As was reported in the Stanford Daily on Friday, Stanford’s yield may be the highest ever, with 72-73 percent of admits accepting their offers. Given an accepted pool of 2300 students, a 73 percent yield would mean a freshman class size of 1,679. High 1600s is about the normal for a Stanford class, so why is it that even with the highest yield yet we see a normal class? Easy enough: Stanford is simply accepting fewer people. Last year, Stanford accepted a total of 2,426 applicants, but this year, due to much higher levels of early action acceptance and the basic yield calculations that accompany it, they had to cut back on regular acceptances.
Is this good for Stanford? On the one hand, this means that 100 fewer students receive the thick envelope (or, in today’s world, the happy email), which is always rough. However, a higher yield means that Stanford is filling its classes with its most preferred students, so that 2014 should be among the strongest yet (still second to 2012, IMO). It remains to be seen if Stanford will continue to trend towards picking more and more of its class early in order to maximize its top picks (at some point, the system will unravel, so there’s a balance to be struck). In any case, I certainly hope that this year’s class is full of the vibrant, interesting, and brilliant students that characterize the Stanford population. I can’t wait to see all of the excited new faces appear on campus!
For some comparative numbers, check out this NYT blog post.