Like other schools in its league, the Duke University acceptance rate is decreasing every year; making the admissions process more and more competitive. This means when you’re filling out your application this year, everything you submit has to show you are at the top of your game. So what is the Duke acceptance rate? And what do you need to do so the Duke admissions committee notices your application?

What is the Duke Acceptance Rate?

The Duke acceptance rate is 11%. Of the 32,111 applications received, Duke accepted 3,432 between its early decision and regular decision periods. For those who applied early decision, 24% were accepted and for those who applied regular decision, 9% were accepted. Needless to say, the Duke acceptance rate is incredibly exclusive and that becomes even more clear when you look at the data for the most recent incoming class:

  •    Average SAT score is 1530 on the 1600 scale
  •    Average ACT score is 33
  •    Average GPA is 4.17

Based on this, you have a pretty good idea of what kind of grades and test scores you need to have for Duke to take you seriously as an applicant. But what happens if you aren’t there yet? Don’t cross Duke off your college dream list just yet, because I have some ideas that can help you get onto Duke’s level. Being part of the Duke acceptance rate is an achievable dream if you’re ready to work for it.

Boost Your Chances of Duke Acceptance

Duke’s 11% acceptance rate means you need to send a strong application to their admissions committee. It’s easier than you might think and below are my top tips to help get your application noticed and increase your chances of being accepted to Duke.

Apply for Early Decision

This is for serious Duke applicants only! When you compare the 24% of early decisions applications to the 9% regular decision applications, you stand a much better chance of being accepted if you apply early. Duke has even said there is a clear admissions advantage to applying early. But you should only do this if Duke is your top choice and you have the academic cred to be a serious candidate. This actually leads into my next tip.

Partner with College Consultant

Find a college consultant and use them while you’re applying to all colleges, but especially Duke. They’re still relatively new on the scene, but college consultants are pros at getting applications noticed by elite schools like Duke and taking some of the pressure off you during the application process. You are worth this investment.

Show Duke How Serious You Are About College

Duke’s average GPA is 4.17 and that means you’ll need to trade in the regular high school levels classes for AP and IB classes to boost your GPA. Taking these challenging classes and working with a tutor will help ensure you’re earning the best grades you can, which will impress Duke’s admissions committee.

Rock Those Standardized Test Scores

Before I get into how to boost your standardized test scores, take a look at the chart below.

Test College of Arts and Sciences School of Engineering
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 765 770
SAT Math 770 790
ACT Composite 33 34

Depending on which college your major is housed in, effects where your scores need to be in order to be accepted. It’s okay if you’re not sure yet, because they’re close enough that if you aim for the higher end, you’ll still be an impressive candidate.

  •    Take the Pre-ACT and the PSAT. Take these practice tests in simulated test conditions, letting you see which one you perform best on. Stick with that test!
  •    Look at the scores you have and the average scores of Duke students. These averages need to be your goals.
  •    Practice, practice some more, keep practicing. Find practice tests online or in test prep books and keep taking them.
  •    Connect with a coach who scored very high on the test you’re preparing for. Learn their secrets and ask as many questions as you can to you prepare for test day.
  •    Don’t be afraid to re-take the tests. You would be surprised how many students don’t get the scores they want on the first try and that’s completely okay! As long as you only submit between four and six tests, you won’t make yourself look bad to admissions officers.

Show Off What Makes You Tick

Studies show that all work and no play is so hazardous to your health that it can make you more anxious and depressed. But what does play have to do with being part of the Duke acceptance rate? As important as your academics are to college admissions, you need more than good grades and test scores to wow admissions committees. Whether you’re active in a sport, have taken dance since you were three or volunteer at the soup kitchen; it’s critical that you have extra-curriculars in your life as well. In addition to looking impressive on your college applications, they also give you a well-deserved break from studying and homework.

Duke is one of the most exclusive schools in the country and is currently rocking an 11% acceptance rate. With its students bringing in top standardized test scores and GPAs, you’ll need to bring your A-game and then some when you apply. But don’t let that stop you from gaining admission to Duke if that’s your dream. Remember to apply early, get as many A’s in AP and IB classes as you can, work with tutors and college consultants, and get a kick butt score on your standardized tests. It’s a lot of work, but calling Duke your home for at least four years will make it all worth it.

Were you surprised by Duke’s acceptance rate? Can you believe those SAT scores we showed you? Have any burning questions about the college admissions process? Leave a comment below with your thoughts. We can’t wait to hear from you!