The number of students who have accepted their offers of admission to Yale for fall 2008 has remained at a level consistent with past years, despite dire predictions reflecting the uncertainty in the Ivy League admissions playing field this year.
So far, the University’s yield — the percentage of accepted students matriculating — stands at 68.9 percent, compared to 69.4 percent at a similar point in the admissions cycle last year, Dean of Admissions Jeff Brenzel said Thursday. Out of the 1,892 offers of admission made in the early action and regular admissions rounds, 1,286 students have committed to attending Yale in the fall, while an additional 25 students have postponed matriculation to fall 2009.
The admissions office will begin making waitlist offers this week, Brenzel said. In the first round, the office plans to make about 45 offers, with further rounds contingent on how many waitlisted students accept the offer, and on how other schools’ wait list offers affect students who have already committed to attending Yale.
All waitlist activity should be complete by mid-June, Brenzel said.
Last year, the final yield was 70.6 percent after Yale made an additional 50 offers to waitlisted students. Yields for the past four years have hovered around 70 percent.
Yield is calculated by dividing the number of students who accept offers of admission for the coming academic year by the total number of offers, less the students who ask to postpone matriculation.
Earlier this year, high school guidance counselors and college admissions officers alike speculated that the elimination of early admissions programs at Harvard and Princeton universities, effective this admissions cycle, might encourage more students than usual to file applications at all three schools. The three schools might subsequently cross-admit more of the same students, they hypothesized, thereby depressing yield at some or all of the schools.
Additionally, sweeping reforms in the financial-aid programs at every Ivy League school except Princeton, as well as at Stanford University, have left experts in the dark about how applicants might react.
Yale’s applications did skyrocket to a total of 22,813, an 18 percent increase over last year’s total. Early applications this year rose a staggering 36 percent from last year.
But so far, yield has not fallen demonstrably. And the admissions and financial changes may not actually be responsible for any change in the yield, Brenzel suggested.
“I think the small decrease in this year’s yield could be as much due to our increased competition for minority, low-income and science-oriented students as it is to early admissions and financial changes,” he wrote in an e-mail.
This year, Yale posted an all-time-low acceptance rate of 8.3 percent, a figure that does not take into account any waitlist offers. Harvard accepted an Ivy League record 7.1 percent of its 27,462 applicants.
Brenzel said the admissions office will not release any detailed breakdowns on matriculating students — such as ethnicity, geographical distribution or income — until the full class is enrolled in the fall.