Duke University is a highly-regarded four-year, private research university located in Durham, North Carolina. The university offers degrees ranging from bachelor’s to doctoral. Here is information about the admission requirements, Duke acceptance rates, tuition, financial aid, popular majors, and more.
Total Cost of Attendance
Duke is a prestigious university with outstanding academics and an interdisciplinary approach to leaning. It’s also well-known for its athletic programs: Duke’s basketball team (the Blue Devils) is one of the most successful in the country.
Duke tuition, housing, and fees were as follows in 2021-2022:
• Duke University tuition: $60,244, 4% higher than the previous year
• Books and supplies: $1,434, the same as the previous year
• Room and board: $16,206, 7.6% less than the previous year
• Other fees: $1,976, the same as the previous year
• Total expenses: $79,860, 1.3% higher than the previous year
Duke University meets 100% of the demonstrated need for undergraduates, providing $130+ million annually in grant aid.
In 2020-2021, 61% of first time, full-time undergraduates received some sort of financial aid. More specifically:
• Grant or scholarship aid: 46% of students received this type of funding with the average award being $50,731
• Federal grants: 14% of students received this type of funding with am average award of $6,868
• Pell grants: 12% of students received this type of funding with the average award being $5,167
• Other federal grants: 11% of students received this type of funding with an average award of $2,597
• State/local: 3% of students received this type of funding with the average award being $5,519
• Institutional: 46% of students received this type of funding with an average award of $48,634
• Student loan aid: 20% of students received this type of funding with the average award being $7,590
• Federal student loans: 20% of students received this type of funding with an average award of $4,537
• Other student loans: 3% of students received this type of funding with the average award being $22,957
Generally, financial aid is monetary assistance awarded to students based on personal need and merit. Students that qualify for financial aid can use it to pay for college costs like tuition, books, and living expenses.
The federal government is the largest provider of student financial aid. However, aid can also be given by state governments, colleges and universities, private companies, and nonprofits. The different types include:
• Scholarships: These can be awarded by schools and other organizations based on students’ academic excellence, athletic achievement, community involvement, job experience, field of study, and financial need.
• Grants: Generally based on financial need, these can come from federal, state, private, and non-profit organizations.
• Work-study: This federal program provides qualifying students with part-time employment to earn money for expenses while in school.
• Federal student loans: This is money borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education. It comes with fixed interest rates that are typically lower than private loans.
Colleges, universities, and state agencies use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial aid eligibility. The FAFSA can be completed online, but note that state and federal and school deadlines may differ.
You can find other financial aid opportunities on databases such as:
In 2020-2021, 3% of students received private student loans with the average award being $22,957. Duke University provides a resource for students wishing to explore private loans.
Private loans are funded by private organizations such as banks, online lenders, credit unions, some schools, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations. While Federal student loans have interest rates that are regulated by Congress, private lenders follow a different set of regulations so their qualifications and interest rates can vary widely.
What’s more, private loans have variable or fixed interest rates that may be higher than federal loan interest rates, which are always fixed. Private lenders may (but don’t always) require you to make payments on your loans while you are still in school, compared to federal student loans which you don’t have to start paying back until after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time.
Private loans don’t have a specific application window and can be applied for on an as-needed basis. However, if you think you may need to take out a private loan, it’s a good idea to submit your FAFSA first to see what federal aid you may qualify for as it generally may have better rates and terms.
If you’ve missed the FAFSA deadline or you’re struggling to pay for school throughout the year, private loans can potentially help you make your payments. Just keep in mind that you will need enough lead time for your loan to process and for your lender to send money to your school.
In 2021-2022, Duke University tuition was $60,244, 4% higher than the previous year. Total expenses were $79,860. In 2020-2021, the average total cost for a private four-year university was $54,500.
Graduate Tuition and Fees
In 2021-2022, the average Duke University tuition for graduate students was $57,900 with fees of $1,241 for a total of $59,141. In 2019-2020, the average graduate program at a four-year private, not-for-profit university was $28,430.
Cost per Credit Hour
Using the current Duke tuition of $60,244 and assuming two semesters at 15 hours each, the cost per credit hour at Duke is $2,008.13.
Campus Housing Expenses
In 2021-2022, room and board cost $16,206, which was 7.6% less than the previous year.
Duke provides guidance for finding off-campus housing with a sampling of current listings including these:
• Studio, 1 Bath: $1,246
• 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath: $1,299
• 2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths: $1550
Note that apartment leases may require you to sign for a full year rather than just the academic one.
Duke University Acceptance Rate
In fall 2021, 49,703 people applied to the university. The Duke University acceptance rate is just 6%, meaning the school is highly competitive.
Three methods exist to apply with early decision applications due on November 1 of the previous year and regular decision applications due on January 4 of the academic year.
Duke University is test optional during 2022-2023. When applying, you must provide:
• Three letters of recommendation: one from a school counselor and two from teachers in major academic courses
• Extracurricular activities (up to 10) with sustained commitment is more impressive than a long list
• Essay and writing prompt answers
• One personal recommendation letter from a mentor, employer, or other person who knows you well
• An interview with a Duke alumni, if offered to you
SAT and ACT Scores
Duke is a test-optional university during 2022-2023. In fall 2021, 47% of applicants submitted SAT scores and 46% submitted ACT scores with the following 25th and 75th percentile numbers:
SAT Evidence-Based Reading/Writing
Popular Majors at Duke University
In 2021, Duke awarded 1,854 undergraduate degrees in a couple of dozen areas of study. Here are some of the popular majors.
1. Computer Science
Duke is well known for its computer science program with graduates pursuing careers in a wide range of sectors: technology, business, healthcare, science, and more. In 2021, 11.8% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
2. Public Policy Analysis
Students take classes in social policy, environment and energy, global governance, and more. They become prepared to analyze political and economic issues and make ethical decisions. In 2021, 9.8% of graduating undergraduate students completed this degree.
Undergraduates benefit from a wide range of classroom and hands-on field experiences. This degree can assist students in biological research careers, education, health professions, and more. In 2021, 8.9% of graduating undergraduates earned a biology degree.
Economics focuses on resource allocation and management with econometrics taking a mathematically-based approach. Undergraduates learn how this field provides an understanding of human behavior. In 2021, 8% of graduating undergraduates earned an economics degree.
5. Registered Nursing
U.S. News and World Report rank Duke’s School of Nursing as the third best in the nation. This program includes an accelerated BS in nursing degree for students who already have a college education. In 2021, 7.9% of graduating undergraduates earned a nursing degree.
6. Experimental Psychology
Psychology students learn about human and animal behavior—its origins, processes, and consequences—with graduates applying their knowledge in a wide range of professional fields. In 2021, 6% of graduating undergraduates earned an experimental psychology degree.
7. Political Science
This program provides a systematic understanding of politics: from local to international and from authoritarian to democratic. Political scientists use data, human psychology, and more in their field. In 2021, 4.9% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
U.S. News and World Report ranked Duke’s biomedical engineering program as fourth in the nation. Students learn about data science, entrepreneurship, hands-on design, computing, and more. In 2021, 4.8% of graduating undergraduates completed this degree.
9. Electrical and Computer Engineering
Five concentration areas in this major are computing engineering and digital systems; signal processing, communications, and control systems; solid-state devices and integrated circuits; electromagnetic fields; and photonics. In 2021, 4.6% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
10. Mechanical Engineering
Undergraduates study mathematics, basic sciences, engineering sciences, and more. Students are taught to think critically when managing tasks, communicating, and solving problems. In 2021, 4.5% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
Using fall 2013/2014 figures, here are graduation rates:
• 4 years: 89%
• 6 years: 96%
Post-Graduation Median Earnings
Graduates of the university earn a median salary of $93,155 compared to a national average for college graduates of $47,891, making Duke graduate salaries 94.4% higher.
Duke is a prestigious school offering a top-notch education in a variety of fields. It can be very difficult to get in: the Duke acceptance rate of 6% is extremely competitive. Duke University tuition is higher than average, however, the institution is generous with grants and scholarships, and, graduates typically go on to earn significantly more than the median amount.
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