Ananya Bhatia: Benjamin N. Duke Scholarship

By: Amber Wilson

Meet your newest Duke class of 2026 member, Ananya Bhatia! She will be majoring in Civil Engineering on the Benjamin N. Duke scholarship. 

The Benjamin N. Duke Scholarship is presented to students by the Office of University Scholars and Fellows based on community service, leadership, and academic merit. Ananya was selected as a scholarship finalist from her original application to Duke, and was invited to further her pursuit of the scholarship through another strenuous application. This application consisted of four essays, and a two-step interview process with the director of the program and a panel. One week after the interviews, Ananya received a phone call from the director of the program congratulating her on receiving the scholarship! The Benjamin N. Duke scholarship includes a full ride to Duke and stipends for international internships. Ananya is excited to take advantage of all of the opportunities the Benjamin N. Duke scholarship offers.

Ananya chose Duke because it combines a respected engineering school with a liberal arts college experience. Duke provides many research opportunities, especially those one on one with professors. Duke also has Focus, a program where students push for changes to create a more sustainable energy future. Ananta is super passionate about sustainability and loves math; she wanted to pick a major that combined both.

Ananya’s biggest inspiration is her older sister. Growing up in an immigrant family, a lot of things about American culture were new to her family and her sister paved the way for her to experience the stereotypical American teenager experience. Ananya admires her sisters’ kindness and willingness to do anything for anyone. 

In her free time, Ananya works at a bakery, her favorite baked goods are Chai Spiced Cupcakes. Furthermore, she loves cooking of all kinds. Ananya explained that cooking allows her to spend time with her family and connect with her culture. 

Ananya’s biggest advice to rising seniors is to write their CommonApp essay over the summer, sharing that a plethora of scholarships use similar questions. She also noted that college is not the only option: “There are so many other opportunities that are just as great. You are not expected to go to college, pave your own path and do something that makes you happy!”

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