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Universities, Colleges Where Students Are Eager to Enroll

US News & World Report – EDU logo US News & World Report – EDU 1/23/2018 Farran Powell
160822_WestPoint: At the United States Military Academy in New York, nearly 88 percent of accepted applicants enrolled in fall 2016. © (USMA Photo) At the United States Military Academy in New York, nearly 88 percent of accepted applicants enrolled in fall 2016.

Getting accepted at a top-ranked college or university is competitive – especially among schools with low acceptance rates.

Many schools with a high yield are selective. Yield, the percentage of admitted students who enroll, is big business in college admissions. Schools want their yield rate to be as high as possible, because it not only reflects popularity among applicants but also allows institutions to shape and set the tone of the incoming freshman class.

Stanford University in California, which accepted 5 percent of applicants in fall 2016, had the highest yield among any National University, according to the data that 294 ranked National Universities submitted to U.S. News in an annual survey. A National University offers a wide range of undergraduate majors as well master's and doctoral degrees.

The California institution boasted a yield of 82.1 percent in fall 2016 – an increase of nearly two percentage points compared with the prior year.

Among National Liberal Arts Colleges, the United States Military Academy in New York reported the highest yield for fall 2016 at 87.9 percent. That's according to the data reported to U.S. News in an annual survey from 210 ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that place emphasis on undergraduate education and award at least 50 percent of their degrees in the liberal arts.

The military academy, known as West Point, accepted only 10 percent of applicants in fall 2016.

Several National Liberal Arts Colleges with high yields also offer tuition-free education – increasing desirability. Among these schools are West Point, the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado and Berea College in Kentucky. All these schools – except for Berea – accepted 15 percent or less of applicants in fall 2016.

In contrast to schools with high yields, many four-year institutions have experienced a decline in yields recently. Experts say this drop is linked to students submitting more applications to various schools.

The average yield among National Universities was 32 percent, slightly lower than the average of 32.9 percent for fall 2015. That number is even lower among National Liberal Arts Colleges, which had an average yield rate of 26.6 percent for fall 2016 – down by nearly 1 percentage point compared with the previous year.

The tables below show schools with a yield of 50 percent or higher for fall 2016. The rate can be affected by students' early decision or early action options, since some of those programs bind students to attend if accepted. These data reflect first-time, first-year, degree-seeking students only.

National Universities With High Yields

School (state)Students acceptedStudents who enrolled in fall 2016Yield
Stanford University (CA)2,1181,73982.1%
Brigham Young University—Provo (UT)6,5205,24680.5%
Harvard University (MA)2,1101,66378.8%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology1,5111,11073.5%
Yale University (CT)1,9881,37169.0%
University of Texas—Rio Grande Valley5,7633,94468.4%
Princeton University (NJ)1,9111,30668.3%
University of Pennsylvania3,6742,49167.8%
University of Alaska—Fairbanks1,14477567.7%
University of Chicago2,4991,59163.7%
Yeshiva University (NY)84954163.7%
Columbia University (NY)2,2791,42062.3%
Kennesaw State University (GA)8,8475,34760.4%
University of Nebraska—Lincoln8,4254,86057.7%
Georgia Southern University6,3483,60056.7%
University of Notre Dame (IN)3,6542,04656.0%
Brown University (RI)3,0141,68155.8%
University of Nevada—Las Vegas7,0643,85954.6%
Northwestern University (IL)3,7431,98553.0%
North Dakota State University4,7592,50352.6%
Cornell University (NY)6,3373,31552.3%
University of West Georgia4,7122,43451.7%
Dartmouth College (NH)2,1901,12151.2%
University of Louisiana—Lafayette5,9453,02450.9%
Duke University (NC)3,4301,72350.2%
Florida A&M University2,1741,08750.0%
University of Southern Mississippi3,1151,55850.0%

National Liberal Arts Colleges With High Yields

School (state)Students acceptedStudents who enrolled in fall 2016Yield
United States Military Academy (NY)1,4331,26087.9%
United States Naval Academy (MD)1,3551,17886.9%
Louisiana State University—Alexandria65553581.7%
Principia College (IL)15011476.0%
United States Air Force Academy (CO)1,4921,11574.7%
Berea College (KY)57241873.1%
Thomas Aquinas College (CA)1448961.8%
Marlboro College (VT)1549360.4%
Soka University of America (CA)19210454.2%
Pomona College (CA)76541153.7%
Claremont McKenna College (CA)59932153.6%
Bethany Lutheran College (MN)26413852.3%
Barnard College (NY)1,18460551.1%
Virginia Military Institute93947250.3%
University of Wisconsin—Parkside 1,32866650.2%

The acceptance and yield data above are correct as of Jan. 23, 2018. For additional admissions data, complete rankings and much more, access the U.S. News College Compass.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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