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Duke Undergraduate Admissions

For Parents

It's almost time to see your son or daughter off to college. The next four years will be at least as transformative as the past four, with one major difference: you won't always be there to guide each new step. As your child, now a young adult, makes the important decision about which college to attend, we know that you have questions, too. Although we've designed the entire Duke Admissions website with your concerns in mind, we've dedicated this section to help you easily find answers to your questions. If you have additional questions during the coming year about Duke and whether it is the right fit for your son or daughter, please let us know. We're happy to help. We want to put your mind at ease.

The college selection process can be one filled with excitement and reward for your child, but it can also be difficult at times. The emotional support you can provide as a parent and your knowledge of the college admissions process can be invaluable to your son or daughter. Through the information provided here, we hope to address some of the issues that augment the frustrations of the process so that you can focus on the wonderful four years that await your child and help him/her make the best decision for his/her individual needs. For additional information about the college preparation and search processes in general, we suggest the National Association for College Admission Counseling's page for parents and students.

A Parent's Perspective

Would you like to hear what parents of current Duke undergraduates have to say about their children's experiences? Three Duke parents sat down with Steve Nowicki, former Dean of Undergraduate Education, to talk about their perspective on the Duke experience and to answer questions sent in from parents of admitted students.

Additionally, here are a few remarks from current Duke parents regarding the education their children are receiving at Duke:

“Duke combines the most important characteristics of the best learning environment. First, Duke has an exceedingly high-quality group of students who challenge and learn from each other. Second, the Duke academic programs have rigor, quality, and a diversity of curricula taught by faculty who enjoy teaching bright, inspired undergraduates. Third, members of Duke’s dedicated support staff possess the resources and motivation to be innovative, and they are able to provide students with appropriate guidance. You won't find a university that provides more high-caliber opportunities for your freshman.” –T. Wallace, Virginia Beach, Virginia

“What I really appreciate about Duke is the energetic and upbeat atmosphere that pervades the campus and helps define the character of the Duke community. We are proud that our son is part of a tradition that combines intellectual excellence, ingenuity, and integrity with enthusiasm and social awareness. It is a remarkable place for a student to learn, live, and grow.” –S. Rivers, Spencer, Massachusetts

“Duke is about the people you meet. Duke students are not only brilliant, they are also very grounded. They are the kind of people you meet in everyday life, who are good citizens and who help their communities work efficiently. They are generally happy, not unduly stressed, have good life and social skills, and have goals. They are competitive, but not at the expense of their friends and colleagues. They want to succeed, and they usually do. They are loyal and proud of their school, and they make friends for life. A Duke connection is immediately a common bond.” –K. Wagoner, Birmingham, Michigan

“I appreciate the ways in which Duke tries to connect parents to their students’ undergraduate experience. The special programs for parents during orientation week and parents’ weekend are very informative and reassuring. I have also enjoyed participating on the Duke Parents’ Advisory Council (DPAC). On DPAC, we have had the chance to learn so much about what is being planned and how administrators approach various issues. We have also had the opportunity to provide input. It’s been a wonderful experience.” –M. Edwards, Greensboro, North Carolina