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Duke University Wants Students To Relax When It Comes To College Admissions

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DURHAM — Competition to get into a top college is pretty tough, but one Triangle university is telling students to chill out -- it may help them in the future.

This fall, Leslie Brinson, a member of her school's National Honor Society, is on the defensive. She is also captain of her basketball and volleyball teams. She plans to be a doctor. In short, she is just the kind of student an elite university would like to have.

"College wants everything. They want you to be involved in as much as you can," she says.

Many college admissions officers also recognize that the campuses their committees create are increasingly stressed out.

Duke Universitydoes not let applicants list dozens of activities anymore. They give students a small space to describe who they are by elaborating on what they have done.

"The student who really has done everything is really impressive, and we recognize that," says Christoph Gutentag, Duke admissions director. "We use the word, 'impact,' because it lets us distinguish between students those who only have a long list of activities and that's all they have to offer, as opposed to those students who do fewer things, but really have made a difference somewhere."

On top of all that she accomplished, Brinson was also one of Tom Suiter'sExtra Effort Award winners.

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Chip Muller, Reporter
David McCorkle, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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