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Colleges Begin to Report Yield for Fall of 2012

The success that colleges had in getting students to say yes to their admission offers is starting to be reported. The New York Times today released a sampling of yield rates — the percentage of students offered admission who decide to enroll—from some of the country's most selective schools.

Harvard University tops the list with 81 percent of its invitations for admissions being accepted. With the class of 2016 more selective than ever (5.9 percent of 34,000-plus applicants offered admission), the school expects it will only admit only 25 students from its waiting list, according to the Times.

The yield rate at Brown University is 57 percent and it is reporting no plans to bring students off its wait list. Dartmouth has a 49.5 percent yield and officials say they may invite students from its wait list.

The yield rate is an important statistic to admissions offices and staff members work hard to predict yield rates to ensure they fill their freshman class with the right mix of students. The average yield rate among four-year institutions was 41 percent in the fall of 2010, according to the National Association of College Admission Counseling. The average yield rate has declined steadily in recent years, making it harder for admissions officers to project enrollment numbers.

Colleges and universities on average spent about $585 to recruit each applicant, $806 to recruit each admitted student, and $2,408 to recruit each enrolled student (including admission staff salaries and benefits in the admission office budget) for fall 2010 admission, NACAC's 2011 State of College Admission report found.

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