14 Apr 2010, Posted by Jessica Lichter in News, 1 Comments
Today, The New York Times featured an article on the increasing number of applicants universities are waitlisting, particularly Duke. This year, Duke waitlisted 3,383 prospective freshmen, 856 more than last year. Of these, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag estimated the University will admit 60 at most—less than two percent.
With such a large volume of work, Guttentag told the New York Times that admissions officers did not prioritize cutting down the waitlist. Instead, many more students are now left in limbo, unsure of their college future.
The extended waitlist seems to be another consequence, at least in large part, of a 30 percent jump in applications the University has received in the last two years. Two weeks ago, The Chronicle reported that Duke’s admissions model is beginning to show signs of strain. This year, the University used an admissions process it designed 20 years ago, far before it had risen to anywhere near its current level of prestige.
Guttentag said this year’s large applicant pool also made decisions at every step of the admissions process less certain—which could explain why the fate of so many high school seniors still remains unclear. With so many qualified applicants, and a limited amount of time to make admissions decisions, it is not all too surprising that Duke is leaving so many on its waitlist. Admissions decisions are tough choices, and postponing them—even though it may frustrate those affected—is one way the University is dealing with its decades-old admissions model.
To get an insider’s look at the admissions process at Duke, check out the following articles, comprising a 3-part series called Admissions in Depth:
Part I: GETTING IN — Application increase overwhelms review system
Discusses how the dramatic increase in applications has put a strain on the admissions process, particularly in the last couple of years.
Part II: INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES — Duke balances competing goals in admissions
Explores how certain goals the University sets for itself influence the admissions process, allowing Duke to consider “special factors” among applicants in addition to traditional merit.
Part III: SOCIOECONOMIC DIVERSITY — Duke draws “rich kids of all colors”
Discovers that socioeconomic diversity at Duke has remained constant in the last 15 years, despite significant increases in racial diversity and a move toward offering generous financial aid packages.