Duke Acceptance Rate Drops to 5.1% for Class of 2028

29/03/202417 minute read
Duke Acceptance Rate Drops to 5.1% for Class of 2028

2024 has been a record-breaking year for Duke University with an all-time low acceptance rate and record-high number of applicants.

Last year, Duke only admitted 2,948 students out of a pool of 49,469 applicants, for an acceptance rate of 5.9%.

This year marks even stronger competition, with the acceptance rate dropping to an unprecedented 5.1%. Out of the approximately 54,191 applicants, only 2,790 students got accepted.


Duke Class of 2028 Acceptance Rate: Breaking Records

Duke announced that it received 54,191 applicants for Class of 2028, a 9.5% increase from last year’s 49,469.

Despite the increase in applicants, the number of admitted students decreased slightly from 2,984 to 2,790, making it an incredibly competitive year with an acceptance rate of 5.1%, the lowest in Duke’s admission history.

This decrease in acceptance rate could be attributed to a number of reasons. Two key things to consider: First, this is the first year for colleges to implement the June Supreme Court decision regarding race in admissions. Second, Duke remains test-optional for a fourth year, meaning you have the flexibility to submit standardized test scores if they strengthen your application.

Duke Class of 2028 Acceptance Rate
Number of ApplicationsAccepted StudentsAcceptance Rate
Early Decision6,24080612.9%
Regular Decision47,9511,9844.1%
Total54,1912,7905.1%

Class of 2028 Regular Decision Acceptance Rate

While the regular decision acceptance rate has been steadily declining, with dips from 4.9% for the Class of 2026 to 4.8% for the Class of 2027, this year's drop is much more substantial, decreasing to a record-low 4.1%

Despite the increase in applicants, the number of admitted students actually decreased slightly from previous years.

This means that while more students are applying, the number of available seats remains more or less the same, making the competition even fiercer.

Duke Regular Decision Acceptance Rate
Class of 2025Class of 2026Class of 2027Class of 2028
Total First-Year Applicants 44,48145,94144,58947,951
Admitted Applicants1,9072,2302,1481,984
Overall Admission Rate4.3%4.9%4.8%4.1%

Class of 2028 Early Decision Acceptance Rate

While Class of 2027 experienced the lowest acceptance rate in recent years, Class of 2028’s early decision acceptance experienced a significant decline.

Early applications to Duke rose by a massive 29%, but the number of admitted students remains consistent. This means that the acceptance rate for early applications dropped from 16.4% last year to a staggering 12.9% this year.

Despite the Early Decision acceptance rate dropping to a new record-low, it’s still significantly higher then the Regular Decision round. For Class of 2028, Early Decision applicants were about three times more likely to gain admission.

Based on this, we strongly suggest applying early to maximize your chances of acceptance.

Duke Early Decision Acceptance Rate
Class of 2025Class of 2026Class of 2027Class of 2028
Total Early Applicants5,0364,0154,8556,240
Admitted Applicants840855800806
Early Admission Rate16.7%21%16.4%12.9%
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While Duke’s acceptance rate slightly increased with the introduction of test-optional policies, it’s been consistently declining over the past three years.

In the past, the number of applicants hovered steadily around 49,000 applicants. This year marks a sharp increase in the number of applicants, with around 5,000 additional applicants.

This suggests a broader trend of increased interest in Duke as one of the best universities in the world with a world-class academic reputation.

Duke Acceptance Rate Over The Years
AppliedAcceptedAcceptance Rate
202454,1912,7905.1%
202349,4692,9486.0%
202249,9563,0856.2%
202149,5172,8545.7%

What Kind of Student Gets into Duke?

It's clear that to gain admission to Duke, students need to present a truly exceptional profile that extends beyond standardized test scores and academic records.

How Crimson Can Help You Stand Out

Duke’s record-breaking low acceptance rates and the broader trends in elite admissions highlight how challenging it has become to gain entry into top universities. In this highly competitive landscape, seeking guidance from experienced college admissions advisors can be a significant advantage. Advisors offer personalized support throughout the complex application process, helping you:

  • Craft a Compelling Narrative: They work with you to identify your unique strengths, passions, and experiences. This helps shape a cohesive application that showcases your potential to contribute to the community of Duke University.
  • Navigate Strategic Choices: Advisors can provide insights on application timing (early vs. regular), test score submission, and highlight areas where you can further boost your profile.
  • Excel in Every Aspect: From essay coaching to interview preparation, advisors ensure each application component is polished and demonstrates your preparedness for Duke’s rigorous academic environment.

Proven Success in a Competitive Landscape

Crimson Education has a track record of helping students achieve their admissions goals. Our personalized approach and expertise in selective admissions have led to impressive results. This year alone, over 200 Crimson students were accepted to top US universities in the early round. Here's a breakdown of our early-round numbers:

  • 87 offers to the Ivy League.
  • 163 offers to the US Top 20, including offers to Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Rice, Vanderbilt, and University of Notre Dame.
  • 15% of Ivy League and 27% of top 20 early round applicants received offers to their dream schools.
  • 670+ offers to the US Top 50, including offers to NYU, University of Michigan, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, University of Virginia, and Washington University in St. Louis.
  • 1000+ offers to each student’s first choice school.

What Makes Crimson Different

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