Comparison of matriculation rates according to AIP

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Robespierre
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:22 pm

Comparison of matriculation rates according to AIP

Postby Robespierre » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:57 am

I've checked this for several institutions, all physics departments, for 2012.

(enrollment/admissions offered)

Harvard: 36/64 = 56%

Stanford: 42/81 = 52%

MIT: 34/85 = 40%

Berkeley: 42/117 = 36%

Princeton: 21/64 = 33%


Information for Caltech is not available, but Caltech's website says that "for example," 70 may be admitted and 30 may choose to enroll, which is a rate of about 40%. However, looking at the available information, the actual entering class size for Caltech seems to have been consistently less than 30 for the last several years, probably with a mean closer to 20. Can't really tell exactly how many admissions they offer.

Granted, this is only one year's data, and there is likely to be a lot of fluctuations. For example, one year Caltech had an enrollment of 27, another year only 19, and while 8 is not such a large number, if it is out of 70 admissions then that is an 11% point difference. Still, the disparity between Harvard and Princeton seems quite strange, unless last year Harvard did particularly well and Princeton particularly bad.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Comparison of matriculation rates according to AIP

Postby bfollinprm » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:23 pm

Robespierre wrote:I've checked this for several institutions, all physics departments, for 2012.

(enrollment/admissions offered)

Harvard: 36/64 = 56%

Stanford: 42/81 = 52%

MIT: 34/85 = 40%

Berkeley: 42/117 = 36%

Princeton: 21/64 = 33%


Information for Caltech is not available, but Caltech's website says that "for example," 70 may be admitted and 30 may choose to enroll, which is a rate of about 40%. However, looking at the available information, the actual entering class size for Caltech seems to have been consistently less than 30 for the last several years, probably with a mean closer to 20. Can't really tell exactly how many admissions they offer.

Granted, this is only one year's data, and there is likely to be a lot of fluctuations. For example, one year Caltech had an enrollment of 27, another year only 19, and while 8 is not such a large number, if it is out of 70 admissions then that is an 11% point difference. Still, the disparity between Harvard and Princeton seems quite strange, unless last year Harvard did particularly well and Princeton particularly bad.


Barely a 2 sigma result. Hard to conclude anything there.

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Comparison of matriculation rates according to AIP

Postby TakeruK » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:42 pm

I'm not sure how much useful information you can get by directly comparing these numbers between the schools. There is definitely correlation between the stats (obviously, a student can only pick one school). Since these are some of the top physics programs, it's likely that there is a sizeable amount of overlap in these schools.

From talking to some profs, and from my experience, people also tend to accept in groups. It seems to be the case for my option in my department that either > 80% choose to attend or < 20% do. My option is small though, less than 10 are admitted per year, but this trend can be traced back several years. The reasoning is that in our visits, we're evaluating how much we'd like to work with our cohort as well as the school/profs/department itself. In these much bigger departments, it's possible that the class size is too big to worry about the entire group, but smaller groups of people might get along really well at a visit (and it's likely they will see each other at visits to several schools) so their decisions may not be independent either. So things that like can easily explain the differences between the schools from year to year.

But overall, I think the more useful stat is that it shows the top schools average around a 40% expected matriculation rate. I am at Caltech, but not in Physics. At a recent meeting, my division told us they admitted 36 students with the hope that 18 of them will matriculate.




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