Figuring admit rate by major

Sorry-having some brain fog. How do I use this to figure out admit rate by major for 2014? (or 2015?)

Thank you!

The best formula would be: (1/(Yield rate/100))*(FTF Target/ FTF Apps) where FTF = “first time freshmen” on the table.

The yield rate is the % of students who attend that are accepted. Cal Poly generally accepts 3x applicants than spots but the exact college yield rates vary from college to college and can be found here:


Mechanical engineering, 3,333 apps, 180 spots, 36.8% yield rate.
(1/0.368%)*(180/3333) = 14.68%

Computer Science: 3569 , 140 spots, 36.8% yield
(1/0.368)*(140/3569) = 10.63%

Biology: 4191 apps, 201 spots, 21.4% yield
(1/0.214)*(201/4191) = 22.41%

Business: 5833 apps, 605 spots, 31.1%
(1/0.311)*(605/5833) = 33.35%

Architecture 1119 apps , 160 spots , 51.6% yield
(1/0.516)*(160/1119) = 27.71%

Hope this helps!

Take FTF Target divided by FTF Apps. What we don’t know is yield, how many acceptances do they need to offer to net the number of admissions they are targeting. In general the school has hovered at a yield of 33%, meaning they have to offer three acceptances to net one admit. That means you multiply the result of the above by 3 (and multiply the result by 100 if you want to convert from decimal to percent). That’s what I do, but in reality, some majors, especially the more disireable ones like CS, ME and Aero have higher yields. That part though is still a mystery, so I stay with the university wide 33%.

Re. yield:

r77r77, where are you getting yield rate? Thanks for your patience in helping me understand. I get general trends–I just did a general 33.3% yield rate–but would love to get a little more accuracy if possible.

And btw, it does help to understand why someone with a 1900 SAT can get in as a business major, but a student with a 2230 (750 math) SAT can get waitlisted for mechanical engineering.

@r77r77, great link. That’s helpful! I think there’s likely variation among majors too, but that’s a step in the right direction.

@sbjdorlo, click the link provided above. There are yields by college in one of the tables.

As for your second question, look up the post Confused About MCA. If explains the algorithm Poly uses for admissions. They rank the MCA scores for every major (you only compete against the pool of applicants applying to your desired major). Then they decide where to make a cutoff to meet their expected class size. ME attracts a higher caliber student (i.e. it’s more competitive). They get more highly qualified candidates than business, so the cut offs are higher. Plus, after you read that post, you’ll understand it’s not just about GPA and test scores. Rigor, ECs and other non-academic stuff influence the MCA.