Selective Universities Report High Yields

May 13, 2010

yield signSome of the nation's most prestigious universities are reporting increased yields this year.

College "yield"--the percentage of accepted students who agree to enroll--can be tricky to predict, particularly because so many students apply to numerous institutions. It is for this reason that many schools make great efforts to boost yield. But such is not the case at Harvard University, where more than 76 percent of the 2,110 undergraduates who were admitted are expected to attend--a slight increase compared to last year.

"We are delighted that so many of the nation's and world's best students have chosen to join us here in Cambridge," said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, in a news release.

Harvard's high yield will result in even fewer offers of admission to students on the waiting list. "Currently, we expect to be able to admit between 65 to 75 students," noted Marlyn E. McGrath, director of admissions. "We will begin the selection meetings this coming week and complete our work by July 1."

Jacques Steinberg, who writes The Choice Blog for The New York Times, reports that yield at Dartmouth jumped 7 percentage points to 55 percent this year. The increase is so large, noted Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria Laskaris, that no applicant may be admitted from the waiting list this year.

Similarly, Steinberg writes that Stanford University's yield increased slightly to 72 percent, meaning that 26 applicants on the waiting list may be offered admission--about 100 less than last year. At the University of Pennsylvania, yield held steady at 63 percent.

Yet selectivity does not necessarily determine an institution's yield. Daniel de Vise, who writes an education blog for The Washington Post, points out that there are "highly selective colleges with yields of 25 percent or less, because they are competing for the same applicants with several like schools." He notes that according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, average yield nationwide fell from 49 percent in 2001 to 45 percent in 2007, because students applied to so many colleges.

Compiled by CityTownInfo.com Staff


"A High Yield At Harvard," The Washington Post, May 10, 2010, Daniel de Vise

"The Early Line on Admission Yields (and Wait-List Offers)," The New York Times, May 12, 2010, Jacques Steinberg

"Yielding Strong Results: More than 76% of Undergrads Admitted to Class of 2014 Expected to Attend Harvard," Harvard Gazette, May 10, 2010

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