The numbers are in: the New York Times reached out to colleges across the country to find out what their admissions yields have been this year.
What is yield you ask?
The admissions yield is a percentage that represents the number of students who have been accepted and put down a deposit, a sure sign that they plan on showing up next fall, out of the total number of students who were accepted. They also use this number to determine how many students, if any, they expect to be admitting from the wait list.
Here’s a list of the 11 schools that reported to the New York Times arranged by yield:
1. Harvard University: 81% (up 5% from last year)
2. Brown University: 57%
3. Dartmouth College: 49.5%
4. Pitzer College: 38.6% (up almost 9% from last year)
5. New Mexico Tech: 35.7%
6. University of Iowa: 29.3%
7. Lafayette College (P.A.): 28.2%
8. University of Richmond: 26%
9. University of Rochester: 23.9%
10. Rensselaer Polytechnic: 20.5%
11. Case Western Reserve 18.2% (up 5% from last year)
And here’s the same list arranged by the number of students each school plans to admit off the wait list:
1. New Mexico Tech: 50
2. Case Western Reserve: 39
3. Harvard University: 25
4. Pitzer College: 5
5. University of Rochester: less than 5
The University of Richmond and Lafayette both planned to admit students off the waitlist but weren’t sure how many.
Dartmouth indicated that it “may” use its waitlist this year.
Rensselaer Polytechnic, the University of Iowa, and Brown were not planning to admit any students off the waitlist.
It’s interesting to see that higher yields do not necessarily mean that these schools will not be admitting students off the waitlist and also that high yield percentages aren’t always directly correlated to a school’s level of selectivity.
But yield rates aren’t always straightforward...
The Wall Street Journal published an article in 2001 reporting on some of the very real pitfalls of yield rates and how schools can game them to their own advantage. By waitlisting applicants that they think are unlikely to accept admissions offers (for example, students who are likely applying to the school as a safety) schools can keep their yield rates high and acceptance rates low. This makes them look more competitive in rankings such as U.S. News.
< Previously: How to Choose a Career-Focused College Education