We have been looking at Beloit as an option for D22 after reading about it in CTCL. The recent financial difficulties and changes at the school (such as reducing staff and reducing salaries for remaining staff) are unfortunate, and I hope the school will find a productive path forward.
I took a look at the common data sets for Beloit from 2005-6 to 2017-18, and found a significant difference in the data sets post test-optional (beginning with 2015-16) and the ten years prior. Comparing the average of the three test-optional years versus the previous ten years, the number of applicants has doubled, the yield is down significantly (14% versus 23%), the percentage of students in the top 10% of their high school class is down slightly, and the retention is down. The ACT scores of the students reporting is approximately the same as previous years, but only 42% of students reported any scores (SAT or ACT) in the 2017-2018 admission cycle.
It will be interesting to look at all of the numbers when the 2018-19 data set is released. The school has indicated that the retention rate this fall for returning freshmen is only 79% (compared to a historical level of 89%), and that the incoming class size is lower than desired.
I really wonder if the switch to test-optional has contributed to the current problems, particularly the retention and yield problems. At the very least, the change has led to a significant increase in the number of applicants, and it may take some time to get a predictable entering class with respect to size and quality.