12/18/2009 Duke early admissions

As loyal readers know, Fact Checker is often written in response to an article in the Chronicle. It may be necessary for you from time to time to go to the Chronicle archive and retrieve that article for full understanding.
Fact Checker here. Interrupting your holidays with some analysis.

The biggest surprise is the number of early admissions candidates who got a flat NO in response to their desire to come to Duke: 609.

That's 609 out of 1924 candidates who completed early admissions applications. You may see a higher total in boasts by Guttentag and Company about the explosion in our early admissions pool, but you should say "Whoa Whoa. You can't fool me. I read Fact Checker!"

If we add the number of people admitted, and the number deferred, and the number who got outright rejections, we come up with 1924. That's significantly less than the 2012 Duke has been touting. The official total includes candidates who did not finish their applications and others who were just masturbating over their dream to come here.

Duke did not reveal last year the number of outright NO's that it sent out. But for the Class of 2012, only 280 were denied admission outright, out of 1247 Duke-count applications and 1171 in the Fact Checker total of people who actually submitted completed forms.

In other words, fully one third of all current early admissions applicants merited a NO, while two years ago, only 23 percent were duds.

As the so-called journalists at Fox say, "I report, you decide." Does this mean the quality of the pool is diminishing before our very eyes?

Guttentag also revealed that of the 713 people who have just been sent to compete in the regular application pool (deferred as they say) only about ten percent will win admission.

Fellow Dukies, we have 609 NO's and 630 people who ain't going to hear YES. I am scratching and asking how come so many turkeys are applying for early admission.

Next point. A glaring omission in Guttentag's comments as reported in the Chronicle and in a PR handout is: he makes no mention of financial aid. A year ago he was all over himself cooing that the Financial Aid Initiative was luring early admissions candidates and it was the best thing for Duke since butter was added to morning grits. What's it's effect now???????

As for this year's boast that 25 percent of early applicants -- a record percentage -- are "people of color," Fact Checker points out that official fall semester statistics show 22 percent Asian, 10 percent African American, 7 percent Hispanic/Latino and 8 percent "other than
Caucasian." Leaving out the "others," we see 39 percent of the student body as a whole is comprised of "people of color," while only 25 percent of those who got in thru early admissions for the next freshman class are.

Let us remember the highly secret study in the Provosts office that I have written about, showing that fully 70 percent of Caucasian undergraduates are from families with incomes above $100,000 (while more than 40 percent of all undergraduates merit aid).

Readers, you can see why early admissions has a reputation as an affirmative action program for whites to jump the line -- which is a prime reason some schools have eliminated it.

Lastly, one of the nice things about official Duke statistics is how they are not parallel year to year. For example, after being told for two years in a row how many early applications were going to Trinity and how many to Pratt, that statistic has disappeared. So has the split between men and women. As for geography, two years ago Connecticut was the #2 state for early candidates, while California burrowed in this year; those rankings do not factor in the greater number of candidates from a large state such as Cal versus a small state such as Connecticut.

Well Dukies, it's time for some well earned rest. Oh two final comments that I cannot resist:

Official statistics just posted on the web show 3,031 regular rank faculty in the semester just completed. That's up from 2877 a year earlier, 2477 when Mr Brodhead arrived and 2,159 a decade ago. I have only one word: unsustainable.

Speaking of President Brodhead, he's in New York worrying about the financial meltdown at Duke ("dire financial strait" is how the chair of our Trustees put it). On Friday he rings the bell to close out trading on the NASDAQ; this is small time since the bell you hear on newscasts and so forth is at the NY Stock Exchange. He'll be flanked by Duke students and alums working in finance, and Fact Checker will be watching to see if he invited David Evans. On Saturday, he's got good seats in Madison Square Garden for the basketball game.

✔Fact Checker is off for the holidays, but rest ye merry, I will watch for any important development.

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