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Despite Financial Crisis, Deerfield Enjoys Unprecedented Admissions Yield

Deerfield was, this year, more desirable to newly-admitted students than ever before. Admissions received the greatest number of applications it has ever seen, a record-breaking 2,076. 

“We’re a very popular school,” said Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Patricia Gimbel, with a smile. 

Such a large applicant pool naturally led to another record-breaking number—the acceptance rate for next fall was the lowest in Deerfield’s history.  Only 325 students were admitted, an acceptance rate of roughly 16%.

Deerfield’s popularity did not fall after prospective students sent in their applications, however.  About 220 students have accepted their offers of admission, making the yield rate for accepted students the highest ever, a dazzling 67.7%.

An especially noteworthy highlight of this years’ admissions season was what Ms. Gimbel called the “ninth-grade girls’ phenomenon,” as 81.8% of girls accepted into the freshman class are planning to attend next fall.

With such a high yield rate, the school can expect to see the largest student body in academy history next year, with a projected 650 students up from 616.  Ms. Gimbel projected 118 members of the class of 2013, 166 students in the class of 2012, 177 juniors in the class of 2011, and 188 seniors in the class of 2010 for the ’09-’10 school year, a total of 576 boarding students and 74 day students.

Additionally, there will be slightly more girls next year than boys, with females representing 50.3% of the student body.

Because many families are facing financial challenges, Ms. Gimbel attributes the unusually large applicant pool and yield to the fact that many families are “reprioritizing how they spend their money.  Education is moving to the top of the list.  Families want stability for their children.”  Ms. Gimbel pointed out that public school budgets in many communities are being reduced, and that more families than ever are turning to private schools for their children. 

Nonetheless, the high application and yield rates are cause to celebrate. “It’s a real tribute to our students and our faculty,” Ms. Gimbel said. “We should all be proud.”

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