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Will referencing legacy heavily in my "Why Duke" essay undermine my chances if I'm not applying ED?

incomingBagelincomingBagel 0 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
I've heard that Duke only considers legacy if you apply early decision. I'm thinking of writing my essay about Duke spirit and the continual involvement of alumni in that spirit by referencing my father (who went to Dukegraduate). Will it be detrimental to my admissions chances if I'm so strongly referencing legacy but not applying early decision?
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Replies to: Will referencing legacy heavily in my "Why Duke" essay undermine my chances if I'm not applying ED?

  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1431 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I would only apply to Duke ED if it’s your #1 college choice and it’s affordable. In addition, unless your parents have significantly contributed time, and more importantly, money to the university consistently over the years I’m very skeptical that legacy status gives you much of a boost in admissions.
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  • 3kids2dogs3kids2dogs 134 replies18 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I don't see how referencing your father could hurt. For example, here is an admissions blog from Tulane where they mention LIKING to hear about alumni
    http://tuadmissionjeff.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-optional-statment.html?q=why+tulane
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6712 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Go read the info on legacy at Duke on their website- they give some tips.

    My usual test for essays is 'does the essay hold up if you switch out the theme'? B/c the point of the essay is that it tells something about *you* - not the school, not your father, not your musings on the merits of alumni nostalgia. If your essay is strong, you should be nearly able to switch 'alumni spirit of Duke' for (say) 'marching band spirit'. If you can't, then the essay is probably too focused on other people/other things.
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  • bluedogbluedog 1340 replies2 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I don't think it would hurt. In fact, if you are able to communicate passion for Duke based on your parents' consistent engagement and the fact that you "grew up" excited about Duke, I think that would help honestly. Even not in ED round, Duke likes to see enthuasiasm towards Duke with its applicant although "demonstrated interest" isn't officially assessed, but it might help to convey why you're interested in Duke. That's one side of the equation. The essay should also convey what YOU would contribute to the Duke community and why you're a good fit.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34116 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    That's a nice link. Kids could apply the advce to many colleges.

    But it's about the Why Us.

    I don't think you should give up the true purpose of the Common App personal statement to press your legacy, when you can handle this via any Why Us.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34116 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oops. just noted the thread title. My apologies.
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  • mathmommathmom 32376 replies159 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Assuming that Duke has a "why us" question, lookingforward has a point that this may be where to write that sort of essay. I'm not seeing in your question, what examples from your life that you would bring to Duke. I don't think it hurts to mention you are a legacy in an essay even if you aren't applying ED.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1366 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 24
    "Why us" essay is just another form of yield protection. There's very little real value in it. An applicant who applies to a dozen colleges probably has to write a "Why us" essay for each one of them. Does anyone really think what's expressed in these essays are 100% genuine? In all of them? I'm looking forward to the day when applicants don't have to write such essays, and in a role reversal, colleges would have to write a "Why us" letter when sending their acceptance letters. Aren't students the "clients", the "customers" in that relationship?
    edited September 24
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  • lolhoodlolhood 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Legacies can meet with someone at the office of alumni relations and they will explain how they can help. My daughter had this meeting, and I believe learned that the admission statistics for legacies in regular decision is similar to non-legacy, while in ED it is significantly higher. Stats are just stats though, and this is just a correlation stat. In other words, are the admissions stats higher for legacies in ED because legacy status helps a lot more in ED, or is it possible that the pool of ED legacy/non-legacy applicants is different than the regular decision pool? My thinking is that it is probably a bit of both.

    Alumni relations will advocate for legacies during the admissions process similar to the way a coach advocates for the admission of an athlete. Based on this, I do not believe a "why duke" essay with a legacy theme will have an impact. Mention it but find a better theme. That's just my (somewhat informed) opinion though.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34116 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh, dear. When speaking of top colleges, the Why Us is a chance for them to see if you know what you're doing, why you're applying, etc. Far more than yield protection. Schools with a ridiculous abundance of applicants don't need to sell themselves.

    The applicants do.


    And when a school like Duke is open about what they look for and publishes a piece on the Why Us, tells that they like a sense you feel connected, (the right reasons and more,) why not take them at their word?

    Alums don't advocate like coaches, who, at many colleges, can dictate or heavily influence athlete admits.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7977 replies82 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 24
    OP: It might harm your chances simply because it raises the issue of why you, as a legacy applicant, did not apply ED.

    In my opinion, emphasizing a legacy connection to ultra-selective Duke University in an RD application is a wasted opportunity to focus on why you want to attend Duke & why Duke should want you to attend Duke.
    edited September 24
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  • Sue22Sue22 6217 replies112 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Does Duke consider those who attended for grad school but not undergrad legacy connections? (Not a rhetorical question. Some schools do include grad school grads, others don't)
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  • fl1234fl1234 148 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @1NJParent I completely disagree with your comments. I recently attended a Duke information session in my hometown and walked away from it with the impression from the admissions officer that the Why Duke essay is critically important. They truly want to know what specifically about Duke does the student want to take advantage of, or participate in, or be a part of that they could not do at any other university. He said that if you substitute any other university's name in this essay, it should not make sense.
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  • 3kids2dogs3kids2dogs 134 replies18 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I would hope no one would look down on RD vs ED - even Duke legacies should be allowed to be concerned with financial aid!
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34116 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Being legacy and applying RD are fine, unless a college says legacy only weighs in ED.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7977 replies82 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Duke has been clear that any legacy admissions advantage is lost to those who do not apply ED.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34116 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If one can verify a college says this, there you have it. All I see is the Duke Alumni Assn saying, "Apply in time to get an interview." Just saying.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1366 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 24
    fl1234 wrote: »
    @1NJParent I completely disagree with your comments. I recently attended a Duke information session in my hometown and walked away from it with the impression from the admissions officer that the Why Duke essay is critically important. They truly want to know what specifically about Duke does the student want to take advantage of, or participate in, or be a part of that they could not do at any other university. He said that if you substitute any other university's name in this essay, it should not make sense.

    I'm not sure what you disagree on. I didn't say "Why us" essay wasn't important to the adcom. It was. It was to them because they wanted to make sure you would commit to the college if they accepted you. That's the classic definition of yield protection. What other business in the world where you, the customer, have to show affection for the business before it would render service to you?
    edited September 24
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