Does Pitzer really admit over 75 percent of its first-year via ED?

I was just reviewing Pitzer’s Common Data Set for 2020-21.

Last year, the school enrolled a first-year class of 225 students (98 men, 127 women). According to the CDS, Pitzer admitted 174 of those students via EDI and EDII. That’s 77 percent of the class! That seems exceptionally high.

Pitzer admitted 706 kids total (174 Early; 532 Regular). That means only 51 students out of that 532 enrolled. Even more astonishing, Pitzer admitted 30 students off the waitlist. Does that really mean just 21 kids said yes to their regular decision admissions letter? (174+30+21=225) Maybe there was a little melt from the ED pool that bumped that number up a bit, but still … that seems exceptionally low.

Is this normal? Do most LACs admit such a high percentage of their classes via ED? Do most LACs have such a low yield from the RD pool? Or am I reading the CDS completely wrong?

LACs generally accept around 45% of their incoming class via ED applications. I think that you are looking at an anomaly. While Pitzer does have an especially high proportion of their incoming class being ED (around 50%-60%), that 75% is likely because of COVID. For 2021-2022 it was around 64%, and it will likely drop again next year.

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Yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if this same trend is found at other selective LACs. Many colleges have suffered due to the pandemic and need to find ways to ensure they meet their yield. Admitting a lot of students ED is one way to do that.

On the admitted student side, do you think the pandemic is what caused only 21 RD students to commit to Pitzer? Twenty-one! No wonder they felt like it was so important to rely so heavily on early decision.

According to Jeff Selingo’s numbers, 47 percent of admitted students enrolled in 2018 (of course, that percentage includes all the early decision kids.)

Since so many California colleges were remote, I would guess that many students ended up either taking a gap year, or committed to colleges outside of CA.

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Does this mean that matriculations = 47% of admission offers? If so, that is different from saying that only 47% of students admitted to a college attended a college.