Life at Duke

Whether you are sick, hungry, or just trying to find a place to park, it is useful to know where to look to find the solutions to your problems at Duke University. This section is dedicated to helping you find the right places to look. While it may not tell you how to ace your exams, it may help you stay sane in the process.

When will I receive my financial assistance?

The Financial Aid Office is in suite 2023 of the law school. You can also reach the office with questions or problems at (919) 613-7025 or While you should be receiving detailed financial aid information from the Financial Aid Office, here are a few important details.

  • Fill out all forms given to you as soon as possible—you will get your aid faster. You must complete the entrance loan counseling before your federal loans can be disbursed. Pay attention to deadlines!
  • If you are covering your tuition with financial aid or loans, the Bursar will not expect payment directly from you, but remember to complete all steps to obtain financial aid. You can check your financial aid status by logging into
  • DukeHub.
  • Any financial aid that you receive in excess of your tuition will be disbursed to you through the Bursar’s Office approximately one week after classes begin. Sign up for direct deposit to get your disbursement faster! Otherwise, refund checks are mailed to the address listed in DukeHub.
  • Before you sign a lease for your apartment, be sure that your rent doesn’t exceed what is alloted in the financial aid student expense budget. (You don’t want to run short of cash right before exams begin!).

Who do I speak with about tuition?

Once you have some money, you might find it necessary to pay that hefty tuition bill before you start class or to ensure your direct deposit is set up correctly for your loan refund to deposit before your rent is due. This requires knowledge of the University Bursar’s Office.


Tuition is usually paid through financial aid (in which case, you don’t have to worry about it at all) or by mail. Any questions or problems can be directed to the Bursar by email (, phone call ((919) 648-3531), or visit (American Tobacco Campus Washington Building, Bay 10).

Refund Checks

You’ll receive your refund much faster if you sign up for direct deposit. The Financial Aid Office will help you do this.

Tuition Refund Insurance

Duke has arrangements with a private insurance company to offer a tuition refund plan to minimize your financial losses if you suffer a serious illness or accident and have to leave school before the semester is over.

Who do I speak with about my laptop?

There are a number of desktop computers available to you in the law school, mostly in the library, but as a Duke Law student, you are strongly recommended to have your own laptop. Duke Law School Academic Technologies has a page of useful considerations in purchasing a laptop.

Computers and computer related materials are sold in the Duke Computer Store, which is on the bottom floor of the bookstore in the Bryan Center. The bookstore runs special deals on PC and Macintosh packages, so check the bookstore website before buying a computer.

You will have computer sessions during orientation during which you will set up your laptop, but any further questions you have can be taken to the Help Desk at the reference desk of the Law Library. The University’s Office of Information Technology service desk, for both software and hardware problems, can be found at the Link in the basement of Perkins Library.

For those with Apple, Dell or Lenovo laptops, you can also take your computer directly to Duke Computer Repair located at 3523 Hillsborough Road.

What does my Student ID do?

If you fill out the Duke Card form by the deadline in the summer, you will receive it during LEAD Week. If not, you need to go to the Duke Card Office to get it. The Duke Card Office is located at the Telcom Building (rear entrance) off Research Drive.

At the Duke Card Office you can get your first card or get a replacement if you have lost your card. You can also call (919) 684-5800 to report a lost or stolen card. You can also activate and add money to your FLEX account at the Duke Card Office, which allows you to pay for a number of things on campus, including color copies and food (which saves you the state sales tax). Once you have activated your FLEX account, you may add funds via cash, check, debit card or Bursar charge at the office or online.

Can I park on campus?

Before you can do anything else on campus, you need to know where to put your car so as to escape the wrath of the parking services meter maids. Parking tickets aren’t cheap at Duke, ranging from $40 to $250. Pay careful attention to the parking signs, because there are some spots around campus that are notorious “parking traps,” like the Service Permit spots in the middle of the Chemistry street parking.

Visitor Parking

Duke University Parking and Transportation Services claims to start enforcing permits in mid-August, but these initial enforcements might consist merely of warnings. But get your permit straightened out as soon as possible to avoid a fine.

Visitor lots and spots are marked on the street and on the maps at the Parking and Transportation Services website.


You may have already had the opportunity to get your parking passes through the Bursar’s Office, but if not, you need to make a trip to the Parking and Transportation Services office located at 2010 Campus Drive, or register for parking online.

Law School students are eligible to park in the Science Drive Garage for an annual fee. These parking permits go quickly so register early or explore other transportation options at Duke. Special accommodations may be made for people with temporary or permanent disabilities.


If you have the unfortunate experience of receiving a ticket, you can either mail your payment in with the envelope with which the meter maid will so kindly provide you, or you can pay on the Parking and Transportation Services website. It is also possible to appeal your ticket (Parking Services’ idea of due process) either online or by mail with a particularly lawyerly-sounding letter, or a legitimate excuse.

What restaurants and dining options are on campus?

Now that you have taken care of all of your errands, you must be pretty hungry. Here is a summary of food options on campus.

Café De Novo at Duke Law

Café De Novo is not your standard campus eatery! The Café is dedicated to providing healthy, homemade, nutritious meals, using as many local and organic products as possible. Daily specials vary, but you can check out the regular menu.

Sanford School of Public Policy

Sanford’s deli is located in the Public Policy building across the street from the law school. They offer a delicious selection of deli-style lunch food such as: wraps, sandwiches, salads, and cookies. They accept credit cards.

Fuqua School of Business

Fuqua, the building next door to the law school, has a large cafeteria located on the east end of the school. They offer a salad bar, sushi, deli, hot order line, and hot dishes among other things. They also accept credit cards.

Bryan Center

There are several eateries at the Bryan Center, a building northeast of the law school on Science Drive, including McDonald’s, Joe Van Gogh, Panda Express, and a Mexican restaurant and bar called The Loop where you can purchase margaritas and beers on your Duke Card.

Brodhead Center

Formerly known as West Union, the Brodhead Center offers a tasty selection of global flavors using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Vegetarian and vegan options always available, with made-to-order options to satisfy other dietary requirements. Order your meal, pick a spot, and make yourself comfortable.

Even more options!

As you leave the Bryan Center, walking east down the Bryan Center Plaza towards West Campus Quad, you will come across the Loop, a pizza and burger place with good salads, Subway, and the Penn Pavilion, a cafeteria, all on your left. There is also the Greek Devil, Loco Pops, and JB’s Gourmet Dogs and More which are food carts on the Bryan Center Plaza. You can also get coffee and sandwiches at Saladelia at The Perk in the Bostock Library on West Campus.

See a map of dining options on campus