The University is expecting the yield rate to be higher this year, so I am guessing 41% or 42%. This means the yield rate has grown 7 percentage points (or a 21% increase overall) in 6 years, for the Classes of 2009 to 2015. Extrapolating forward, I expect the yield rate to grow another 7 percentage points or 20% overall (up to 48 or 49%) in the next six years.
This has already had some affect on other schools. The Yale Daily News noted last year that Yale has seen a slight but steady decline in yield for the past few years from 70% to 67%:
"(One college consultant) noted that while the slight decline in Yale's yield rate does not “cheapen” the Yale brand, there have been instances in the past where students have turned down Yale for schools such as the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis, which both offer generous merit aid packages."
By the way, to see how UChicago's yield rate has changed even more over time, an article from ChicagoMag.com says that UChicago's "yield, or the proportion of students offered admission who ultimately enroll, was up 30 percent in 2009 compared with 1998." [Note: So the yield rate may have only been about 25% in 1998.]
I think Chicago's yield will be 43-44% this year. You can quote me on that.
With an improved admitted class (as evidenced by SAT scores and class rank), Chicago had a 40% yield last year, even though it was on the second page of the US News rankings, which I assume is a heavy influence on yield among some sections of the population. With a rank tied at #5 with Caltech, MIT, Stanford, and Penn, I think our yield will automatically increase 2-3 percentage points, with another percentage point added for an increase in financial aid.
Also, in addition to Yale's decrease in yield, it's noteworthy that Dartmouth's yield recently decreased a few percentage points as well. I think the popularity boost of Chicago, in addition to some other schools like Northwestern and Georgetown, is having an effect on the yield rate of such schools. Despite their perception in the US, Dartmouth and Yale don't have outstanding international reputations, and the upward trend of Chicago in the US News Ranking (in conjunction with a decrease in acceptance rate, etc.) is probably giving Chicago the opportunity to win students over from Dartmouth and Yale that they wouldn't have been able to win over a few years ago.
Yale does have an international reputation, of course. It's just not as great as its reputation in the US. To see what I mean, look at the world rankings. In both the THES and Shanghai-Jiaotong rankings, Yale ranks 11th in the world. For THES, this means 8th in the US and for Shanghai-Jiaotong, this means 9th in the US. Chicago beats Yale in both rankings.
Even in the THES Reputation Rankings (derived only from survey results), Yale places 9th worldwide, and gets trounced by Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and Princeton. It's clear that to the rest of the world, Yale isn't considered nearly as prestigious as it is in the US. This leaves institutions like Chicago, which is for instance very highly-regarded in Asia, in a good position to steal some of Yale's admits as it ascends in the US News rankings and lowers its admit rate.
What is considered a good yield? I would think that being in the 30's is already good since it means 1 in 3 are matriculating and thats given tons of these people are applying to ivies as well. or is this considered low?
As I say, UChicago's yield rate, as with so many other indicators (retention rate, graduation rate, admit rate) has been improving steadily over time. Yes, UChicago has plenty of room to grow its yield rate, but I actually think this is a good thing.
But UChicago is getting close to a 12.6 admit rate this year --but is doing it with only 25,000 applications and a 41% yield rate. So it is much more conceivable that UChicago can improve its admit rate and yield rate in the short term--relative to other top schools.
(Of course, over the LONG run, perhaps all of the top schools will continue to show improvement in the decades to come.)
P.S. That Yale yield figure I posted from NCES was for Fall 2010, not 2011. As @david05 noted, Yale's yield declined to 65.2% for Fall 2011. (For some reason NCES had updated figures for Fall 2011 for most schools but not Yale, and a few others.)
I'm sure when the time is right they would consider it.... But so far I think they are doing an excellent job and should keep up the good work. Their goal, rightly, is to create the best possible admissions situation for the University. Whatever they are doing seems to be working so far.
You know, some people have suggested that some of these increased applications are just junk or 'spam' applications, but the truth is if you look at the top feeder schools, you will see an increased interest in UChicago from coast-to-coast.
It is possible for UChicago to have a high yield since Princeton and Harvard reinstated their early programs this year. Northwestern experienced a huge yield increase from 30.9% to 33.4% then to 38.7% within two years (What a Class! : Northwestern University Newscenter). UChicago has the potential. 41~43% is no doubt, and above 43% is very possible.