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Yield Rate

12346

Replies to: Yield Rate

  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    Having read through this thread and not wanting to participate in this ridiculous argument...I can no longer stand idly by...

    ...if the ED institutions (Penn, Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Northwestern) truly believed in the students' welfare and well-being they should all go non-restrictive EA. If they think they could compete head to head with Chicago, MIT, Caltech and get the "yield" they want they should have nothing to be worried about...this would benefit the students who can all compare financial packages as well as attend admit weekends to compare for "fit".

    Moreover, the four SCEA schools (Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale) should also get rid of their "restrictive" EA and go nonrestrictive EA if they weren't concerned about their yield... Why not let market forces in the real world of nonrestrictive EA and RD bear witness to where students truly want to attend without placing any restrictions...

    ...it is when this is allowed that acceptance rates, yield rates, parchment data, cross-admit data can truly be more realistic and accepted...

    ...but, I fear certain schools (won't mention their names) would never dare for FEAR their yields going down and acceptance rates going up...it is sad.
  • Sam LeeSam Lee Registered User Posts: 9,449 Senior Member
    ...if the ED institutions (Penn, Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Northwestern) truly believed in the students' welfare and well-being they should all go non-restrictive EA.
    If schools truly believed in the students' welfare and well-being and soical justice, they should all get rid of early admisisons, regardless if it's ED or EA.
    but, I fear certain schools (won't mention their names) would never dare for FEAR their yields going down and acceptance rates going up...it is sad.
    And I fear none of the schools you mentioned would never dare to drop EA/ED for FEAR their yields going down and acceptance rates going up. We are just left with EA/ED that continuely favor the rich and let the rich get richer. Now, that's probably more sad.
  • TheBankerTheBanker Registered User Posts: 270 Junior Member
    Going non-restrictive EA is as level as the playing field would get. It's a good way to reward students who show interest in a particular school and doesn't have any financial repercussions for the students. Better to have a signaling mechanism via EA than none via RD only.
  • rhg3rdrhg3rd Registered User Posts: 947 Member
    "...if the ED institutions (Penn, Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Northwestern) truly believed in the students' welfare and well-being they should all go non-restrictive EA."

    Well yes, but institutions are more often concerned with their own welfare. ED affords more control over the mix of students that attend than EA does.
  • xiggixiggi Registered User Posts: 25,441 Senior Member
    @Xiggi, that's something I've been saying all along. You can back out of ED but only when it makes attendance impossible, not just comparatively unpleasant.

    Sigh. If we are saying the same thing, why do you keep arguing and using the term "backing out." All I know is that I have clearly linked to the Common Application site and pasted the exact words about REJECTING the offer of admission and ... moving out.

    In a previous post, I have suggested to read the numerous discussions about students accepting and rejecting the ED offer. Over the ten years I have been here, those discussions have veered from the process as explained by Columbia (we only release to a lower ranked school) to the complete option by the APPLICANT to NOT ACCEPT the offer.

    Pretending that refusing that offer in December or January is an ordeal is entirely false. Are we really saying the same thing?
  • xiggixiggi Registered User Posts: 25,441 Senior Member
    ...if the ED institutions (Penn, Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Northwestern) truly believed in the students' welfare and well-being they should all go non-restrictive EA. If they think they could compete head to head with Chicago, MIT, Caltech and get the "yield" they want they should have nothing to be worried about...this would benefit the students who can all compare financial packages as well as attend admit weekends to compare for "fit".

    What do you think might happen if all schools decided to adopt the EA model? And, why stop there ... why not force every school to have a single admission round?

    Why do you think that Harvard, after flipping choices a couple of time, decided to abandon its early admissions only to revert to it later. Same story for Princeton.

    Before answering, take a few seconds to think through the process, and perhaps evaluate the process at MIT. Is there anything strikingly different in the EA at MIT? What if every highly selective school adopted this model?

    And, lastly, what happens when the changes level the playing field entirely? Could it be just a universal RD with the same pitfalls?

    Who would the victors be if admissions only had one class of admissions?
  • Cue7Cue7 Registered User Posts: 2,400 Senior Member
    "Who would the victors be if admissions only had one class of admissions?"

    Answer: the applicants.
  • xiggixiggi Registered User Posts: 25,441 Senior Member
    Well, then start advocating for the abolition of EA and its restrictive cousins! And then turn your attention to athletic recruits, developmental admits, likely letters recipients, and a number of scholarships a la USC that are a different form or early admission.
  • Cue7Cue7 Registered User Posts: 2,400 Senior Member
    "Well, then start advocating for the abolition of EA and its restrictive cousins! And then turn your attention to athletic recruits, developmental admits, likely letters recipients, and a number of scholarships a la USC that are a different form or early admission."

    Exactly - until we get to the point of a more truly meritocratic admissions process, there are only gradations of scummy in this process. (Read: EA is scummy, but not as scummy as SCEA or ED; developmental admits and legacy preference is scummy, but some schools are scummier than others with this, etc.)
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,952 Senior Member
    I actually disagree that EA is scummy. On the one hand, EA does force kids to apply earlier, but it provides them with real information about their position in the market at a time when they can still make course-corrections if it turns out they were lost and didn't know it. That's a huge benefit. It's a benefit to colleges, too, to do systematic reading of a pool of applications early enough to get a sense of what their overall pool may look like.

    People will argue that EA favors the sophisticated and well-prepared, but there isn't much in life that doesn't favor the sophisticated and well-prepared, and I don't quite understand how having everyone in the same round somehow reduces that effect. The argument holds no water at all unless the EA admission rate truly reflects an advantage over RD. As MIT's example shows, that certainly doesn't have to be the case. And if you correct for the other "scummies" that get loaded into the EA numbers (athletes, legacies), the evidence for meaningful advantage is weak.

    I don't think developmental admits or legacy preferences are scummy, either, at least not in moderation. Unhooked students at the colleges that have perfected those arts benefit enormously from the resources and social connections those practices have fostered over the years. George W. Bush was a mediocre student at Yale, but does anyone in his right mind think it was a bad idea to admit him? (I don't, and I think he was the worst President of the last 100 years, and did irreparable damage to America. I don't want to turn this thread political, I just mean to show that one can think George Bush is a total loser and still believe the institutional value system that ensured his admission to Yale has worked really well to strengthen the university. And that was to the benefit of thousands and thousands of normal high-achieving kids, a number of whom enhanced their careers enormously by working in his administration, too.)
  • goldenboy8784goldenboy8784 Registered User Posts: 1,698 Senior Member
    Some perspective you all need to keep in mind is that private universities don't have no obligation to act in a way in which you, a self-interested bystander, deems to be "fair". Private schools answer to their board of trustees, investment officers, and faculty to some extent who will have the majority of say in how to shape the future of a university.

    I can't speak for other schools, but I hope Duke never abandons the use of ED. It rewards students who have done intimate research on the school, are familiar with its traditions, and have a legacy with the school oftentimes through their parents that adds to a sense of loyalty towards the institution that the regular decision admits adopt.

    I think its partially because of Early Decision that schools like Princeton (historically speaking), Notre Dame, Dartmouth, and Duke have among the most passionate and loyal alumni of all schools. They have a visible contingent of students have dreamed of going to their respective institutions their entire lifetime. And when you're around 200 kids like that, the disease of "devotion to thy alma mater" spreads to the rest of the student body like wildfire.

    You don't like the "unfair advantage"? Feel free to go to a state school with a more measurably meritocratic admissions philosophy like a Berkeley, Michigan, UT Austin, or heck even your state flagship. Most of them are likely to just as strong in your intended major of study as a lot of the big-name private schools.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,952 Senior Member
    Private schools answer to their investment officers? That must be special to Duke!

    Of course, private schools have no legal obligation to be fair in these respects. However, they do get tax exemptions and (way more importantly) the ability to grant tax deductions to donors, 1,001 other types of public subsidies, and they regularly ask people to give them large amounts of money for nothing. So even at their most self-interested, they devote a lot of attention to making certain they look noble and fair, and they care what other people think about it, too. University trustees and administrators -- I happen to know some of those people -- think about what's fair and right quite a bit, sometimes too much. You think Bok and Bowen wrote their book to hide the fact that they didn't care about any of that?
  • Cue7Cue7 Registered User Posts: 2,400 Senior Member
    JHS:

    Regarding the idea of whether EA (or legacy preference) is scummy, that all goes back to the conception of what a university should be. As you know, for a long time, UChicago's applicants were evaluated primarily on one criteria: whether a student demonstrated some sort of intellectual promise to excite faculty members. You ask if anyone at Yale thought admitting Bush II was a bad idea. Well, at the time upon reviewing his application, many faculty members were probably fairly negative about Bush's candidacy. As many would have predicted, he didn't contribute much to the intellectual fabric of the school when he was there, either.

    In a perfect world, universities would perhaps be meritocratic, intellectual entities. Of course, we're far removed from that world. Consequently, admissions can be viewed as a balancing act where certain practical forces (need for wealthy, powerful alumni to reinforce/elevate the status of a school, need to have a certain portion of the student body be very good at kicking a ball or holding a squash racket, etc.) are weighed against other desires (intellectual promise/merit, serving underprivileged populations, etc.).

    The question then becomes, which schools balance these competing goals well? EA, to me, is somewhat scummy (as is the excessive use of legacy preference used about a generation ago), but there are certainly other worse forces out there. I dislike any early policy because I don't think an applicant should be advantaged for WHEN he/she decides to apply to a university. Now, the advantage for EA (and related restrictions) are drastically less than ED, which, of course, makes it much less of a scummy practice. All of it nowadays tends to make me shake my head with disappointment, though.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,952 Senior Member
    Maybe it's my impure roots showing, but it never occurred to me that in a perfect world, universities would be completely meritocratic, intellectual entities. I think they are places where intellect meets vigor and power, and they learn how to get along and how to use one another to go farther. They parse poetry and build bombs. They replicate the civilization and try to improve the stock.

    That's a heck of a job, and of course it happens by fits and starts, with plenty of missteps along the way. But it's a more valuable job than simply training the monks to run libraries. And, frankly, it's what our universities are paid to do by the rest of us. I think a purely intellectual endeavor would fail to sustain itself for very long.
  • Cue7Cue7 Registered User Posts: 2,400 Senior Member
    "Maybe it's my impure roots showing, but it never occurred to me that in a perfect world, universities would be completely meritocratic, intellectual entities. I think they are places where intellect meets vigor and power, and they learn how to get along and how to use one another to go farther."

    Spoken very much like a Yale graduate, JHS! The definition of "perfect" university, of course, is very much based on the eye of the beholder. As you know, for a long time, UChicago's college had one and only one goal: to train scholars. This often led to the experience being quite monastic, but there was a significant population of people (led by luminaries such as Allan Bloom) who argued vigorously that it was, indeed, the most perfect university out there.

    As you also know, and as we discussed, this model could not sustain itself because of the practicalities of running a major college/research university. The goal, then, becomes balancing the intellect and the power/vigor. For many decades, Yale's faculty (and certainly Princeton's) felt the schools favored power much more over intellect, and they decried the lack of intellectualism on campus. The pendulum has shifted there.

    Similarly, the pendulum has shifted significantly at UChicago. Power/legacy is given increased weight, and social acumen is seen favorably as well (rather than being mostly irrelevant). Perhaps this is happening because a Yale grad (Nondorf) and someone with significant ties to Harvard (Zimmer) are running the place now. I certainly don't think these changes are a bad development.

    At the same time, I disfavor early policies (certainly ED, EA to a lesser extent) because I think they unduly favor those with wealth/power/connections. It still seems strange to me that applying at a certain time can offer such an advantage. Why should the timing and demonstrable showing of interest be worth so much? (The answer, of course, is that top schools are self-interested entities, but this comes at the cost of applicants and perhaps carries some pedagogical costs as well.)
This discussion has been closed.