While it’s safe to say that Stanford is accepted among the nation’s top universities, the University’s recently released numbers went a little further to reconfirm this notion.
For the Class of 2013, Stanford’s yield numbers places it second among its peer institutions in matriculation rate, with 70 percent of admitted students attending the University in the fall.
Only Harvard’s yield rate was higher at 76 percent. Princeton and Yale enrolled 59.7 percent and 68.7 percent of admitted students, respectively.
Matriculation rates for Stanford have remained steady at around 70 percent since 2006. Director of Admission Shawn Abbott noted, however, that within those numbers, populations have shifted due to the economic recession.
“It did appear that some admitted students from upper middle class families received more attractive need-based financial aid packages from our peer institutions (namely Harvard, Yale and Princeton) this year, which likely contributed to student choices,” he wrote in an email to The Daily.
Stanford’s admission process underwent a dramatic overhaul this year, as the Office of Undergraduate Admission accepted 100 fewer students than usual. Administrators then added more students to the number through planned waitlist use to achieve an expected class size of exactly 1,700 students. Because the unexpectedly high matriculation rates for the Class of 2012 caused a housing crunch, admission acted conservatively this year to avoid over-enrolling students.
Abbott explained that conservative admission practices can affect yield, specifically because reliance on a waitlist can delay admission results and administrative organization for the incoming class. Although Stanford had not gone to the waitlist in recent years, this year’s incoming class had 85 students accepted off the waitlist.
“A downside to using a waitlist is that yield will often drop when admission offers are extended after May 1, as students have often moved on and are excited about their alternate choices by then,” Abbott said.
“Another downside of using a waitlist is that for these students, the admission process drags on through a good chunk of the summer and a number of offices on campus are hanging in the balance with regard to making decisions about who will ultimately arrive on campus and how to best prepare for their arrival,” he added.
The final acceptance rate for the Class of 2013 was eight percent, making this year’s admission process the most competitive in Stanford’s history. It continued the recent trend of decreasing acceptance rates over the past few years.