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Class of 2021 Admissions Data II

Let’s discus admissions data for the class of 2021. Key table:

admi2

Today is Day 2.

No one should be surprised that Williams yields whites better than it yields any other group. Is that a problem or an opportunity? I bet that white students from rich families who attended elite high schools are, on average, the happiest students at Williams. If so, should we admit more of them?

A similar analysis applies to legacies, the vast majority of whom are white. (Note that the legacy numbers are much iffier because the College does not (regularly) publish the exact numbers. President Falk usually provides an estimate of 1/7th but that certainly varies year-to-year. Indeed, the exact definition of “legacy” matters. We always include the children of alumni, never (?) the nieces/nephews and sometimes (?) the grandchildren. In any event, the 79 here is my estimate, equal to 1/7th of the 553 students in the class.)

I am amazed that we yield so well among legacies. Will 79 or so of the 86 legacies we admitted choose to enroll. That seems much too high to me. I know, just in my personal circle of friends, two legacy children admitted to Williams who went Ivy instead. Then again, perhaps the vast majority of those 86 were admitted early decision? Informed commentary welcome.

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#1 Comment By JAS On April 12, 2017 @ 3:01 pm

Hey look! DDF made up numbers and wrote a blog post about it again!

#2 Comment By David Dudley Field ’24 On April 12, 2017 @ 10:24 pm

JAS: You seem confused. Every number is that table is correct, assuming you believe that the College’s news releases and Common Data Set can be trusted.

#3 Comment By JAS On April 12, 2017 @ 11:52 pm

Except for the one you say is an “estimate” and you freely admit is likely to vary substantially year to year. Also, the entire table (and especially your “analysis”) assumes the enrolled class of 2021 will look just like the class of 2020. It’s just sloppy.

#4 Comment By JCD On April 13, 2017 @ 1:09 am

JAS: You’re really being unfair. DDF discloses where he made estimates and indicated where the exact numbers are unknown. You can’t ask for more than that in terms of accountability. Assuming next year’s class will resemble this year’s class strikes me as an example not of sloppiness but of common sense.

What’s off base, in my view, is your feckless suggestion DDF simply “made up numbers.”

As for the larger issue, I think it is interesting to ask whether or not being a legacy student will lead to greater happiness at your academic institution?

My nephew just won a rare, coveted Naval ROTC scholarship. I can’t help but think he will be happier in a military career, in part, because both his grandparents served in the U.S. Navy including one who was a Quarter Master on board a ship during WWII — my father — and one who served in the Navy Seals during Vietnam. One of his uncles served as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the U.S. Marine Corps.

We might even be able to argue that he will be better treated by the Navy because of his family ties to the institution.

#5 Comment By FreeSpeech On April 13, 2017 @ 9:20 pm

Whew, thank God JCD included elements of his biography!

#6 Comment By Arjun Narayan On April 14, 2017 @ 2:46 pm

The fact that legacy yield is so remarkably high is yet another smoking gun that the applicants with legacy ties are deficient in many ways (if not in their raw ARs). They yield high because they have fewer alternatives because other schools (rightly) drop them where they belong: in the reject bin.