Following an announcement Thursday, the University has revised its official yield rate for the Class of 2018, increasing it to 69.2 percent, which actually marks a slight increase from last year's yield of 68.7 percent.
Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye explained in an interview Friday that the number provided to The Daily Princetonian on Thursday -- a yield of 67.4 percent — did not include Bridge Year students. The Thursday number was provided by University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua and was also reported by the University Press Club.
Each year, around 35 students defer their enrollment for one year to participate in the Bridge Year Program, a University-sponsored gap year program. The Class of 2018 will include 35 students who were originally accepted into the Class of 2017 and deferred enrollment.
On Thursday, Rapelye said, those 35 Bridge Year students were subtracted from thestatistic she provided, resulting in a reported class size of 1,306 when there are really 1,341 students currently enrolled in the Class of 2018.
“Here’s our challenge: we have a Bridge Year program and there are 35 students who are away who are already in this class,” Rapelye said.
However, these 35 students were accepted to the Class of 2017 and were counted in last year's yield as well.This practice -- of counting Bridge Year students in the yield for both their original class as well as the class they choose to enroll in -- has been consistent with previous years.
The yield of 69.2 percent, is comparable to last year’s 68.7 percent. Meanwhile, the yield rate for the Class of 2017 without taking Bridge Year students into account was 65.8 percent.
Rapelye emphasized that even though the enrollment target was 1,308, the University has not overenrolled this year with its 1,341 students.
In addition, Rapelye said that she predicted that approximately 30 students will be taken off the waitlist this year sometime between now and the end of June. She added that the Office of Admission does not know the specific date they will make these decisions.
The University took 33 students off of the waitlist last year, but any number of students from zero to 124 have been taken off in the past five years.
This yield comes on the heels of a year marked by the meningitis outbreak and an abridged Princeton Preview weekend.
“It was a concern. We didn’t know what to expect,” Rapelye said. “I actually felt like there were more variables this year than any other year because we’re still dealing with an outbreak on this campus and we had to make decisions about Preview we’ve never had to make before.”
Rapelye attributed the high yield rate to the work of current University students to make Preview a success and the University’s effort to reassure parents about the dangers of meningitis and the guarantee of vaccinations.
“I certainly want to thank our students on campus for their efforts for both Princeton Preview programs. Our students were so helpful,” Rapelye said.
However, Rapelye remains uncertain as to how meningitis and changes to Preview contributed to the yield numbers this year.
“Would our yield have been even higher without it? Maybe it’s had no effect,” Rapelye said.
The enrolled Class of 2018 is 52.4 percent male and 47.6 percent female. Of those students, 11.2 percent are non-American citizens and 41.8 percent identify as students of color.
Rapelye noted that there was an incredibly high yield from students residing in New Jersey, and added that almost every admitted student between Princeton and New Jersey’s southern border who was admitted to the University chose to attend.
Harvard College reported a yield of 82 percent, the same as last year. Dartmouth College's yield is 54.5 percent, increasing from 48.5 percent last year. The University of Pennsylvania reported its highest yield since 2011 with a 66 percent yield rate.