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Yes, your yield rate is still falling, v 2020

I started doing this post on a regular basis several years ago, in response (if I recall) to a colleague talking about their Board of Trustees Chair insisting that "all we need to do" to bring enrollment back to its former level is to get the yield rate up.   That's the equivalent of saying all you need to do is straighten your drives and cut ten putts from each round, and you'll be a great golfer.  Moreover, it's based on the assumption that a falling yield rate is based on something you're doing or not doing.  The challenge is much larger, and a lot harder to address.  It's not a switch you flip. So we've got this: A look at applications, admits, and enrolls over the last twenty years, and three key ratios that are based on those numbers: Admit rate, or the percentage of applicants offered admission; yield rate, or the percentage of those offered admission who enroll; and the lesser-known draw rate, which is calculated by dividing the yield rate by t
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Flagships and Land Grants: What's the difference?

First, a quiz: What do these states have in common?  (Hint: Regular readers of this blog will already know the answer.  And you will too, shortly.) The prompt for this post is generated by friend and colleague Akil Bello, who, apparently while watching college football the weekend after thanksgiving, tweeted this question : The answer is multi-faceted and complex, and likely varies a lot between the states.  And the question really assumes something that isn't true: Oregon, for instance, no longer has a single state system, and some states have several.  But the question--Why is there a University of North Carolina and a North Carolina State University--is a good one.  This question might be asked of several of the states, all indicated on the map above; these are the states with both a flagship university and a land grant university.  Other states (Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota, among others) have one university that serves as both a land grant and a flagship.  At least by my

Freshman enrollment and migration from 30,000 feet

You know I love this data set of freshman migration patterns over time.  It shows every college in two year increments, and contains the state-by-state makeup of the freshman class.  I like it for a couple of reasons: First, it's interesting in its own right to see where colleges attract students from.  I think students can use it too, to see how geographically diverse the colleges they're looking at really are. But beyond that, there are so many questions you can pose this data and come away with some insight. Previously, I've visualized this data several times, most recently here , with a focus on helping high school and independent counselors add a layer of information to student choice sets.  This time, I think it might be of interest to enrollment management people and perhaps state policy makers.  Or anyone who finds this interesting. If you find Higher Ed Data Stories helpful in your work and you're not a high school counselor, you can support the cost of buildin

It's going to be hard

I've posted this visualization a few times, but never embedded it in a blog post. Now's the time.  Teresa Watanabe of the LA Times tweeted this today. So, for the foreseeable future, no one will need an ACT or SAT to gain admission to the UC or Cal State system campuses.  And in fact, testing won't help you get in, either.  For lots of students, there will be no need to test. Consider: In 2018, about 275,000 students enrolled in California public four-year, and private, not-for-profit four year institutions (I'm using 2018 as it's the last good year prior to 2020's COVID-affected enrollment numbers). Just under 250,000 of them came from California.  California exported about 40,000 students to other states. About 90% of them (roughly 36,000) went to the types of colleges that might require the SAT or ACT (four-year public and private not-for-profits). What this means: Fewer students testing in California.  Neighboring and western test-optional-friendly states li

Three ways of looking at graduation rates, 2020

 A lot has been made of graduation rates at America's colleges and universities.  Some point to what they see as rates that are too low, while others think that high graduation rates are a testament to something happening inside the college. And I, of course, think graduation rates are mostly inputs, rather than outputs .  If your admissions process simply takes the most capable children of wealthy, college-educated parents, it's almost a certainty your graduation rates will be higher.  If you take more risks in admitting students--either by mission or economic necessity--your graduation rates are going to be lower. But there is still some interesting stuff in the IPEDS data.  A few caveats about this data: First, I've started the views showing only traditional doctoral, master's and baccalaureate institutions.  Other types, which tend to be smaller, have noisier data.  You can look at them if you wish by using the Carnegie rollups, region, and control filters along the

A different look at US Educational Attainment

I've often said that the visualization on educational attainment in the US was perhaps the first visualization I did that blew my mind.  I thought it was a problem with the data. And, frankly, I'm possibly more amazed that more people aren't amazed.  I've done a few posts on this topic, and it never seems to get much traction.  So I'll give it another shot this time. In 1940, less than 5% of adults in the US had a college degree or more.  By 2020, it's risen to almost 38%.  I was born in the late 50's and when I went to college in the 70's, the number was still only in the 15% range.  That's why the term "first generation" wasn't even a thing: The majority of college students at that time were probably first gen kids. We were all a spillover effect of WWII and the GI Bill, which offered college access to the veterans who made it back alive ( but unfortunately, the benefits didn't go to everyone who fought ).  And if we know one thin

COVID and AP Scores

Every year, The College Board releases summaries of the prior year's AP program .  While I've visualized these before ( here and here ), I've been unwilling to update the visualizations or do longitudinal analysis, for a couple of reasons:  First, the data are in multiple tables in multiple spreadsheets, and they are so heavily formatted for printing that scraping the data out of them is quite a burden.  Second, of course, is that the scores don't change a lot from one year to the next. That is, until 2020, when COVID completely turned the world of higher education upside down.  I was interested in seeing how much scores changed from prior years.  As you can see, the changes are interesting, if not completely surprising. By the way, if you enjoy Higher Ed Data Stories and use it in your work, you can support the web hosting and other costs associated with producing the content by Buying Me A Coffee, here .  If you're a high school teacher or counselor, just ignore a