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jellybean24jellybean24 Registered User Posts: 406 Member
edited December 2004 in Duke University
Who here knows how hard it is to win the Duke merit scholarships (both the general ones and the out-of-state ones)? A girl at my school last year one an NC one with a 1440, ranked 3rd, but that seems unusual to me. Does anyone know what it takes? I know there are 20 top ones, 15 in-state (and SC), 15 Robertson, and about 7 Gates ones.
Post edited by jellybean24 on

Replies to: Scholarships?

  • beethovenbeethoven Registered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    Sorry, this isn't an answer...but I'm wondering the same thing.
  • texas137texas137 Registered User Posts: 2,143 Senior Member
    I know of 2 people who received one of the top ones - one of them was a silver medalist at the Int'l Math Olympiad (and first girl to represent the US there). The other was a medalist at the Int'l Olympiad in Informatics.
  • beethovenbeethoven Registered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    There isn't a separate application for these scholarships, right? So, does Duke just choose people according to their admissions application?
  • incollege88incollege88 Registered User Posts: 431 Member
    Okay, here is the deal about merit scholarships at Duke. Outside of residents of North Carolina, African Americans, and those who also demonstrate financial need, the chances of someone getting them are very, very slim. ~16500 applicants competing for 15 AB Duke Scholarships and 15 Robertson Scholars= <0.2% of applicants end up with a non-need based, race-based, full merit scholarship. So, usually the top 0.5-1% of applicants will be invited to compete. There is no separate application to fill out; Duke will tell you if you are up for competition in February/March, and invited you down for an interview in March, I believe.

    As texas137 said, the AB Duke scholarship is really for people who will help Duke win competitions like the Putnam math competition (so Olympiad winners), become Rhodes Scholars, or things of that nature. Basically these kids are the best of the best, and could (and did) get into anywhere they'd want to. If you are just an excellent scorer without national/international academic achievements it will be very tough (if not impossible) to get AB Duke.

    However, Robertson is less academic-based and more geared towards personality and leadership potential. According to Duke, "scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, cross-cultural interests, and a commitment to public service and leadership." Now this scholarship is for people who not only have outstanding academic credentials, but who have also shown amazing leadership and community-building skills. Robertson scholars I know have helped with orphanages, done HIV research, etc. Also, as always Duke looks for those who will bring diversity to campus, so I have found that Duke uses scholarships such as Robertson to give financial aid to top international applicants.

    In addition to these two non-need based/race-based/geography-based scholarships, Duke offers the following to outstanding applicants who meet the criteria:

    University Scholars Program: This program, started through a grant by alumna Melinda Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is for eight students demonstrating financial need “who are selected based on merit and diversity, and for their ability to explore new academic horizons…The selection committee focuses on exceptional, creative, risk-taking, high-merit students who could profit most from an interdisciplinary program.” I have noticed this is also used to get excellent international applicants requiring aid the money they need to get them to come to Duke. However, in addition to that, I know of people who got patents, did research, etc. who received this scholarship.

    Benjamin N. Duke Leadership Awards: “provides ten Benjamin N. Duke Leadership Award annually to North Carolina and South Carolina students demonstrating outstanding leadership ability and community involvement.”

    Reginaldo Howard Scholarships: “awarded annually to exceptional incoming students of African heritage…Five full-tuition are awarded each year, and scholarships are available for the four years of undergraduate study.”

    Trinity Scholarships: “awarded to students of exceptional ability from North Carolina and South Carolina, these scholarships provide full tuition, gees, room and board, and summer stipends for study, work, or travel.”

    A.J. Fletcher Scholarships: “This $7,500 music scholarship is offered annually (on a competitive basis) to an entering first-year student who can demonstrate, by tape or audition, talent and achievement in instrumental or vocal performance.”

    Other than this, I know that certain alumni/ae have scholarships in the counties of NC in which they grew up for one student who gets into Duke, which is often only one person!
  • egw4egw4 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    I am an AB Duke c/o 2008, and I would just like to say that I was actually rejected from Yale. That's not to discount the overall competitiveness of the scholarship (as many AB finalists who did get in *everywhere* were not awarded the scholarship), but once you're out of admissions office and in contention for a scholarship, they're looking for totally different things.

    Ohh, the other thing is that if you apply ED you have *absolutely no chance whatsoever* of getting a scholarship. Duke uses the scholarship solely for the purpose of attracting students, and if you're bound ED, they have no reason to give you any merit money....period.
  • incollege88incollege88 Registered User Posts: 431 Member
    Funny. I wasn't ever in the running for any scholarship at Duke yet I was wait-listed rather than rejected from Yale. Goes to show you, college admissions really is a crap shoot.
  • beethovenbeethoven Registered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    egw4: What part of your Duke application or what aspects of your credentials/yourself do you think got you the AB scholarship? Thanks for all the info!
This discussion has been closed.