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Yes, your yield rate is still falling, v 2019

 You know the drill.  For the past few years, I've updated this with new data as soon as IPEDS releases it.  Well, the Fall, 2019 admissions data is out, and I could have written this even before I visualized it.

Your yield rate is falling.  Probably.

It's falling because a) you tried to look like Harvard, so you thought generating more applications and lowering your admit rate would make you look more like them.  Because you thought that's why people liked Harvard.  Or, you felt bad about yourself, and you wanted to be able to brag to your colleagues.

So you spent a lot of money generating more applications.  And you dropped your admit rate. Probably. A bit.  But here's the thing: The number of students going to college in each year is a pretty consistent percentage of the high school graduates, give or take.  And if every graduate applies to one more college, well, they can still only attend one in the end.  Boom.  Your yield rate drops.

And so does your draw rate.  The draw rate is a function of your real market power: If you decrease your admit rate, but you do so by generating a lot of soft apps, your yield will fall (see above).  So draw rate is really the thing to look at it see if the market thinks more or less of you today than it did years ago: Measure your draw rate against your peer group.

The draw rate is falling, too.  Unless, of course, you're one of the brand name schools.  Then it's going up.  So all the money spent on trying to look more selective has been--to some extent--a fool's game.  By emphasizing selectivity as a measure of something valuable, you've made the truly selective institutions more attractive. (And, of course, not doing so while everyone else around you might have made it even worse, just to be clear; it's the rate race of competition that has led us here, not your individual decisions to try to keep up.)

This shows two views: The first one shows apps, admits, and enrolls over time on the bars, along with draw rate (orange line).  Us the filters to look at data by college control, region, Carnegie type, or gender on the application (which is still binary in the federal data set).  Or, if you want, select an institution.

The second view shows changes over time.  You can make the same choices here, and you can choose to highlight one line for emphasis.

As always, let me know if this helps, or if you find anything of interest.


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