5 days ago
Admissions Advice

what more should i do to increase my changes or getting into duke?

Are my stats and EC good enough for a prestigious college?

I’m a junior in high school right now and I want to go to Duke, or a school to that level. Duke is very very competitive so if anyone can give me advice or info based on my stats that would be much appreciated! It’s causing me a lot of stress feeling that I haven’t done enough. I am a legacy of Duke bc my mom went there.

My academics are basic. I have a 4.16 gpa right now, but my overall as of now (end of first semester of junior year) is a 4.00 because of the one B I received in chemistry last year. For APs, by the end of senior year, I would have taken all except for 1/2 of a year possible for my school, which is around 4.5/12 ish total offered at my school. (I switched into an AP this year, so it’s .5) my school only has 5 academic periods and APs aren’t available until junior year, and most are extracurriculars and not standard English and History, so a majority is only available as a senior.

this whole section is stressing me out bc nothing i do screams high academic!!

My school doesn’t have any class rankings

I didn’t have access to the PSAT because of my school district, but am planning on taking the SAT.

I have been dancing since 3rd grade, and now do about 25 hours a week, and have been doing 25 hours per week since freshman year. (Before was less just because I was in a lower level).

My school is a public arts high school, which I attended for dance. 10/25 hrs a week comes for, the 2 hours of “art block” I do at school every day. Every summer since 2018 I have attended a dance summer intensive for 3+ weeks

I am a part of environmental club, and have been since freshman year (and middle school), and was a core member last year. (I can’t anymore bc of my dance schedule)

I have been part of an all girls charity and leadership organization since 6th grade, where every year, 15 hours of philanthropy, 10 hours of meetings, and 15 hours of league are required.

At the end of last year, I took over my sisters “project”, donating period products to homeless shelters, where I fundraise or ask for donations of products, and put together kits to give away.

I feel that I am doing so much everyday, as I am doing how, at school, or dancing from 8am to 9pm everyday, but I still feel like I don’t have even a chance at prestigious schools.

Thank you so much any feedback and guidance on what to do or how I look to prestigious colleges is very much appreciated!


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1 answer

5 days ago[edited]

Obviously you are a very good student. That's not the question at hand. I think it's more about fit than being a good student.

Don't take this the wrong way but I'm not sure you are good fit for Duke and vice versa. One thing Duke looks for is someone whose ECs align with their Major. That accounts for about 20% of the application.While Duke does have a dance program, I do not think it is highly ranked reputation wise. !0% of the Duke application is some kind of Hook, either being Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, or non-CIS orientation.

Besides your passion for dance, unless you are applying to a dance program, I don't know how that translates into a "wow", "sizzle" factor or evidence of intellectual curiosity/vitality, traits that top 10 schools often look for. Maybe you have leadership positions however from your query, I also do not see any clear leadership positions in Clubs, Student Government, Team Sports, or Community Service or Non-profits. I agree with you that you can't really control how many APs your school offers and if your school only offers 5, and you took 4.5, then it is what it is. One way to augment the lack of course rigor at your high school would have been to pursue outside coursework by enrolling into online college course or similar. You didn't mention that took that path. Lastly, with regards to test scores or AP scores, its hard to know what you will score on your SAT. Keep in mind that Dukes middle 50% percentile scores are 1500-1570 which is near the top of the scale and perhaps even higher than some higher ranked colleges.

I know a few friends who were passionate about dance as well as being good students. After discussing with them, I think you might be happier if you applied to a prestigious schools that offer a Dance Major so regardless of what you pick to study. This way you can always minor in Dance or double major or just having access to dance studios and exercise classes is a plus.

Although you didn't ask for a list of schools that might be a better fit, I'm providing a short list based on the people I talked to.

Here's my list of schools I recommend you check out. (a couple of my friends go to Barnard and one of them is majoring in Dance)

Barnard, Bates, Berklee (Conservatory), NYU, Skidmore, Julliard, USC, UMich, Oberlin, Hamilton, Middlebury, URichmond, WashUSt.Louis, Swarthmore, Smith, Kenyon, Scripps.

Good luck with the rest of your junior year. I would use the time you have this summer perhaps visiting some of these schools in person. It a great way to assess the fit for you. You might be pleasantly surprised.


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