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Graphics, University News

Waitlist admissions see huge jump for class of 2019

Overall yield rate of 56 percent dips slightly from previous years, is lower than those of three other Ivies

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, September 10, 2015

The University extended offers of admission to 196 students on the class of 2019 waitlist, a drastic increase from previous admission cycles, said Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73. A slightly lower overall yield rate and a record-high number of students deferring admission may have contributed to this jump.

Forty-two students were admitted off the waitlist last year, while two were admitted off the waitlist for the class of 2017 and zero for the class of 2016.

“It is really great to be able to take people from the waitlist because we have so many great students on there. So we’re happy about that,” Miller said.

Fifty-six percent of students admitted to the class of 2019 committed to the University, Miller said. This year’s yield marks a 3 percent decline from the previous year, though it remains close to the average of previous years, which has hovered around 57 percent, he said.

Fifty-five students accepted to the class of 2019 deferred admission to take a gap year. “This is a bigger number than we’ve ever had, which is — from my perspective — a promising trend. … I’m a big fan personally of gap years,” Miller said. This could be part of an increasing trend, as 43 students deferred admission last year and 36 deferred the year before.

The class of 2019 totals 1,618 students, including the Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program cohort of 14 students, Miller said. This marks an increase from the 1,563 students who initially made up the class of 2018. The class size has grown consistently since President Christina Paxson P’19 named growing the student and faculty populations a priority in her strategic plan, “Building on Distinction.”

Of the other Ivy League schools that have released their yield rates, Harvard, Princeton and Penn all boasted higher rates than Brown at 81, 69 and 66, respectively. Meanwhile, Dartmouth’s yield fell below Brown’s at around 50.

The yield rate for admits who attended A Day on College Hill — a three-day, two-night hosting program designed for admitted students — was 69 percent this year. Though this represents a drop from last year’s ADOCH yield rate of 73 percent, it remains significantly higher than the overall class yield rate.

Fewer participants in this year’s ADOCH — thus a smaller proportion of the overall admitted student pool — may partially explain the slight drop in yield rate. “This was due to a lot of factors that we just didn’t have control over,” said ADOCH coordinator Alissa Rhee ’16. “We had a lot of issues with overlap with our peer institutions, and this year our budget wasn’t able to extend more offers to students who maybe are coming from farther away.”

But a steadily high ADOCH yield rate is a confirmation of ADOCH’s success as a program to get students excited about Brown, Rhee said, adding that producing a high yield rate is a consistent goal for the ADOCH coordinators. “I would say this year that ADOCH was definitely a success. We had so many parents coming up to us saying that ADOCH was well-run,” she said. “The students were very happy here.”

“From a recruiting perspective, if we have the opportunity to get people to attend ADOCH, it makes a significant difference in their decision to attend,” Miller said.

Geographic location remains a major factor shaping a student’s decision to commit to a university. “There’s sort of a general rule in college admissions that the further away from home people are, the lower the yield,” Miller said. “We tend to have lower yields further away in the West Coast and the South, but that’s a general rule in higher education,” he said. This year’s class hails from 61 countries and speaks 59 languages, he added.


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  1. Penn’s yield rate of 66% is entirely manufactured by virtue of its acceptance of more than 54% of its first year class via the ED route. The yield rate for students accepted ED is 100%. By contrast, Brown fills only 38% of its first year class via the ED route, the lowest percentage in the Ivies.

    • Wrong. RD rate for Penn is still higher than Brown. Brown is a joke these days. Like an artsy artsy Cornell basically. Cornell has some strong grad school and its strength in STEM to kind of save it. Brown has nothing. Full of Rastafarians and dumb celebrity scions.

  2. Hard to say UPenn’s yield is “entirely manufactured” by a 54% ED class versus Brown’s 38%.

    I may be calculating this incorrectly, but don’t those numbers suggest UPenn’s *RD* yield is still higher than Brown’s to get to a 66% versus 56% difference overall? Maybe not 10% higher in the RD round, but higher nonetheless. And if UPenn is taking more ED candidates, I’d imagine they’d likely have fewer deferrals into the RD round on a % basis, and deferred candidates are probably more likely than the average applicant to come if ultimately accepted in the RD round.

  3. Brown will presumably report its adjusted acceptance rate to US News. The rise in total acceptances from 2580 to 2776 divided by the 30397 applications received for the class of 2019 gives a new acceptance rate of 9.1 percent, glaringly higher than the 8.5 percent Brown Admissions proudly announced last March. Oops.

  4. Good one, Penn ’12. But to be fair to these Brown cynics, we have indeed cooked the books since the days when Lee Stetson was our AD, and we continue to do it with flair and creativity under AD Eric Furda, the master of the art. We front-load acceptances and privilege high SAT-scorers to help our US News arithmetic. On the other hand, to be fair to UPenn vis-a-vis Brown, the yield component of US News’s selectivity formula is a tiny fraction of the ranking score, and UPenn has ranked about 10 places higher than Brown in the US News rankings for many many years now, averaging 5th place to Brown’s 15th place. In the international rankings Penn is incomparably better than Brown, between 50 and 80 places higher in all the surveys. Penn has world-class department faculties (Brown is noted for its low-pay faculty turnover), world class laboratories and library special collections, world class museums and professional schools, and a nationally top-ranked hospital. We’re just a much much better resourced place. Sorry, Brown, but there it is. And you don’t even have a university press, a unique deficiency in the context of your supposed peer schools. Brown’s lack of a university press is a famous gripe among graduate students, the bespoke function of a university press being the occasional publication of dissertations. By the way, in all this Cornell is right there level with Penn in international stature. So, if you’re parsing the numbers, the Ivy League Doormat is colored Brown, not red or blue.

    • typical insecure UPenn grad. i hope at age 40 you had fun trolling a different university’s student newspaper. get a life!!

      • @Eric Rohmer: Typical prickly Brown person, rejected by four of his preferred Ivies and now living in a barracks-like dormitory, eating at something called the Ratty, studying in a dungeon called the Sci-Li, and being taught by the lowest paid faculty in the Ivies (or any of its peer schools). And, yes, it’s my job to troll university admissions statistics (there are professions that require that pursuit), even if it means reading the Ivy’s worst-written newspaper. Incidentally, the Brown Daily Herald was not invited to be a signatory of the famous seven-newspaper collective editorial “Now Is the Time” that appeared on December 3, 1936, and that is regarded as the foundation document of the Ivy League. The manifesto was published by the seven Ivy newspapers (Brown was not in their peer group) following meetings between their editorial boards in the fall of 1936. In the 1930s Brown was nowhere in the cultural picture, being sub-Seven Sisters, sub-Little Three, sub-Bowdoin, sub-Swarthmore, sub-Colgate, and way sub-Johns Hopkins. When an Ivy expansion from seven members to an even-number eight was proposed, Amherst, Williams, and the service academies were approached. But Brown football coaches Tuss McLaughry and Rip Engel had in the meantime been lobbying Harvard and Yale to be admitted to the club on grounds of geographical convenience. Providence lay between Cambridge and New Haven on the Boston Post Road and for decades Harvard and Yale had used Brown as an early-season warm-up. The travel-convenience argument won out and Brown backed into the Ivy League as the filler opponent, the even-numbered eighth. So Brown’s Ivy status is of an accidental sort, though not as accidental as its shameful claim that John Heisman is an alumnus. Heisman hated his abbreviated time at Brown and transferred to Penn, from which he graduated in 1892. You could look it up.

        • What kind of life do you lead that you spend your time reading and arguing in the comment section of an article on waitlist admissions of a college you didn’t even go to?

        • Yours is a disturbingly angry and defensive post. You would be far better off spending your time productively by seeking counseling for your evident psychological issues than wasting your time writing a tome trying to tear down Brown. Are you really that insecure about yourself or the college you attended that you find it necessary to troll the BDH’s site and then spew venom about Brown when someone posts simply, and accurately, that Penn games its admission stats? Honestly, for someone who is ~ 40 years old, this is sad, pathetic behavior. Take a deep breath, and think about it. And, oh, if it’s truly your job to “troll university admissions statistics,” you should ask Penn for a refund of your tuition.

        • upupperclassman says:

          If you were a man, I would suggest that you do a sex change. Your vindictiveness is scary!

  5. Harvard, Yale, and Princeton also do the admissions game as well and under accept in the first cycle to report low admit rates and high yields, then take many off the waitlists that are not reported or updated. Also HYP takes the majority of their respective classes early now, which further cloud the results. Harvard and Stanford also count incomplete applications, while most of the other ivies do not. Penn not only under accepts as well, but it has extended its application deadline for the last three years to game applications even further.

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