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Let’s Yield the Truth

The D’s story on the College’s increased yield provides us with historical perspective via a graph of the yield’s evolution over the past ten classes:

Historical Yield.jpg

The last big jump in yield occurred for the Class of 2014: Like this year, it was a leap from about 49% to close to 55%. How to explain the improved yield back then?

As we’ve seen previously, with the Class of 2014 the College bumped up the number of early admits from about 401 to 460 students:

Early Decision 2013A.jpg

And the number of legacies rose from 120 to 162 students:

Legacy Admits 2012A.jpg

That’s an increase in the admissions pool of an additional 101 students who can almost all be expected to matriculate. A quick way to boost the College’s yield, n’est-ce pas?

The number of early admits and legacy admits remained at the level of these new quotas in subsequent years, but nonetheless, our yield dropped for the next three classes. It only rose again this year. Why? Not due to random fluctuations, that’s for sure.

Sooner or later, the Admissions office is going to run out of tricks. Will that be the point when the administration is going to concentrate on fixing the College’s fundamental problems?

Addendum: An alumna interviewer writes in:

I, for one, am GLAD to see the yield “tricks.” As an alumni interviewer in the South, I am sick of interviewing all of the kids that now just apply to all the Ivies — using fee waivers — not knowing anything about Dartmouth. Total waste of my time, and insulting to deal with kids that only apply as a “backup” to Harvard/Yale/etc. Kids apply to 20+ schools now, vs. the 3-5 when we were applying.

Managing admits to optimize yield is great — admit the kids that want to be in Hanover, like early admits and legacies. I have been lobbying the Admissions team for a few years about this!

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