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Rank: 19

Duke University

One of the most selective colleges in the South, Duke accepted only about 6% of regular-decision applicants in 2019. Though a major research institution, Duke offers its nearly 7,000 undergrads an extraordinary amount of direct interaction with professors. The student-faculty ratio -- 7:1 -- is one of the lowest in MONEY's rankings, and about half of students work on research projects with faculty members. The most popular majors include computer science, economics, and public policy. Many professors are at the top of their fields, including the economist Dan Ariely, Nobel-winning chemist Robert Lefkowitz, and -- we are not making this up -- scientists who spent several years developing an invisibility cloak. (To be fair, scientists at the universities of Rochester and Central Florida have also contributed to the advancement of the science behind invisibility cloaks.) All of these advantages are wrapped in quintessential collegiate trappings. Duke's towering architecture has earned its almost 9,000-acre campus in Durham, North Carolina, the nickname "Gothic Wonderland." Undergrad social life, meanwhile, tends to revolve around fraternities and athletics. As any sports fan knows, the Blue Devils men's basketball team is a perennial winner with a passionate national following. Students from Duke, which has a 95% graduation rate, also tend to do well outside academia: Recent graduates report making $68,700 annually within three years, according to PayScale data.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$75,000
% of students who get any grants
53%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$23,500
Average price for low-income students
N/A
admissions
Acceptance rate
10%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1460/33
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
6,552
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
95%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit* grants
3%
Average merit grant
$69,506
student success
Graduation rate
95%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Average student debt
$9,200
Average salary within 3 years
$68,700
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
50%
key deadlines
Early decision application
Nov 1
Regular application
Jan 3

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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