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Understanding college yield rates

I've seen yield rate mentioned a lot when discussing college admissions, but I'm not really sure what it means. What exactly is a yield rate, and how does it affect the application process? Should I be concerned about it?

7 months ago

Yield rate refers to the percentage of admitted students who ultimately choose to enroll in a particular college. It is an important metric for colleges because it provides insight into the attractiveness of their institution and how effectively they can convert admitted students into enrolled students. Yield rates vary between colleges, but typically, highly-ranked institutions have higher yield rates, between 60-70%.

As an applicant, understanding yield rates can provide some context for the admissions process but should not be a major concern. Yield rates are more significant to the college's admission strategy than your own approach to your applications, but that can sometimes have indirect effects on you.

For example, some schools offer Early Decision or Early Action programs to help secure a higher yield rate. This is because students applying Early Decision are committed to attending if they are accepted, while Early Action students demonstrate a strong interest in the college early in the admissions cycle, so they are more likely to commit, and even if they don't do so right away, the institution has more time to make an attractive offer.

For you, this means that applying Early Decision or Early Action might slightly increase your chances of gaining admission. At highly selective schools, applying ED can result in a 1.6x increase in your chances of admission, though this boost diminishes as the school becomes less selective.

In summary, yield rate is more important for colleges in gauging their attractiveness and guiding their admission strategies than for individual applicants. While understanding yield rates can help contextualize some aspects of the application process, you should focus more on showcasing your strengths, skills, and interests in your application to improve your chances of admission, rather than worrying about the yield rate at each institution. I hope this helps!

7 months ago

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