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Does yield-protection exist?

Paul1234567890Paul1234567890 22 replies4 threads Junior Member
I read online that many colleges like Tufts or whatnot reject or waitlist highly qualified applicants to increase their yield rate if they don't think they'll attend. Is this true?
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Replies to: Does yield-protection exist?

  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 2062 replies25 threads Senior Member
    They would say no. Not showing enough interest makes makes you unqualified.
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  • coffeeat3coffeeat3 121 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited July 2
    @Paul1234567890

    Not sure if you will find this helpful or of interest - there are research companies that specialize in yield protection for colleges building models on yield/admit rates among other categories like financial aid and how much you may need to offer a specific candidate to attend your school. Yield rate is very important not only for the ratings of the school, but for the financial health.
    edited July 2
    Post edited by happy1 on
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83795 replies743 threads Senior Member
    All colleges care about predicting yield as accurately as possible. It is likely that every admitted student is assigned a yield prediction (e.g. this admit has a 20% chance of matriculating, so add 0.2 student to the provisional class) based on various applicant characteristics (sometimes adjusted by scholarship offers).

    Some colleges care about maximizing yield. These colleges would be prone to rejecting "overqualified" applicants who do not show a high enough "level of interest".
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  • pickpocketpickpocket 445 replies4 threads Member
    edited July 3
    I'm really curious about this too.

    It's difficult to believe a college would reject an applicant for being 'too good.' Even waitlisting an overqulalified applicant is difficult to fathom, though slightly more plausible.

    Note that USNWR has long dropped acceptance rate and yield in their ranking calculation. So I disagree with those who claim yield protection is real and its purpose is to preserve ranking. However I do acknowledge that other (less well-known) ranking sites may indeed still consider yield.

    I tried to ask this question last year, but over-zealous moderator deemed it a subject that must not be discussed on CC and locked it!?! I hope this thread has a better run.
    edited July 3
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  • International DadInternational Dad 344 replies10 threads Member
    edited July 3
    @pickpocket
    “It's difficult to believe a college would reject an applicant for being 'too good.” You can see a lot of YouTube’s videos showing that. Some Dean of admissions can think, If a student is too good, I know that it is possible that he is accepted in other Colleges better than mine, so I prefer to reject him or leaving him on the wait list, than to risk accepting him and that he does not accept my offer, leaving me with an statistics problem.
    edited July 3
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  • pickpocketpickpocket 445 replies4 threads Member
    edited July 3
    @International Dad

    The Youtube videos you reference -- are these students dismayed by a surprise rejection or admissions officers in the know admitting to the practice? I would like to see links.

    And is it really a statistics problem? USNWR doesn't penalize college for low yield. Colleges have long history and sophisticated models to predict how the class will fill out. So they set a minimum acceptance standard based on experience and usually they fill out the class just fine. But setting a maximum?

    And if we are to accept anecdotal evidence, I can think of a number of cases where a student accepted a 'lower prestige' college over a more-competitive school, even declining Ivies, for their own reason (better fit, better FA...) Schools know this happens and probably love such cases of an 'overqualified' matriculant. Why would they reject a really strong student outright?

    edited July 3
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  • Data10Data10 3372 replies11 threads Senior Member
    edited July 3
    There are several forms of yield protection. One common form is favoring ED/EDII/SCEA/... type applicants whose application suggests that the college is their first choice over RD applicants.. Others favor students who show strong interest in attending, in other ways besides applying early.

    Among RD applicants, there are many anecdotal examples of seemingly highly qualified persons being rejected by a not super selective college. However, a single example has little meaning, particularly at a college that considers a wide variety of factors in their decision. There are also anecdotal examples from admissions officer of seemingly highly qualified applicants being rejected for a wide variety of reasons besides academic qualifications, which include appearing to have little interest in the college. For example, apparently quite a few applicants list the wrong college name in their essay every year due to cut and pasting the essay from another school.

    What is more meaningful is a not super selective college that shows a pattern of rejecting seemingly highly qualified applicants over a large sample. A very small minority of colleges show such a pattern in Naviance. Admit rate goes up as stats increase... but only to a point. At very high stat levels instead admit rate decreases for RD applicants, so somewhat above average stat applicants have a substantially higher admit rate than top stat applicants.

    There is a lot of variation between different colleges, rather than a general rule, If you have particular schools in mind, it would be helpful to list those schools.
    edited July 3
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10989 replies592 threads Super Moderator
    To answer your original question, yes, it’s true. It’s even got a name: Tufts Syndrome.

    There are a lot of colleges that reject highly qualified applicants if they think the student has no real interest in attending. If a college needs the revenue and also wants to improve its yield rate, why give a seat to a student they are sure has no real interest in attending?

    Less selective colleges than Tufts do this too, btw. My own child applied to a college with an acceptance rate over 60%. She had high stats and was accepted with a merit scholarship. Later, we were able to see that students with higher stats were rejected. The difference was probably that she showed interest in the school. D also applied to a college with about a 30% acceptance rate, for which she interviewed and visited. Got in with a good scholarship. A good friend of hers with similar stats applied and never visited, signed up for email, or interviewed, and was rejected.

    If you’re in doubt, show interest. If you want to have choices come decision time, show interest. You can always look at the college’s common data set, section C7, to see if they care about interest.
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  • brantlybrantly 4319 replies78 threads Senior Member
    edited July 3
    Not at all unusual for students accepted at Yale, Princeton, U Chicago, Duke, etc., to be waitlisted at Emory, Tufts, Colgate. The latter three recognize a T-10 student when they see one and are betting that this applicant will be accepted to and will attend a T-10. If they bet wrong, the waitlisted student would contact Emory, Tufts, or Colgate and say, "I would love to attend and will definitely enroll if accepted off the WL!"
    edited July 3
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  • SportyPrepSportyPrep 28 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I think we need to consider a name change for the yield protection syndrome sometimes referred to as "Tufts Syndrome". This may have resonated 20 years ago, but not any more.

    Tufts has a strong yield, is highly selective and sought after by many uber competitive students, and kids are elated when they get an acceptance letter from Tufts.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15887 replies1062 threads Senior Member
    I like reading posts here on CC during decision time. My favorites are "I can't believe that I was rejected by X University!!! It was my rock bottom safety. I wouldn't be caught dead going there."

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83795 replies743 threads Senior Member
    SportyPrep wrote: »
    I think we need to consider a name change for the yield protection syndrome sometimes referred to as "Tufts Syndrome". This may have resonated 20 years ago, but not any more.

    Tufts has a strong yield, is highly selective and sought after by many uber competitive students, and kids are elated when they get an acceptance letter from Tufts.

    Perhaps "American University syndrome"?

    According to https://www.american.edu/provost/oira/upload/cds_american_u_2019-20.pdf (section C7), level of applicant's interest is one of three "very important" admission criteria (the other two are course rigor and GPA). Applicants often appear to use it as a "safety" behind Georgetown and George Washington, but results posts indicate that they get waitlisted or rejected when they appear to be "overqualified".
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  • pickpocketpickpocket 445 replies4 threads Member
    I have looked at scatterplots in Naviance and Niche for the schools accused here of Tufts Syndrome. I see no cluster of red to the top and/or right of the bulk of the green. There is red/green overlap, sure, which is natural in holistic admissions.

    We can all agree that showing interest to colleges that value that is naturally a good thing for one's admission chances. But that is a bit different from alleging a college will reject or WL a candidate on the basis that their stats are too high compared to that school's typical enrollee.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15887 replies1062 threads Senior Member
    pickpocket wrote: »
    But that is a bit different from alleging a college will reject or WL a candidate on the basis that their stats are too high compared to that school's typical enrollee.

    That's not the point. If a high stat applicant has shown no interest and/or has submitted a sloppy or generic essay that may result in a denial or a waitlisting.

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  • NearlyDone2024NearlyDone2024 108 replies2 threads Junior Member
    "There is red/green overlap, sure, which is natural in holistic admissions."

    Tufts: the are need aware big-time, and they like to be a first choice college. ED gives a big boost. I sat through a admissions sessions and heard them talk about how important the Tufts specific essay was. The kept emphasizing that they wanted kids there who wanted to be at Tufts.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2433 replies39 threads Senior Member
    pickpocket wrote: »
    We can all agree that showing interest to colleges that value that is naturally a good thing for one's admission chances. But that is a bit different from alleging a college will reject or WL a candidate on the basis that their stats are too high compared to that school's typical enrollee.

    You seem to both agree and then disagree with what is being hypothesized - very high stats students showing little interest will be rejected/waitlisted.
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  • pickpocketpickpocket 445 replies4 threads Member
    So many of you are conflating Tufts Syndrome with demonstrating interest. I believe they are two different things.

    Here is Wiki's definition of yield protection/Tufts Syndrome:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yield_protection

    No mention of demonstrated interest there.

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  • pickpocketpickpocket 445 replies4 threads Member
    Tufts: ...ED gives a big boost.

    Not correct (also a different topic.)

    From Tuft's website:

    Myth: It's easier to get in Early Decision
    Not true. The students we accept in Early Decision are of the same high quality as the students we accept in Regular Decision.

    https://admissions.tufts.edu/apply/advice/dispel-myths/
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 2477 replies34 threads Senior Member
    pickpocket wrote: »
    Tufts: ...ED gives a big boost.

    Not correct (also a different topic.)

    From Tuft's website:

    Myth: It's easier to get in Early Decision
    Not true. The students we accept in Early Decision are of the same high quality as the students we accept in Regular Decision.

    https://admissions.tufts.edu/apply/advice/dispel-myths/

    Well, since Tufts doesn’t share with us their acceptance rates by subgroups EDI, EDII, and regular decision I’m going to say that yes it’s easier to get into Tufts applying early decision (i.e. higher acceptance rates).

    Back to yield. Yes, yield matters for most selective colleges as it helps in rankings and the general perception that students want to attend their college if accepted.

    Here’s an example. I know a rising junior at Harvard, who got in to every selective college he applied to (H, Brown, UPenn, Duke, Cornell, UC Berkeley regents scholar) except Michigan. I’m pretty much convinced that Michigan thought that she was using them a “safety” college and waitlisted her. This happens all the time. Tulane is also notorious for deferring and waitlisting very high stat students. It’s a real thing for sure.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 2468 replies37 threads Senior Member
    pickpocket wrote: »
    So many of you are conflating Tufts Syndrome with demonstrating interest. I believe they are two different things.

    Are they? There're certainly some differences in the degree among these colleges in such practices. To require its applicants to demonstrate interest in the college is to make sure they will likely enroll if admitted.
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