The Ivy Coach Daily

February 5, 2024

Harvard’s Yield Rate

Harvard Yield, Yield at Harvard, Harvard Matriculation
Among elite universities, Harvard historically boasts one of the highest yields.

Previously Published on October 24, 2018:

Most highly selective schools — even the likes of Yale University and Princeton University — carefully manage their yield rates. For those unfamiliar with the term yield rates, it’s the percentage of admitted students in a given year who choose to enroll at the university.

Many of our nation’s most selective universities aim to enroll around 50% of the students they accept. Still, other highly selective universities, including Yale and Princeton, aim to enroll an even higher percentage of admitted students. But in the case of Harvard University, well, let’s just say they don’t spend too much time managing their yield. Why not? Because Harvard knows that most admitted students will choose to matriculate.

Harvard is Harvard.

What Is Harvard’s Yield Rate?

The following is a breakdown of Harvard’s yield rate over the last 12 admissions cycles — from the Class of 2027 through the Class of 2016. Harvard’s yield is typically over 80%, which is remarkable even among elite universities. Only twice in the last 12 years has Harvard’s yield dipped below 80%, and a worldwide pandemic impacted one such year.

Harvard Class YearHarvard’s Yield Rate
Class of 2028Not Yet Determined
Class of 2027“Slightly over 84%.”
Class of 202683%
Class of 202584.2%
Class of 202469.8% *
Class of 202382.1%
Class of 202281.7%
Class of 202182.8%
Class of 202078.8%
Class of 201980%
Class of 201882%
Class of 201781%
Class of 201680.2%
* The Class of 2024’s yield was significantly impacted by the pandemic. Many students chose to defer their admission, opting to pursue gap years.

The Yield Rates Across America’s Top 25 Universities

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of yield rates across America’s 25 most selective universities as ranked by US News & World Report in its 2024 ranking of “Best National Universities“:

College/University2024 US News RankYield Rate for the Class of 2027
Princeton University#176.66%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology#284.59%
Harvard University#3Slightly Over 84%
Stanford University#3Not Yet Published
Yale University#569.97%
University of Pennsylvania#669.66%
California Institute of Technology#763.83%
Duke University#755.92%
Brown University#963.25%
Johns Hopkins University#954.35%
Northwestern University#956%
Columbia University#1264.07%
Cornell University#1266.46%
University of Chicago#1287.94%
University of California, Berkeley#1545.58%
University of California, Los Angeles#1551.7%
Rice University#1745.97%
Dartmouth College#1867.13%
Vanderbilt University#1857.03%
University of Notre Dame#2060%
University of Michigan#2147.49%
Georgetown University#2249.92%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill#2243.32%
Carnegie Mellon University#2445%
Emory University#24Emory College: 40.53% | Oxford College: 14.36%
University of Virginia#2441.6%
Washington University in St. Louis#2447.59%

The Remarkable Yield of Harvard

So, for the Class of 2027, the most recent year in which yield data would be available since the Class of 2028 admissions cycle is still underway, of the 25 top-ranked schools, the only schools with yield rates above 80% besides Harvard, which, according to the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based institution, sits at “slightly over 84%,” are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (84.59%) and the University of Chicago (87.94%).

Somewhat close contenders? Princeton University (76.66%), Yale University (69.97%), the University of Pennsylvania (69.66%), Dartmouth College (67.13%), and Cornell University (66.46%) all boast yields above 65%. Stanford University has yet to publish its Class of 2027 yield.

Of course, UChicago admits tend to love UChicago and aren’t usually considering attending Harvard or Stanford over UChicago. Hence, the school’s yield was 87.94% for the Class of 2027 (1,626 students enrolled from a pool of 1,849 admits). On the other hand, Stanford and MIT admits are often cross-admitted to Harvard. Some will choose Harvard, while others will choose Stanford or MIT. Harvard’s typical yield — around 85% — is thus rather remarkable when considering it in context.

In short, there’s Harvard and then there’s everyone else.

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