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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
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How Your Projected Yield Rate Impacts Applying Early

This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Vinay Bhaskara in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.


What’s Covered:



What is a College’s Yield?


The yield is the proportion of accepted students that end up enrolling in a college. If a college accepts five students, and out of those five students three end up enrolling at the university, then they have a yield of 60%. If only one student ends up enrolling, however, then that is a yield of only 20%. 


Colleges are always looking at increasing their yield because they want the students they accept to enroll in their college. This ultimately looks good for their reputation and ratings, as well as makes them a more competitive university. 


How Are Yields and Early Applications Related?


The impact of applying early decision and early action does change depending on who you are as an applicant. This can be determined by your projected yield rate. Colleges have a bunch of different models stitched together that assess how likely you are to yield. The model takes into account things like your geography, your finances, the likelihood that you’ll have alternate options of similar qualities, and many other factors. A quick example of this is if you live closer to a college, you’re more likely to yield. 


Depending on how your yield changes in a college model iss going to change how much benefit you get from applying early-decision and early-action. The lower your likelihood of yielding on paper, the larger the benefit of applying early.


How Projected Yield Can Inform Your Early Admissions Strategy


If you are someone who on paper is likely to be a lower yield candidate, applying early actually gives you a much bigger boost than if you’re someone who on paper is more likely to yield. To understand this, you can look at it from the college’s perspective. If you’re someone who on paper is highly likely to yield, it doesn’t matter if the college accepts you in early or regular decisions, since you are still likely to choose them. On the other hand, if you, on paper, have a low chance of yielding, then applying early sends a much stronger signal. This is where you get the biggest benefit from these early applications. 


You might be asking yourself what the benefit of this is. When you apply early you can double, triple, and even quadruple your chance of admissions versus when you apply for regular admissions. 


The Different Levels of Benefit 


Early-Decision Multiplier


Depending on the type of college and the type of plan you are applying under, there are different levels of benefit in the admissions process. For early-decision, you get around 1.6x the benefit and that works as a multiplier on your chance of admissions. To break this down with an example, if you apply early-decision at a school where you have a 20% chance of admission, you multiply this percentage by 1.6 and you then have a 32% chance of being admitted.


Restricted Early-Action Multiplier


For restricted early-action and single choice early action, the multiplier is around 1.4x at a college with a low yield rate, 1.3x at a college with a medium yield rate, and 1.2x at a college with a high yield rate. The different multiplier benefits change depending on the college. While there is still a benefit from applying in this way, the benefit is not as large as early-decision. 


Does Demonstrated Interest Matter? 


As a general rule, if the school is pretty selective and has an acceptance rate below 20%, then they won’t consider demonstrated interest as much. Demonstrated interest does correlate to yield rates, but when a college has a strong yield rate then this doesn’t have as much of an impact on their decisions.