The Duke Blue Devil

Big question: Did you apply to Duke? Duke released regular decisions last night, April 5, 2020 at 7pm EST.

This morning, approximately 42,467 high school students woke up knowing they will not attend Duke in the fall.

Many of the students who were rejected from Duke regular decision, now are waiting to hear from the Ivy’s later today.

The Class of 2025 and the Avalanche of College Applications

As I have noted in previous articles, this year was an epic avalanche of regular decision applications to U.S. colleges.

Yes, high school seniors wanted to expand their horizons beyond their childhood hot pink or baby boy blue bedrooms they lived in 24/7 for the lost year of 2020.

The pandemic not only affected everyday life, but profoundly impacted applications to the Class of 2025 and subsequent acceptances.

In previous articles, I have written about the ‘why’ this phenomenon has occurred. This is the year to watch and learn from. As the regular decision cycle 2020–2021 peaks with Duke University releasing its regular decision notifications on April 5, and the Ivy League Colleges releasing today, April 6, we will see how the proverbial ‘chips fall’.

The bottom line for the 2020–2021 college application cycle: Show me the admit numbers at each college when the dust settles.

Duke’s Low Admit Rate is the Precursor for the Fate of Ivy League Applicants

Brace yourself kids, and parents too. I previously wrote this admissions year was going to be a ‘bloodbath’. And it is. In simple terms, when Duke accepts regular decision 4.3%, that means 96% of applicants were rejected. I know, I am a math genius!

The top Ivy’s such as Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Penn, blah blah blah, will reflect similar admit rates. Oh, and let’s not forget Stanford who reports on April 9. You can be sure that number will be lower than 5%. Totally mind-blowing dude.

Unpleasant News for Applicants

As reality sets in and top schools report their admission numbers, I am sad. I sincerely feel bad for all the students who have worked hard academically in and out of the classroom, pursued a variety of extracurricular activities for the better part of their adolescence, and trudged through the pandemic.

It is simply not fair. Right? I know you agree with me.

Excessive Numbers of Eager High School Seniors Unequivocally Amplified the Problem that has Plagued College Admissions Every Year.

The same qualified and overqualified students applied to the same top colleges. Even the ‘aspirational ‘student’ (the kid that had no chance in hell for acceptance) threw their hat in the ring.

What was the game changer this year? What caused the avalanche of applications? Ah…This year was test optional. And DUH! The smart kid who did not boast perfect test scores, seized this opportunity to apply to a top college that would typically be out of reach.

Think about it. In a ‘normal’ admission cycle, an applicant with a 4.3 GPA in AP classes, extraordinary EC’s, and a 28 ACT score, would get rejected to a top college (primarily due to the low score).

When the test score is removed as a requirement, the admissions landscape is altered. It will be interesting to see how future admissions cycles will address the test score requirement.

Duke Regular Decision Class of 2025

Let’s cut to the chase: We need to know what facts and numbers led to Duke’s record low admit rate. This information is important, because all top colleges, including the Ivy’s will evaluate similar data.

On April 5, 2021, Duke University Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag discussed Regular Decision applications to the Class of 2025 in an email to the Duke Chronicle:

1. Duke Class of 2025 had 44,481 Regular Decision Applicants.

2. Duke Class of 2025 had a 25.4% increase in applications (35,478 applicants Class 2024).

3. Duke Class of 2025 Admitted 2,014 Regular Decision Applicants.

4. Duke Class of 2025 Admit Rate 4.3%.

5. 44% of Applicants to Duke Class of 2025 did NOT submit ACT/SAT Test Scores.

6. 43% increase of International Student Applicants to Duke Class of 2025.

7. Duke Target Class Size Class of 2025 is 1,720.

8. Duke Class of 2025 had record 5,036 Early Decision Applicants.

9. Duke Class of 2025 Admitted 840 Early Decision applicants.

Ivy League Applicants

There is not much left to say at this point, other than good luck.

WISEWORDS: A college does not define a person; the individual defines the college. Attend the college that will foster your intellectual and social growth in a setting that is conducive to your subjective needs.

For additional insight on the college admissions process, please check out my book on Amazon!

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