Accepted Duke Essays

Are you applying to Duke this Fall? If so, you should know a few quick facts:

Duke is a medium-sized university with 6,609 total undergrads.
95% of Duke students graduate in six years.
The Early Decision deadline is November 1.
Duke accepted 9% of applicants last year.

Want to know how to give yourself a leg up on the competition? Watch our video breakdown of the 2017-18 Duke University essays OR if you prefer reading to watching, visit our guide!

Written by CEA HQ

Category:Admissions, advice, College Admissions, Essay Tips, Essay Writing, Supplemental Essays, Uncategorized

Tags:2017-18 duke essay, Admissions, applying to college, college admissions, college applications, college essay, duke, duke application, Duke essay prompts, duke essays, duke supplemental essays, duke supplements, duke university, ivy leagues, supplemental essays

While optional, we at CollegeVine highly recommend that you respond to this prompt. At first glance, the prompt can seem complex and intimidating, but it ultimately boils down to one question: What is your personal perspective and experience?


Before writing, let’s take a look at recent developments at Duke. Newly-minted president Vince Price has made it the institution’s initiative to foster a diversity of views and knowledge within its student body. Diversity is not relegated solely to student body demographics or race; it is characterized by the variety of thoughts, opinions, and perspectives embodied by individuals. Duke wants to better understand how your background, ideas, etc., will contribute to its increasingly diverse community.


Duke’s most recent book selections for its first-year student summer reading program reflect what the institution values about diversity. These texts encompass a range of divergent authorial experiences and often spur readers to think more critically about how backgrounds shape and mold individuals’ perspectives. Consider reading or researching Duke’s past selected texts to gain a better understanding of how you can share your own experiences.


The following have been Duke’s selected texts:


  • “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel
  • “Just Mercy” by  Bryan Stevenson
  • “The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood” by Richard Blanco


As an exercise for brainstorming, try sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and writing detailed, specific answers to these following questions:


  • What is definitive about my background? Family? Community? Friends?
  • What life experiences have been important in my development?
  • What do I care about? What do I want to change about the world?
  • What “steps” in my journey have brought me to where I am today?


When you’re finished with this exercise, ask yourself if the responses encapsulate your identity or whether you’re missing any important details. You can also talk to friends and family who, in some capacities, might know you better than you know yourself.

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