College Admissions

Archive for February, 2009

Most Popular Colleges?

Friday, February 13th, 2009

US News & World Report has come out with another college list. The magazine used yield, which is the number of accepted students who end up enrolling at a college, to come up with a list of the most popular schools. It’s probably not a surprise that Harvard had the highest yield, with 79 percent of admitted students deciding to attend the school.  Schools with a strong religious affiliation, like Brigham Young University and Yeshiva University, also had high yields, because the students who apply to these schools are usually very motivated to attend. Some public universities have high yields because they provide great value. As with all magazine rankings, don’t give them too much weight.  Yield doesn’t indicate the quality of education. A high or low yield can be impacted by tuition, early decision applications and other factors.

Even though US News no longer uses yield in their annual rankings, colleges still care about keeping that number up, because a high yield makes them seem desirable, and that can bring more applications and more donations from alumni.  This year, it will probably be more difficult for enrollment managers to predict yield, because many students have applied to a lot of schools and plan to wait and see where they get in and what their families can afford. That could mean more students being admitted from the wait list as colleges attempt to meet their enrollment goals.