate students. Top Undergraduate Majors: Science, Economics, Public Policy, Biology, Psychology.

Highly-ranked Graduate programs:
Fuqua School of Business, Pratt School of Engineering, School of Law, School of Medicine, Sanford School of Public Policy and School of Nursing. Duke also offers graduate programs through its well-respected Divinity School and Nicholas School of the Environment.

Student Life:
Approximately 30 percent of the student body is affiliated with Greek life, which encompasses almost 40 fraternities and sororities.

Day 4 • Notable Alumni

Notable alumni includes current Celtics point guard, Kyrie Irving who was drafted from Duke in 2011. Other notable alumni includes Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; NBA player Carlos Boozer; and former U.S. Congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Day 5 • Applying to Duke? Be Collegebound with IvyBound

Looking at first-time, Freshman Applicants:

Admission Rate:
9.7%, including early applicants, (as of July 2018)

Total Applicants:



Yield Rate:
54%- Number of students who actually attended or matriculated once admitted.

***Admissions Trick: Colleges want their number of applicants to be high, admit rates to be low and yield rate to be high.

Early Option:
Early Decision (November 1 is deadline)

Regular Deadline:
January 2

Admission Requirements:
See Table above

Admissions into this prestigious University, Duke, is extremely competitive as the acceptance rate is decreasing each year. With the increase of sheer number of applicants, how do you stand out and get admitted? If DukeUniversity is one of the colleges on your list, use this invaluable worksheet to plan and prepare to apply to Duke.

IvyBound Consulting offers personalized college admissions services to help you create winning college applications that surely gets you admitted. Choose from one-on-one counseling services, college admissions online course- Applications That Get You Admitted!, private Facebook group membership, and essay review and editing services.

Next week, I will cover, US News Week’s #6 (tied) Nationally Ranked University, University of Pennsylvania. Stay Tuned.

Be Collegebound with IvyBound!

* Sources used: the college website, common data set, college factual, US World News, other websites.

Hey guys, welcome to the episodes Be Collegebound with IvyBound! I’m your host, Ruchi S. Kothari. I’m super excited that you’ve joined me.

Listen to my most recent podcast or watch my video to pick up admissions tips, tricks, and secrets that I provide to get admitted into the college of your dreams, and create a future that you would love. Do you want to get into your dream school? Of course, you do. 


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