Duke University Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


For some reason I've never really understood, Duke students are stereotyped to be toolish jerks. According to this stereotype, they are rich, Northeastern kids who party all the time and have little regard for the people around them. Growing up a UNC fan in North Carolina, I am well aware of this sentiment. However, for the most part, it is utterly false. Although there are toolish jerks at Duke (just as there are at any school), Duke is an incredibly diverse campus with people from all walks of life. Not everyone is rich and there is not stigma against those who don't have as much money as others - in fact, it's almost impossible to tell who has money and who doesn't. However, there is one notable area in which Duke students do conform to their stereotype; within some (but not all) fraternities in the Greek scene, men tend to homogenize into one kind of person - and that person is often a tool. Yet this is only a portion of the Greek scene, and a vast minority of the Duke student body. As a whole, I'd say the correct stereotype about Duke is students who are passionate. Students get whole-heartedly involved in all aspects of their school, from social to academic to athletic to extracurricular. They are passionate about their studies, their fellow students, and their school.


A Duke student confronts the perception that all Duke students are rich, spoiled, and future CEOs.


A Duke student tackles the "overachiever" stereotype associated with the student body.


A Duke students talks about the perceived arrogance in the student body.


A Duke student talks about the "nerd" stereotypes associated with the school.


Duke student Marissa talks about some of the stereotypes associated with the Duke student body.


Yes, for the most part. Our girls are not hot on the average, but that does not mean that the playing field is not less fun or intriguing. There are some diamonds in the rough. No, we really aren't all nerds (except for the grad school kids). And while many Dukies are WASP-ie, there are just as many modest and only kinda' rich kids.


Duke: Yeas, the administration here sucks and you can get away with what the school thinks won't attract attention, but they get Stalinist on anything that the media might be interested in. Students: Certainly a lot of money, but I'm sure there are poor people here.


I feel that this stereotype is a far stretch of the truth. Albeit, there is a large number of students who may be considered better than "well-off;" however, the idea that the number of students who aren't rich and stuck up is negligable when compared to those who are is none other than a derivative of ignorace. I for one come from one of the poorest cities in the nation (Camden, NJ), and by no means do I feel like I do not fit in. Duke has done a better job in the past years with bringing students from all walks of life and backgrounds to campus, which, I feel, refutes the claim the most of us are stuck up rich kids.


The stereotypes about "effortless perfection" seem to be true. Duke students work very hard in all facets of their lives yet they appear to be very happy, attractive, well put together, etc. I don't know about the rest. But people at duke work very hard at everything, not just academics, but the social scene is very competitive, you have to constantly be aggressive and determined when going to a bar or frat party or any type of social gathering.


Not at all, Duke is an excellent place to meet really cool people. I have way more friends at Duke than I ever had in high school.


There are definitely some people who fit the stereotype, but not the majority.


Yes, much more so than I would have thought going into school. My dad insisted that at any school you could find any kind of person, and this is true. However, the above stereotype does exist. Compared to a school like NYU, where almost everyone is somehow "outside of the box", about 10 kids at Duke are.


Not really


Effortless perfection is something that you might think people have, but you really have to get to know the students and you will see that they are a really down to earth bunch. Yet, EVERYONE is extremely intelligent.


I would say that the stereotypes for the greek life are true to an extent because there are people in every stundent group that fit their stereotype, but overwhelmingly, the people are very normal and most do not fit the mold. At Duke in general I think that the stereotype of rich kids is true, but not to the extent that I was expecting. It is easy to find people that are like you, especially if you are open-minded. The stereotype that Duke is not very racially diverse is pretty true, unless you are in a student organization as I am, for there are many different types of people. Oh and the stereotype about independents being boring is not true at all. Some of the people that I know that go out the most are independents.


Not really. It's true that Duke students are smart. They study hard, but they also party hard. Duke has a high percentage of Asian students, but not most of the students are Asian. And Duke students do not rape people.


About 40%, much more than I expected, fullfilled the rich, white stereotype. I do think our students are just as smart as Harvard or Yale kids, but a bit more socially skilled and fun.




Though there are a small number of students there who do fit this description, there are many more students who are at Duke as a result of hard work in high school and who represent a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.


No. Duke has a need-blind admissions policy. It also covers 100% of demonstrated need-based aid. Most of the kids I know are on aid or scholarships and are paying less than if they were going to a state college.


Most students are hard-workers and are ambitious. However, the individual stereotypes are almost always wrong. Everyone at Duke seems to have done something very different and neat. Like the sorority girl who spends a summer working in free clinics in rural Guatemala. Or the nerd who can win any game of beer pong you throw at him. Or the athlete who is also a published poet. These are all kids I know, and this is not a localized incident.


there are more partiers, jocks and preprofessionals here than at many other Ivy calibre schools, but the majority of kids still aren't like that. We're not as rowdy as a state school. And arrogant is just a lie. People are way more down to earth here, I feel.


not completely. You will find some of these guys at Duke, but its not hard to steer away from them and find your niche with a cool group of people.


I do believe that my school is the Ivy of the South - people back at home often mistake Duke for one of the Ivy league schools. People from all over the country choose to come here because of the school's great academic reputation. Duke is only somewhat liberal. It also does not have great diversity - although African Americans make up 11% of the population, there is not that much integration among students. There is not a great representation of Hispanic students here, either.


Partially accurate, in that a large majority of the popular wears pastel polos with popped collars and will end up going to med school. However, there is also a good number of iconoclasts at Duke. We have pierced hippies, homosexuals, and Environmental science majors too. But they all party.


yes and no. it has its southern flair, but mostly the "good stuff" about the South, like hospitality and a laid-back attitude. the school is definitely country-clubish and laments that it's not an Ivy League school. The student body is quite conservative. The mainstream can be overpowering. But the faculty are uber-liberal and progressive. So there's a weird mismatch between students and faculty.


For the most part, yes, that has been my experience.




1) yes and no, duke students are really intelligent but i think people generally love duke for duke and not because they couldn't get into some ivy league. in some cases people even chose duke over one of the ivy leagues. 2) dukies are all closet nerds but that makes them cool, people like to party too and not study all the time, but people who do not party as much are just as cool in my opinion. some people do not think this way 3) a lot of duke students have money, a lot also do not, there is some truth because it is a private school and more expensive but its not completely true 4) there is a lot of debate on this issue and i think duke students have made a lot of effort to change this. on some level i think there is some truth to this stereotype 5) very few people at duke plays lacrosse or were on the lacrosse team. 6) i think there are some really pretty girls here and some really awesome girls that if you meet them will blow you away with their personality but i do believe at times there is a little bit of a high school type thing where certain "pretty" girls are deemed to be in the "cool" crowd and therefore take on a certain social persona 7) this is a term that has been thrown around all four years i have been here and i have no idea what it means. i have had a girlfriend for 2 and a half years here and it has been really fun. i also dont know how this "hookup culture" doesn't exist at all other places or why it is necessarily bad


they all apply to particular groups on campus, but not to campus as a whole


Mostly, yes. However, there are many people outside the stereotypes.


For the most part. Not for me.


Yes, 100%




To a degree


Yeah, there are a lot of snobs, but Duke's culture fosters it.


somewhat, in the frat scene


On average the degree to which Duke students are preppy might be more than other schools, but there is a dynamic community with students from all backgrounds. Duke students are smart.


No, but they have roots in the truth.




Generally yes, although there are groups of students that do not fit into the categories


They are true for certain segments of the population. By definition though no stereotype is all true.


There are quite a few students that match this stereotype, but there are plenty of students that are very down to earth and awesome.






These kids are the vast minority at Duke and contrary to a lot of people's opinions Duke is actually an incredibly diverse place when you get outside the rich, white frat life.


Not all members engage in these activities. When a bunch of fraternity brothers get together they tend to act way way more "fratty" than when they are alone. On an individual basis they can be amazing people. Sorority girls, once again, are usually very incredible, friendly, good people on an individual basis. Collectively, they can be exclusive and sometimes think that they are too good for some people. Sometimes girls who aren't attractive or cool happen to be in sororities like Tri-Delt and Pi Phi, so they think that they're the shit, when in reality they are not and someone should tell them that. Asians do study a lot, but so does almost everyone else...


isn't every stereotype?


No. Not at all.