Matriculation rate hits record high

A record percentage of students has accepted Yale’s offer of admission to the Class of 2009 this spring, with the University’s yield rate hitting an unprecedented high of 72 percent.

This year, 1,340 students decided to matriculate at Yale from a pool of 1,880 admitted applicants, Yale Dean of Admissions Richard Shaw said, noting that the number of students matriculating may decrease over the summer as some students are taken off wait-lists at other schools.

The University’s yield rate this year is a jump up from last year’s. Of the 1,950 students admitted last year, 68.1 percent chose Yale, Shaw said.

“Increasingly students are recognizing that Yale College provides the best undergraduate experience in America,” Yale President Richard Levin said. “The yield has been steadily increasing for 12 years.”

Yale’s peer institutions saw smaller shifts in yield. Harvard’s matriculation rate rose to 78.5 percent from 77.5 percent last year, according to The Harvard Crimson. Princeton’s matriculation rate of 67.6 was down slightly from 67.8 the previous year, The Daily Princetonian reported.

More students were attracted to Yale this year than in previous years partly because of Yale’s new financial aid policy, which will take effect this fall, Yale spokeswoman Helaine Klasky said. Under Yale’s new policy, students from families earning under $45,000 pay a zero parent contribution and students from families in the $45,000 to $60,000 income range pay a reduced parent contribution.

“I think our generous financial aid policy has contributed to such an outstanding and unprecedented yield rate,” Klasky said.

The University’s higher yield can also be partly attributed to a greater number of higher-yield early action students being accepted this year than last year. Yale admitted 710 of its 3,926 early applicants this year, while 670 students were accepted early action from a pool of 4,046 applicants last year.

Harvard officials told The Crimson that they attributed the rise in matriculation to the school’s new financial aid policy, which was implemented last year. Under Harvard’s policy, students from families earning under $40,000 do not pay a parent contribution, while students from families earning between $40,000 and $60,000 pay a reduced parent contribution.

Harvard’s yield rate for students qualifying for the new financial aid policy was slightly higher than the overall yield rate this year. Students from families earning under $60,000 will comprise 18 percent of the Harvard class of 2009, up from 15 percent last year, The Crimson reported.

Similar figures were not currently available for Yale, Shaw said.

Because of Yale’s high yield rate, it is not likely that any students will be admitted off of the waitlist this year, Shaw said.

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