Duke University Tuition and Fees

Duke University Tuition and Fees

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    By Kelly Boyer Sagert

    (Last Updated – 08/2022)

    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

    Financial Aid

    Financial Aid

    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.

    Recommended: Scholarship Search – College Scholarships Finder Tool

    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:

    •  US Department of Education – Search for grants from colleges and universities by state

    •  College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS) – A global college scholarship application used by select institutions to award financial aid

    Recommended: The Differences Between Grants, Scholarships, and Loans

    Private Student Loans

    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.

    Recommended: Guide to Private Student Loans

    Projected 4-Year-Degree Price

    Duke tuition for 2021-2022 was $60,244. Over a four year period, this would equal $240,976 not accounting for cost increases.

    Here’s some North Carolina Student Loan & Scholarship Information for you.

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    Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

    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.

    Admission Requirements

    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:

    •  Transcripts

    •  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

    What’s optional:

    •  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:


    25th Percentile

    75th Percentile

    SAT Evidence-Based



    SAT Math



    ACT Composite



    ACT English



    ACT Math



    Graduation Rate

    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.

    Bottom Line

    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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    Photo credit: iStock/Rebecca Todd

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