Tag Archives: yield

A Few More Tips for College Visits

Families with High School juniors likely spent their Spring Break on College Visits. And your summer will likely include more College Visits. If you have read ADMISSIONS INTERVIEW & CAMPUS VISITS, you have lots of tips to make your visit successful. But here are a few more tips:

  1. Express Your Interest in a College
Is it a College or University?

Let Colleges Know You Are Actively Interested

As discussed in YIELD, College’s Admissions Offices have a difficult task. If they want to admit 500 students, how many students should they accept? How many of those who are accepted will choose to enroll – what will their yield be?

Colleges pay attention to how much time and attention you have spent on their College. The more time, the more likely you are going to enroll if you are accepted. If you have decided Acme College is THE ONE, then a) you likely decided it was THE ONE after you spent a fair amount of time on campus and b) you likely spent a lot of time on Acme’s campus because you are excited about it. While there are some students who decide a particular College is THE ONE without having even visited the College, that is certainly more rare.

Therefore, whenever you visit a College, attend and off-campus Information Session or have any outside contact with the College, make sure they know you were there – document your College Visit. Even if you can’t attend an Information Session or College Tour, stop by the Admissions Office, talk to anyone who is available and fill out the forms that express your interest. It is best if the student is the one who engages in the Admissions Office. By filing out the forms, you will be added to the mailing list and they will make note of the fact that you visited their campus. At the very least, go onto the College’s website and sign up to be on their mailing list, another way to express interest.

2. Visit a College when Classes are in Session

When Colleges are on break, the energy on the campus dies. If your student is worried a College may be too small, a visit when there is no activity on campus is another nail in the coffin…. Students are very concerned about deciding whether the students on campus are “their people”, which is difficult to determine if hardly any students are on campus when you visit.

Unrestricted Stock Graphic Calendar

Plan Your College Visits in Advance

At the beginning of Junior year, determine all of the dates that your student does not have school. Teacher Conferences, Teacher Workdays, even some Holidays. Determine if your student has any other commitments on those non-school days. Then type <XX College 20– Academic Calendar>. This should lead you to XX’s calendar for that year. Compare the calendars, and now you know the best dates for your College Visit. The alternative is to pull your Junior out of school to visit XX College, but Junior year is an important academic year and your student may be resistant to miss school to visit Colleges.

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Yield (or Admission Rate) is the percentage of students admitted into a College that choose to enroll in that College. Stanford, the most selective College in the country, has a much higher yield than your local State College. Why? Other than lacking funds to pay for it, not too many kids get into a school like Stanford and decide they’d rather go elsewhere. Part of this desire may be due to a deservedly earned reputation for excellence, for the prestige of graduating from a renowned University and part of this desire may be for the ego-boosting feeling of being accepted to a College that is difficult to get into. Does the College accept exceptional students that create an excellent atmosphere? Does the College’s excellent atmosphere create exceptional students? There is something to both, but this is a classic question of the chicken and the egg.

Why is Yield so important?

  1. Admissions is a big-money game for Colleges. Non-subjective factors such as yield, or admission rate, can have a big impact on how Colleges are viewed by prospective students and how they are rated by publications such as the US News & World Report Best Colleges. Colleges want a high yieldHigher admission rates (yield) is considered a reflection on the Colleges desirability/selectivity. In other words, a student is more likely to enroll into a College if they are accepted, if they believe other students are more likely to enroll into that College if they are accepted. They also are more likely to apply to that College if they consider it to be highly selective, which is reflected in both its acceptance and admission rates.
  2. Pixabay Calculator

    Admissions is a Numbers Game

    Colleges must make some educated guesses on how many students to admit into their schools to get the number of students they want enrolled in the schools.  If their historical yield is 35%, they may choose to admit 10,000 Freshman, in the hope of enrolling 3,500 Freshman. But if it happens that 4,000 of those 10,000 admitted students chooses to enroll, the College needs to figure out how to accommodate an unforecasted 500 students, both in terms of teachers/classrooms and housing. Next year, they may decide to lower the number of admitted students, both because the school already has 500 unforecasted students in their total student body and because they are wondering if last year’s 40% yield is their new norm.

Now you know why College Admissions becomes a real-life application of Statistics.

Colleges must determine how many students to admit

Colleges must determine how many students to admit in order to enroll the desired number of incoming Freshman

Furthermore, if a school chooses to change an Admission policy, they have to consider what impact that policy will have on their yield – if they determine their diversity is suffering as their selectivity increases, they may choose to admit more minorities. If they are generous with their financial and/or merit aid for those minorities, than the yield for that sub-group will likely be higher.

Colleges that choose to offer an Early Decision Application Plan are eliminating the guesswork on the yield for a portion of their admitted students, because ED plans are binding – the student must enroll if they are accepted via ED. 

Why do you need to understand yield? It helps you understand the Admission process, which helps you make wiser decisions about applying, and whether to apply early. See Early Decision, Early Action, Restrictive Early Action, Regular Decision and Rolling Admission for more detail to help you understand the potential impact on your admissions chances when you apply early to a College. Furthermore, Colleges with a high yield are less likely to offer merit money, because students clearly value admission into Colleges and may be willing to pay more to attend that College. If you are applying to Colleges with a high yield, you should pay close attention to the percentage of students that receive financial or merit aid, if that is important to you. Keep in mind that student athletes and children of alumni may apply early, and receive special consideration for acceptance. Those students may skew the numbers.

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Early Decision, Early Action, Restrictive Early Action, Regular Decision, Rolling Admission

It’s time to figure out some application strategy, in terms of when and how to apply to a College. You have options for how you apply to a particular College. Those options may include Early Decision, Early Action, Restrictive Early Action, Regular Decision and/or Rolling Admission Application Plans, depending on the College. Before we get into the details, it’s important for you to understand an important factor in the Admissions game, which is Yield.

When and how you apply to College can have a big impact on outcome.  In general, there are five ways (or plans) to apply to College:

  1. Early Decision (ED) – sometimes there is ED1 and ED2

    Applying Early Can be a Good Thing... Unless it's Not

    Applying Early Can be a Good Thing… Unless it’s Not

  2. Early Action (EA) – sometimes there is EA1 and EA2
  3. Restrictive Early Action (REA) – AKA Single-Choice Early Action
  4. Regular Decision (RD)
  5. Rolling Admission (RA)

Colleges don’t offer all of these options; typically they offer RD plus one other application plan, unless they offer RA.

A College’s policy regarding offering financial and/or merit aid for different admission plans (ED vs. RD, for example) are important considerations that should be discussed with the College’s Admission Officer. It is also important to research and discuss admission rates for the different application plans. Finally, ask about early application plans acceptance rates, adjusted for athletes and legacies.

About 450 Colleges have Early Decision or Early Action plans.  To determine which application plans are offered at a particular College, type <school name> undergraduate admissions deadlines in your search engine. Again, a College Counselor can be invaluable in navigating this complex process.

Checkout Deadlines and Timelines for related information.

Pixabay Spreadsheet

Application Plans, Deadlines by College & By Date

See the spreadsheets below for ideas on how to track application deadlines for each Application Plan they offer. You will want to track this information by College and by due date.

Application Plans, Deadlines, by College

Application Deadlines, by Date

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