Duke University's intrepid student newspaper has done a marvelous job examining the private university's admissions process. And a new series by the Chronicle only adds to the extensive amount of admissions and financial aid-related coverage.
Among the findings in the third and most recent part of the series, the Chronicle discovered that while Duke grants admissions to an ethnically diverse group, there is little socioeconomic diversity among accepted students. The initial report in the series explained the growing strain on Duke's unique admissions process, which features layers of application reading and reviews, because of a colossal rise in the number of applicants. The second edition of the series looks at Duke's ability to accept students on more than just a simple definition of merit, but rather on specific goals the school hopes to reach.
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The Chronicle finds that the number of enrolled white students has decreased by a quarter. Yet the number of enrolled students who report family income in the lower half of the U.S. income distribution bracket has remained relatively constant, the report says.
"Where the biggest work that needs to be done is convincing low-income students to apply," Duke's Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag tells the Chronicle. "The idea of applying to a college that costs twice as much as your annual income is a very strong psychological barrier to overcome."
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Corrected on 04/06/10: An earlier version of this blog post mischaracterized the students mentioned in a report about the socioeconomic diversity at Duke University. The Chronicle's report referred to enrolled students.