Potential Project Description for 2011-12


Title: Yield models in college admissions
Domain Expert: Derek Gueldenzoph (Admissions)

Accurately forecasting yield (the percentage of admitted applicants who enroll) is an important yet challenging part of a college’s admissions process. Having a reliable yield model helps a college decide on the optimal number and composition of students to admit; admitting too few students can lead to financial pressures, while admitting too many students can lead to pressures on class size and housing. The St. Olaf Office of Admissions is interested in evaluating and potentially improving its current yield models for admitted students. The probability that a particular admitted student enrolls at St. Olaf will vary by individual, but a healthy amount of data is available for each student who applies – from test scores to extracurriculars to high school attended to financial aid and much more – that can be used to create a yield model. In addition, the effects of individual characteristics on probability of enrollment will be of interest to Admissions staff. Data on enrollees can also be used to determine predictors of success in a student’s first semester at St. Olaf.