According to Institutional Research, the fall 2011 and fall 2012 yield rates were 38.7 percent and 34.3 percent, respectively. An estimated 11,533 freshmen were admitted to Texas State for the fall 2011 semester, and 4,459 enrolled. An estimated 12,385 freshmen were admitted for the fall 2012 semester, 4,251 of which enrolled. This resulted in a -4.4 percent difference in the freshman yield rate.
Michael Heintze, associate vice president for Enrollment Management, said there are several factors that influence yield rate, including the status of the economy. This factor could influence students to stay close to home and attend a community college.
“Yield rates move around a little bit,” Heintze said. “This is more than typical for us, but we’ve seen yield rates in the 37 to 39 percent range for the last seven or eight years.”
Heintze said the new federal financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements may have affected the yield rate. Transfer students must now have at least a 2.0 GPA and show satisfactory progress in their degree plans, per the new requirements. He said although these requirements do not affect freshmen, they could have had an effect on transfer students this year.
He said there were at least 200 transfer students applying this fall who ultimately decided to stay at the institution they were attending because they did not meet the new SAP requirements. The transfer student yield rate decreased from 70 percent in fall 2011 to 64 in fall 2012, a -5.3 difference.
Heintze said students negatively affect the yield rate when they are admitted to but do not enroll.
“Students are good shoppers,” Heintze said. “They’re investigating the academic opportunities out there.”
Heintze said if a university wants a specific number of freshmen one year, it must admit more students than the goal. He said usually about 38 percent of admitted students actually enroll. The university is able to admit a number of applicants based on the expected yield rate, which will hopefully result in the desired freshman class size.
Heintze said all schools deal with yield rate issues, and so the undergraduate admissions process is important. He said the university tries to connect with potential students through programs, direct mail, college nights at high schools and various other means.
Stephanie Anderson, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management, said there are recruitment initiatives the university hopes to put in place in response to the decreased yield rate. She said the university plans to utilize social media more when contacting admitted students in an effort to get them to commit earlier.
In addition, Anderson said a Texas State call center will be established in conjunction with University Advancement. She hopes this will increase the number of calls to prospective and admitted students. Texas State hopes to go from about five thousand to 30 thousand calls a year with the creation of the center, she said.
Jen Beck, director of Retention Management and Planning, said the university has a variety of programs to help students succeed once enrolled. She said every service on campus strives to provide the highest quality and let students know the university is “here for them” with programs in place to encourage success.