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Please chance me for Duke ED

fictionsfictions 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hello, everyone!

I am a current high school senior & have had my eye on Duke ever since I participated in their 7th grade TIP talent search. It is 100% my dream school, so I will be applying Early Decision in November in hope of raising my chances of getting in (which I believe are drawn down a bit due to my ACT score). Despite this weakness, I believe that I have a pretty unique resume and that my interests/achievements/ideology are aligned with Duke's values. It would mean a lot to me if I could receive some insight into my likelihood!

Numbers to crunch
GPA: 4.0 (Unweighted) & 5.0 (Weighted)
ACT: 32 (Though I will be taking another shot in 2 weeks, and hope to bump up to a 33 or 34)
Class rank: #1

10th: European History
11th: U.S. History (5), Environmental Science (4)
12th: Literature/Composition, Statistics, U.S. Government, Comparative Government
I have also taken all advanced courses for my non-AP options.

-For the past 2 years, I've been the Marketer and Social Media Manager for a youth curatorial board that organizes local art shows. My roles included installation/deinstallation of shows, supervision of opening nights, artist communication, high school program outreach, payroll, grant application, and graphic design. I think that this was a unique opportunity & may stand out amongst work experience!
-Member of Art Club for 4 years, running for president this year
-NHS member for 2 years
-President of Garden Club

My 4 "spikes"
1. Music
I have been creating and producing original songs and music videos for 4 years. This summer, I released my first single across all major music streaming apps, and I plan to release an EP next month. To gain exposure, I run a website, YouTube channel, and Instagram account for my music.
2. Visual Art
In addition to Art Club and my curatorial job, I have been showcased in 5 art shows and won 2 contests. I also have a photography website with an in-depth gallery of my pieces.
3. Special Education
Interpersonal Skills is a class that connects special education students and general education students through community service work. In this course, I learned about support tactics for my peers with special needs, participated in bonding activities and organized community service events. In my sophomore year, I led two projects: our school’s first annual Trunk-or-Treat and a supply drive for the Bert Nash homeless outreach program. In my junior year, I was a teacher’s aide for one of the special education teachers. My role included assisting individuals with classwork and life skills, and I shadowed a paraprofessional in a theater class. In my senior year, I will volunteer in a pre-school Life Skills class and assist with several other IPS projects.
4. Environmentalism
After volunteering at a middle school garden for a season and maintaining a verified Monarch Watch Way-station in my home garden, I began to realize the benefits that a school garden would offer for myself and my peers. Thus, I created Garden Club. I also created an "Applied APES" independent study wherein I will write a grant for solar panels, introduce composting to the lunchroom, take care of our Science Department’s prairie, and organize a school-wide Sustainability Fair.

Letters of Recommendation
I have written formal requests for my rec letters from 2 very different teachers: one that can speak to my academic skills/ambition/creativity & one that can speak to my personal character. I am close with both teachers and expect a 9/10 or 10/10 rating on both. I am also on extremely positive terms with my counselor, and expect a glowing (albeit more generic) letter from him as well.

Gender: Female
Race: White
Location: Kansas

Thank you in advance for your advice/insight! Please let me know if any further elaboration or clarity is needed.
5 replies
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Replies to: Please chance me for Duke ED

  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1433 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Last year ED had a 20% acceptance rate with at least 1/2 of those being recruited athletes, legacy, URM, development cases, faculty kids, and national level talented students. I give your chances about 10% if you get your ACT up to a 33 or 34.

    Things in your favor: class rank (depending on number of seniors?), GPA, geographical location (Kansas) and interesting ECs. I assume you are a Music or Arts type major?

    Cons: ACT score, lack of APs in STEM, English/literature, foreign language, etc. Will your counselor check the “most rigorous classes” box?

    Good luck to you and let us know if you get in or are deferred.
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  • fictionsfictions 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you for your very thoughtful reply!

    About the lack of AP classes in certain subjects - AP Lit/Comp is the only AP English class available at my school, but I took all of the English advanced courses, including Epic Tradition & Humanities. I also should have mentioned that, while my school doesn’t offer AP Spanish, I have taken 5 years of Spanish (the highest level available).

    Thank you again for your honesty & encouragement!
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5724 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I agree with the assessment by @socaldad2002 in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of your application. I had the same reaction -- very light on STEM -- but you sound liken interesting person..
    I think if can bring your score up, you might be closer to getting 50/50 odds.

    I think your challenge, in some ways, is that your application will look much like one a development case who was strategic would craft to be sure they had what it took for the committee to okay it. In other words, no compelling reason to say no. But you don't have the hook of being the child of a major donor (so no compelling reason to say yes.)

    This isn't a complete Hail Mary, but the odds aren't overwhelmingly great.

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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I agree it’s a long shot, but as long as you have your safetyand some good Target schools in place, let ‘Er rip! I suggest you add some early choices with your Duke ED app because it can really hurt when deferred or rejected in the early rounds with no back ups

    Yes, ED is your best shot for Duke. My youngest considered it so researched his chances. No one from his school has gained admissions there with a 34 ACT and 4.0 unweighted, in the 5 years prior to his college apps.

    Check out the Naviance info for your school. It can give you useful info. For instance , his school had several admissions at Vanderbilt , Penn and Dartmouth at his stats. If a lot of students have applied to certain colleges, it can give a bit of an idea.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34133 replies378 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 1
    Have you scoured the Duke website and seen what they look for?
    I'm surprised you don't mention what possible major. And I wouldn't count on "spike." They still want you to meet their expectations for depth and breadth and random outside activities aren't always an "it."

    Early admits happen when you are a clear match to what they look for. No bump just for applying early.
    edited September 1
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