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Duke University

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Academically, Duke is an excellent choice.Quite BrightPublic Policy
Academically, Duke is an excellent choice. Faculty are amazing and there are many paid opportunities to participate in research alongside professors. However, socially Duke is awkward. For the most part students are mainstream (relatively plain, rule-bound, suburban, upper middle class, mall-type kids) who aren't very interesting or creative. While there are definitely exceptions, students come across as immature, overly driven and selfish - sort of the way they are characterized by the Duke basketball haters. What is particularly interesting from my vantage point is that most of my peers didn't seem to grow or change much over the course of four years. Most stuck with the same friends and pursued the same ideas and career choices during all 4 years. Students are required to live on campus for their first three years and tend to socialize in homogenous (racial and socioeconomically segregated) groups, and that may contribute to stunted development. A significant percentage of Duke graduates go on to work in finance or consulting. If that is your goal Duke is probably a good bet.

There is a housing model that Duke is working to improve. I wasn't in to Greek life so I didn't have a real place to call home or a well-defined set of friendships. This was amplified by the fact that the campus was so torn apart for construction during the 4 years I attended; at times it was challenging to even find places to eat. Hopefully, that will resolve over the next couple of years. Rather than transfer I ended up studying abroad during several semesters, and that turned out to be a great decision.

If you hope to attend Duke make sure you know what you are getting in to before signing on. For some of us it turns out to be a big debt load. However, academically, it seems like most students are satisfied and the school prepared me well for my post-graduate life. Despite my gripes, Duke will always hold a special place in my memory.Durham is an amazing town with friendly residents. Don't let crime scare you away, but remain vigilant on and off campus. Living in the south was a real opportunity to explore an interesting and vibrant area of the country.

4th Year Male -- Class 2016
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Perceived Campus Safety: C
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Probably the best life experience anyone could have.Math
Probably the best life experience anyone could have. Great academics with a great social life. Alumni network is great and the school administration cares about undergraduate education. Went to two other top 10 rated universities (graduate work) but nothing compared to Duke in terms of teacher involvement and overall experience. Would not consider going anywhere else, AWESOME EXPERIENCE ALL AROUND
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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Duke is an amazingQuite BrightUndecided
Duke is an amazing school. It will challenge you, but in a way that fosters intellectual growth. There is a great sense of community, and I wouldn't trade my Duke experience for anything.
1st Year Male -- Class 2018
Scholastic Success: A+, Surrounding City: B-
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