What is the Dartmouth Class of 2021 yield, you ask? 61%. This same statistic stood at 53.1% for the Dartmouth Class of 2020, as an article in “The Dartmouth,” in which Ivy Coach’s Founder is extensively quoted, points out. This increase has inspired an editorial in “The Dartmouth” by Dartmouth alumnus John Wilen — who also happens to be the parent of an incoming first-year student at the College on the Hill. The piece focuses on possible causes for Dartmouth’s improved yield this year, for the Class of 2021. For those not familiar with the term ‘yield,’ it’s the percentage of admitted students to a university who choose to attend that institution. It’s an enormously important statistic for highly selective colleges as they compete against one another in an effort to land the sought after students they’ve admitted. Some schools, as our readers may remember, even break the rules by recruiting students to change their school choices (and lose their deposits) after May 1st.
Wilen attributes the improved yield largely to the effectiveness of Dimensions (Dartmouth’s days for admitted students). As Wilen writes, “First, we attended Dimensions, after attending similar accepted student events at other selective schools. Without a doubt, the Dartmouth program was the most polished and effective. Presentations were targeted and on-point. In response, parents and students were not shy about asking very specific questions. If they came with concerns, they left with the information they needed to make a decision.” We’ve been saying it for years. Dartmouth’s Dimensions is among the strongest sales pitches to admitted students among highly selective colleges. So while we agree with Wilen that the program ‘has legs’ as he puts it, it’s had those legs for years. We’re not sure that’s the reason Dartmouth happened to have a stronger yield this admissions cycle.
We do disagree with one thing Wilen writes: “The criteria for selective college admissions, and the Ivy League in particular, seems to be evolving to minimize overlap in acceptances among competing institutions, which could lead to improved yields at Dartmouth and elsewhere.” Wilen later writes that it’s underrepresented minorities who tend to receive ‘overlapping’ admissions as he puts it — or offers of admission to multiple Ivy League schools.
We don’t believe there’s any less ‘overlap’ than there was ten or even twenty years ago. Each and every year, we work with many student who are not underrepresented minorities earn admission to multiple Ivy League schools. These schools are indeed still all targeting the highest achievers. They’re not, as Wilen suggests, each targeting select high-achievers. After all, the more students who apply to a given Ivy League school, invariably the lower the school’s admission rate will be. So they’re certainly not being selective in terms of which students they, say, send brochures to in order to encourage to apply.
What are your thoughts on the Dartmouth yield for the Class of 2021? And have you read our thoughts on how rain during admitted student weekends can impact yield?