What You Can Learn from the College Yield Rate

Dear College Made Simple reader,

GPAs, SAT scores, college acceptance rates… These are just a few of the many things college-bound students have to concern themselves with in the college admissions process.

There’s another important piece of the puzzle, though, that the majority of today’s high school students have never even heard of… but absolutely should.

I’m referring to the College Yield Rate – the focus of today’s segment.

– Scott

What You Can Learn from the College Yield Rate

By definition, the college yield rate is the percentage of admitted students who ultimately enroll and attend the college.

The yield can vary widely from college to college (and it’s primarily used by college admissions offices to decide how many students the college should accept).

For students – the college yield rate can help reveal quite a bit about your chances of getting accepted into a particular school… not to mention the quality of a school.

Here’s a closer look at what yield rates can mean for college-bound students…

Factor # 1: Desirability.

Typically, a higher yield rate equates to a more desirable school, though it does not necessarily reflect the quality of a school.

Harvard is an easy example. It consistently leads the pack in yield rates, sometimes as high as 80%. After all, Harvard is one of the best schools in the world, and also has sliding tuition scales.

It makes sense then that most Ivy League schools have yield rates above 50% (and many well above that number.)

Meantime, other colleges may have relatively lower yields – sometimes because they’re the “safety schools” for a number of students.

Just the same, some state schools could easily have a higher yield rate – because it’s the top choice for every non-elite applicant in its state.

Likewise, schools that offer affordable tuition or generous aid packages can see a higher yield rates than equivalent or better schools.

Factor # 2: Understanding the Odds.

Put simply, the higher a yield rate, the fewer applicants a school (typically) will accept. That’s because – the more desirable a school is to college-bound students, the harder it is to get accepted.

Point is – When deciding how many schools to apply to, it’s very helpful to understand in advance the schools’ recent yield rates as well as acceptance rates.

Factor # 3: Deltas and Wait Lists.

Here’s another situation in which you want to know the yield rate: If you’re trying to decide if you will attend a school that has accepted you, or you’re thinking about delaying your decision (to see if you get accepted into one of your wait-list schools.)

More specifically, you’d be wise to know the change in the yield rate, compared with past years. If a school has a higher yield rate compared to previous classes, your chances of getting in off the wait list may not be great.

On the other hand, if the yield rate has dropped, your odds could improve significantly. It’s worth giving the school a chance to contact you.

In conclusion, knowing what yield rates are – and what they’ve been at colleges in recent years – can only help you better understand your own specific situation.

To your college admissions success,

Scott Weingold

Co-Founder, College Planning Network LLC

Publisher, CollegeMadeSimple.com – The free educational resource of College Planning Network

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by CollegeStats.org.  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News, TheStreet.com, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.