Selection Process

Every applicant to Duke University is considered for our various merit scholarships. There is no separate application for the A.B. Duke Scholarship.

But the applicant who demonstrates exceptional promise, intellectual hunger, and an inquisitive spark may be considered a candidate for the A.B. Duke Scholarship.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions identifies A.B. Duke Scholar candidates from the overall pool of applicants and forwards their applications to the A.B. Duke Advisory Committee. The A.B. Duke Advisory Committee selects up to forty-five finalists from across the country and around the world.

In addition to merit, a few of our scholarships also require demonstration of financial need. Please provide the Financial Aid office with all necessary documentation, no later than the first week in March, to optimize consideration for scholarship awards.

In early April, all finalists are invited to visit the campus at our expense to meet current scholars and faculty and to interview with the Advisory Committee. The weekend is a three-day event. Interviews for finalists, which are mandatory, are scheduled at specific times during finalists’ visits. Scholarship recipients and alternates are notified shortly thereafter.

It’s not easy to choose the finalists. There are so many exceptional applicants to Duke. But we can tell you this: we are looking for people rather than perfectionists and potential rather than performance. We honor high school records and recommendations; we honor even more a high school record that reveals little self-satisfaction, that is hungry instead of overfull, that is imaginative instead of ingrained to please.

Think “work in progress.” Think poised to be transformed and engaged by one of the nation’s great universities. Think: I just might be an A.B. Duke Scholar.