Harvard Solidifies Its Position as the Leader in Black Student Yield

So-called yield, the percentage of applicants who decide to go to a college that issues an invitation to them, has become the standard measure of an institution’s strength and drawing power. For most of the past 20 years Harvard University has been the nation’s gold standard in student yield percentage for both black and white students.

But in both 2002 and 2003 this gold standard in black student yield moved to Stanford University. In 2003 the black student yield at Stanford was 67.9 percent, the highest in the country. Harvard’s black student yield dropped as low as 61 percent in 2002, the year after the controversy between then Harvard president Lawrence Summers and black studies professor Cornel West.

In 2004 Harvard regained the lead in black student yield from Stanford and has been increasing the lead over the past two years. In 2006 nearly 71 percent of all black students who were offered admission to Harvard decided to enroll. At Stanford University this year, the black student yield was 61.4 percent.