Financial aid for high-income families at Duke University

by Grace

Duke University’s financial aid statistics show that even “rich” families are eligible to receive help in paying for college.


Since the numbers for each income group are not provided, we don’t know how many families are in the top categories.  Based on information from other sources, a reasonable estimate would be that 400-800 families whose incomes are $130,000 or more are receiving financial aid averaging about $20,000 per year.  These figures comprise need-based and merit-based financial aid, including athletic scholarships.  That’s about 6-12% of total Duke undergraduates.



Total Enrolled Undergrads:

Total Aid Recipients: 3,469

% of Total Aid Recipients
Merit Aid Students: 6.1%
Athletic Aid Students: 7.3%
Need-based Grant Aid Students: 86.6%

% of Total Enrolled Undergrads
Merit Aid Students: 3.1%
Athletic Aid Students: 3.7%
Need-based Grant Aid Students: 44.1%

Duke is one of only two of the top ten universities that give out merit scholarships.   Although not very common, in some cases it is possible to qualify for need-based aid even with an income approaching $250,000.

How Duke Does Aid is a short, informative video on how financial aid works at Duke.

Related:  Psst – one of Duke’s so-called merit scholarships is actually need-based (Cost of College)

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