May 8, 2009

Admissions to hit class of 2013 target size as yield dips slightly to 36 percent

Slightly more than one-third of the students accepted to the Class of 2013 will matriculate in the fall, according to the admissions office this week. The projected yield, 36 percent, is a slight decrease from last year’s 38 percent yield rate.“It will probably be down one or two points,” Michael Behnke, vice president and dean of enrollment, said.” I would be surprised if it’s the same or up. We’ve built that into our projections. We wanted to end up around May 1 at around 1,300 or 1,350, and yesterday we were at 1,330.” Behnke said the decrease was expected because early applications had fallen off slightly after a large jump last year, leaving fewer early application acceptances, who are more likely to accept the offer of admission.Behnke said that the decrease in yield might also be attributed to a stronger applicant pool than that of previous years. "This was a stronger group, so we expect to lose a few more of them [to other schools],” Behnke said. He added that some students will be admitted off of the waitlist of 1,033 and that a final yield cannot be calculated until students come to school in September. Behnke said it was possible the yield could increase next year, but it would depend largely on early action. “That’s a large proportion of our applications, and it has increased dramatically over the last 10 years,” he said. “The 45 percent increase [in early applications last year] was the largest increase in the country. The 15 percent decline this year is [probably] a correction. If this is indeed a correction, and we go back to a more steady pattern of smaller but steadier increases in early action, that should result in a steady increase in yield.” Behnke dismissed as immeasurable the possible influence of the Common Application. “It’s conceivable [that there was a change]. I don’t know how we’d measure that. We definitely saw some applications this year that didn’t seem to be as focused on us. But those students generally didn’t get in. We think we’ve admitted the same types of students we would have admitted before, but you never know.”