Record Number of African Americans, Latinos Matriculate as Yield Increases

Roughly 82 percent of the 2,023 students admitted to the Class of 2018 have decided to matriculate—a figure that represents the College’s highest yield in 45 years. Due to the high rate of matriculation, the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid expects to only admit around 15 to 20 students from the waitlist.

The Class of 2017’s yield rate was also close to 82 percent, even as the College had to cancel Visitas, its admitted students visiting weekend, in light of the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers.

Among those who committed to the Class of 2018, the Office of Admissions saw a record number of African American and Latino students—177 and 185—respectively. Three-hundred fifty-one Asian American students, the second highest number of students in College history, accepted offers of admissions. Twenty-seven students of Native American or Native Hawaiian descent decided to matriculate, as well. The totals mean that roughly 21 percent of the class will be Asian American, 10.5 percent African American, 11 percent Latino, and 1.5 percent Native American or Native Hawaiian.

The yield rate for African-American students went up by nearly 6 percent this year, to 73 percent, according to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67. The yields for Latino and Native American or Pacific Islander applicants were about 70 and 71 percent, respectively. The Asian American yield was nearly 88 percent.

“We are very grateful to the many involved in the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program who worked toward these results throughout the year, and especially during the crucial month of April,” said Roger Banks, director of recruitment, in a statement.

According to Fitzsimmons, the gender breakdown of the matriculating class reflects that of the admitted pool, which was 55 percent male and 45 percent female.

He added that because 7.9 percent of students opted to mark their prospective concentration as undecided this year, it is hard to compare the concentration breakdown of the Class of 2018 to those of previous years. Despite this fact, Fitzsimmons said that the yield of those interested in different concentrations followed a trend that the Office of Admissions has seen in the past.

“It is always true that...there is a lower matriculation rate for people who are interested in computer science, and in engineering, and typically physical sciences,” Fitzsimmons said, adding that “there are higher yields on [prospective] social sciences, and humanities, and biological sciences [concentrators].”

After the Office of Admissions saw a nearly 60 percent increase in the number of applicants interested in computer science, 61 such students accepted officers of admissions compared to just 37 last year.

Fitzsimmons said that the implementation of online outreach tools and techniques that emerged during last year’s virtual Visitas helped bolster this year’s admitted students weekend, which ran from April 26-28, and contributed to another high yield.

“What we learned from previous years..is that undergraduates stepped forward and did an amazing job with social media and that helped us I think with a high yield last year. So we built on that and deployed it,” Fitzsimmons said.

In addition to online outreach, which included videos, presentations, and social media outreach, Fitzsimmons said that he observed a noticeable interest among current students to help with Visitas weekend.

“The way undergraduates this year volunteered to be hosts...was the most enthusiasm I have ever seen on the part of undergraduates,” Fitzsimmons said.

Fitzsimmons said that his office is already underway with reviewing those on the waitlist and hopes to send out notifications to some by the end of next week.

Only two other Ivy League institutions have recently reported yield rates to date.

A record-breaking 54.5 percent of those admitted to Dartmouth’s Class of 2018 are expected to matriculate. In light of this fact, Dartmouth administrators have said they do not plan to admit any students from the school’s waitlist.

The University of Pennsylvania saw a 66 percent yield rate this year, a 3 percent increase from last year.

—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at theodore.delwiche@thecrimson.com. Follow him on twitter @trdelwic.

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