The Ivy Coach Daily

October 1, 2022

Ivy League Yield Rates

There’s a terrific piece in The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper of Harvard College, on Ivy League yield rates through the last 30 years.

Over the last three decades, each of the eight Ivy League institutions has dramatically improved its yield — or the percentage of admitted students who choose to matriculate. As we’ve said on the pages of this college admissions blog time and again through the years, America’s elite colleges — which of course include the Ivy League institutions — get better and better each year at inspiring students to not only apply but, when admitted, attend. But just how good have the likes of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown, UPenn, and Cornell gotten? Wonder no more!

The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper of Harvard College, aggregated some great yield data for each of the eight Ivy League schools over the last 30 years. According to the data, in 1992, 76% of students admitted to Harvard’s Class of 1996 chose to matriculate. That same year, the figure stood at 54.01% at Yale, 56.68% at Princeton, 51.07% at Dartmouth, 50% at Brown, 46.38% at UPenn, and 46.03% at Cornell. Columbia’s data was not available that year. Fastfoward to 2022, for the Class of 2026, 84% of admits chose to matriculate to Harvard, 67.7% to Yale, 78.32% to Princeton, 67.13% to Columbia, 63.72% to Dartmouth, 67.3% to Brown, 67.88% to UPenn, and 68.36% to Cornell.

So, among the Ivies, it’s — of course — Harvard that leads the pack in terms of matriculating the highest percentage of admits. Princeton comes next followed by Cornell, UPenn, Yale, Brown, Columbia, and Dartmouth. And what year, you ask, was there a major abberation with respect to the yield at the Ivies? You guessed it: 2020 for the Class of 2024. That year, because so many students chose to take gap years rather than start their college years virtually, yields at the Ivies dipped dramatically — to 69.83% at Harvard, 54.98% at Yale, 62.45% at Princeton, 57.11% at Columbia, 53.6% at Dartmouth, 62.05% at Brown, 61.26% at UPenn, and 59.78% at Cornell.

As Rahem D. Hamid and Nia L. Orakwue report for The Harvard Crimson in an oustandingly researched piece entitled “As American Colleges Struggle to Fill Classes, Ivy League Yield Rates Continue to Rise,” “Yield rates at the eight Ivy schools have soared over the past 30 years, according to a Crimson analysis — and show no sign of slowing. At Harvard, the percentage of admitted students who choose to enroll has gone up by 8 percentage points since 1992. At most other Ivies, the growth is even more stark: Cornell has seen a 22 percentage point rise in its yield rate over the same period.”

Now, loyal readers of Ivy Coach’s college admissions blog know that we’ve got a crystal ball — and it’s highly accurate. Heck, it’s even been cited on the pages of America’s oldest college newspaper, The Dartmouth. Ivy Coach’s crystal ball hereby forecasts yields at the Ivies will continue to rise for the next 30 years. Sure, they’ll go up and down like the stock market on a year to year basis, but at this time 30 years from now, we suspect the numbers will be even higher. But do check back in with us in 2052 to see if our forecast proved true! See you then!

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