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Yield Rate

collegedad2013collegedad2013 - Posts: 241 Junior Member
I noticed that Caltech's yield rate seems to be around 40%.

It seems that this is a low number in comparison to other high end schools.

What is behind this number?
Post edited by collegedad2013 on

Replies to: Yield Rate

  • poppingpopcornpoppingpopcorn Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    I believe that number is reasonable, and the yield is lower because Caltech doesn't play the games that admissions offices from other top universities do. Most top schools will reject qualified applicants that they think will accept a different school than theirs, or students that have demonstrated an interest in a competing school. Caltech doesn't take that into consideration at all, though it is of supreme importance to HPYS. H, P, S and Y will protect their yield at all cost, it seems. And Wash U is notorious for rejecting candidates that are over-qualified, just to increase their yield. My understanding is that Caltech accepts students based mostly on merit, not demonstrated interest or ethnicity.

    Another factor in the yield rate is that Caltech is really a niche school, and only if a student feels that niche is right for them are they encouraged to enroll. Those that are accepted are encouraged to come to campus and make sure it is a good fit. Caltech wants students who are desirous of living with and studying amongst the best and brightest, and prefers to weed out those who find it not to be a good fit. The student body is small, and they want every student who attends to come for the right reasons, and to be committed to excellence rather than prestige.
  • llazarllazar Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    Caltech is the best in country for theoretical sciences, simply put. But for most everything else outside of STEM, it's non-existent, as one would expect. This creates a very specific niche which not all kids, even those talented in STEM fields, are willing to put up with. Caltech accepts those students who they feel are capable of handling and excelling at Caltech, and those kids who think they'd be a good fit at Caltech end up going there. But you see, it's a lot harder to accept Caltech's small size and "specific nicheness" for some people than it is with schools like HYPSM. Those schools are larger, are more diverse in majors and ethnicity.

    Also, Caltech isn't as publicly prestigious as ivies and such - no one at my school knows of Caltech, but they all know of the Ivies.
  • poppingpopcornpoppingpopcorn Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    Caltech may not have the same name recognition as Harvard or Yale, but among scientific scholars, it sure does! In fact, Caltech has been ranked the #1 University in the world the past two years, beating HPYS and MIT.

    World University Rankings 2012-2013 - Times Higher Education

    The average barrista on the street may have heard of Ivies, but in circles where it matters, Caltech is known for turning out top scientists.
  • imnew69imnew69 Registered User Posts: 20 New Member

    This is the thread that killed my love of Caltech (well, not really, but it's convenient to say it did when in actuality a number of things did).
  • collegedad2013collegedad2013 - Posts: 241 Junior Member

    I don't see how a school would know that an applicant would have demonstrated interest in another school.

    I see how a non-top 10 STEM school (you mentioned Wash U) would look at a top STEM candidate and think that is isn't worth offering admission unless there was a lot of demonstrated interest, legacy connection, local candidate, etc. But I don't see that this applies to Caltech since it clearly is in top 10.

    Caltech does seem to be very straightforward in admissions and may not play the yield game as much as others do but at the end of the day only 40% accept which still seems odd.

    Let me put it another way. Let's say Top School X which has a 70% yield decided to accept twice as many students because they didn't care about the yield game, would they still have a 70% yield, or would it go down to 35% (e.g. the same number of people accepting).?
  • collegedad2013collegedad2013 - Posts: 241 Junior Member

    In that thread there were some really good links, since removed, that gave a different viewpoint. I think you can find them with some googling and it is worth the effort.
  • imnew69imnew69 Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Uhm not sure what the example about Top School X was supposed to represent... yield would probably increase to 80% and they'd have far too large a class (why do I say the yield would go up? If they randomly doubled their acceptances they would be admitting unqualified applicants [using 'unqualified' to mean 'would not have gotten in otherwise'] who would be less likely to have other options and would thus be more likely to enroll).
  • collegedad2013collegedad2013 - Posts: 241 Junior Member
    Many TSX (top school X) have a waitlist and some are rather large waitlists (example, MIT accepted about 1700 people and wait listed about 1000 last year).
    All of those people are qualified to attend.

    So if they accepted all of them, would the yield remain the same?

    What I am trying to get at is what is the real difference between a school that has a 40% yield and a 70% yield? Is there something else besides the 40% school just isn't as desirable to the people they admitted? Or is there something related to the number of people that they accept and how people play yield management games? And if it is a yield management game for TSX, who is it that they are rejecting to protect their yield?
  • UMTYMP studentUMTYMP student Registered User Posts: 949 Member
    Many schools use ED extensively to increase their yield. I suspect that accounts for the difference between Caltech's yield and the yield of most other top 20 schools. The University of Chicago is in a similar situation and has a similar yield.

    Yet HYPSM do not have ED or care about demonstrated interest and still have yields considerably higher than Caltech's. I think the most likely explanation for this is that prospective students perceive Caltech to have a worse quality of life than peer schools (see the Caltech sucks thread) and thus typically choose HYPSM over Caltech.
  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    Caltech is to MIT as
    Chicago is to Harvard as
    Curtis is to Juilliard.
    Everyone in the know acknowledge Caltech, Chicago, and Curtis as great institutions but the laypeople/uninformed students and parents have yet to acknowledge these schools...
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Registered User Posts: 6,608 Senior Member
    I think Caltech also gets a lot of students that apply because they've heard its a great school, but haven't necessarily done their research to see if its the right place for them (which I don't think is typical of students applying to more liberal-artsy LACs).

    If you take a look at Harvey-Mudd, a similar school only about 30 miles away, you'll see they have a yield of ~30%.
  • 8kobe248kobe24 Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    True, the Claremont Colleges are so underrated.
  • GAILFORCEGAILFORCE - Posts: 135 Junior Member
    Gravitas, you really, really need to spend your time doing something other than equating your alma mater (the university of chicago) to Harvard on all the HYPSMC forums. I'm not even joking at this point. It's becoming an obsession, and you should seek out appropriate treatment.
  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    ^^how is it going Duke **** with many pseudonyms...let's see GAILFORCE = (formerly banned kenyanpride) = now lloydshapley = DeanaL; I expect more in the future

    Wolf in sheep's clothing....

    we're on to you no matter what you show up as...
  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    By the way GAILFORCE/lloydshapley/deanL/kenyanpride whoever you are at least have the decency like Goldenboy from Duke and the rest of the Chicago posters who don't hide under different pseudonyms...

    ...we notice you like to perform a lot of HIT and RUNS on different forums like Stanford, Berkeley, Brown, Princeton, Chicago, etc to instigate controversy...

    ...just be happy you got into Duke...don't have buyers remorse because you did early decision (not)

    ...this is why top schools have early action/SCEA to allow time for FIT evaluation after the decisions are in...
This discussion has been closed.