At this time of year, most admissions teams at four-year colleges and universities are keeping close, daily counts of their inquiry, applicant, and accepted pools, with yield counts to follow soon on accepts and then on deposits/confirmed students. While all of these totals are important, they can also be misleading. Let me explain. If you follow this explanation carefully, you’ll see how to avoid late surprises by continuously tracking the strengths and weaknesses of your next incoming class—not just the total numbers.
First, let’s look at the way most admissions teams have been using “funnels” to track progress.
For decades, enrollment managers and admissions officers have been monitoring admissions funnels at their institutions and making new student enrollment projections by monitoring such rates as the:
- Response rates to search outreach efforts
- Conversion rates from inquiry to applicant
- Acceptance rates
- Yield rates from acceptance to enrollment