The Admissions Office at Smith is on a roll (see https://www.smith.edu/news/a-new-record-for-the-class-of-2022/ ).
The implications of 5,780 total applications and 580 ED applications are:
ED Admit rate of ~50% (293/580), working with last years’ ED Admit figure of 293.
RD Admit rate of ~28% [(1731-293)/(5780-580)], working with last years’ total admit figure of 1731.
@odannyboySF I guesstimate the average accept rate for 2022 will be ~30% [1731/5780], but yes your point is spot on. If Smith’s yield were to rise slightly, then the average accept rate will fall into the high 20s for the first time.
Now go back and pull the Smith CDS from, say, 2009-2010 (the Class of 2013). Just to pick out one indicator, look at the middle 50% ACT scores. Seven years ago, it was 27-30, vs. now it is 30-33. Wow; not in Kansas anymore. Heck, Middlebury’s middle 50% ACT range for the Class of 2021 was 30-34 (just to pick one other fine New England LAC for comparison).
So not only is admissions a higher hurdle, the class itself has a much stronger academic profile than ever before.
When did Smith become test optional 2009 I think?? Not sure if the effect would have been seen that early on. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Applicants that submit test scores today are typically applicants with high test scores which would definitely make the median scores much higher. Smith seems to have definitely become more competitive but I am not sure that’s the right indicator. I would think more access to common app so more people applying in general as a reason it is more competitive. Also that it is such a highly ranked LAC that does offer merit potential for top applicants helps too. Very few top 20 LACs offer any.
@Veryapparent Test optional does not change the story line. The CDSs show that Smith is very careful to make sure that they admit 85% of the class with scores. Do you suppose they are aware that USNews would penalize their ranking if they admitted only 84% of the class with scores? Pshaw.
No, Smith admissions did a complete, frame-off overhaul over the last few years. Impressive.
So looking across this data set, I think Smith’s tacit admissions policy is to shoot for ~85% score coverage in the incoming class. Occasionally Admissions really boots it (e.g., 2015-2016). Also, in the post above I was mistaken about the USNews test optional college test score submission penalty threshold. It’s 75% of students submitting test scores, not 85%
So, by setting their tacit policy at 85% score coverage, Smith is giving themselves a little bit of a cushion if they are wrong on yield (see 2015-2016 and 2014-2015). Note they fixed whatever was wrong in their yield forecasting and are now dialed in for both 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. They even got the 4% yield shift right in the most recent CDS (2017-2018) and had to go to the waitlist for 19 students. That is, they were expecting an even larger yield shift! These guys could give the advanced seminar on yield management.
@RustyTrowel Thanks for sharing this info. What really baffles me is at the Smith Admissions presentation they really stressed test scores are optional. My D actually came away from the session almost ashamed by her good scores. Smith is actually one of her top choices and I understand this is a business but it seems a bit disingenuous to me. Seems what they are selling isn’t quite what they are buying.
The CDS statistics are for enrolled students. You could argue that it’s more than likely students who didn’t submit scores have a higher yield; consequently, the percentage of admitted students who submitted scores is > than 85%.
I think the CDS data makes it very clear that, when the dust settles, there are two groups of first year enrollees at Smith:
~ the ~85% of students who supplied scores, and
~ the ~15% of students who did not supply scores.
As for why the disconnect, take a look through this thoroughly depressing report from Brookings
Now replay in your mind what you heard from Admissions. Then, ask yourself why does Smith’s Math department run remedial math courses like these in the fall term:
MTH 101 Math Skills Studio
MTH 102 Elementary Functions
Hmm…twenty nine (29) enrollees between those two courses last fall (https://www.smith.edu/academics/academic-program/curriculum/course-search). What fraction of those 29 students do you think did not supply scores for admission? Do you really need to see the crosstab of score-suppliers & score-non-suppliers, in #s and %, by math class–or have you been able to intuit what is going on by this point?
@RustyTrowel Yes, I agree with your observations from visiting Smith. For my daughter, it ended up being an also-ran with Wellesley emerging as the winner. But I’m a big fan of the Seven Sisters schools (+ Scripps) for women seeking the unique experience they offer.
When my daughter and I visited Smith, after the info session, and student came up to us and told us there was no tour, and handed us a map and told us we could self tour. She then sat down and got right back on her computer. I
hope it wasn’t Rustytrowel working on this presentation.