Not only is Duquesne among the top national schools, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, the publication also lists the University as among the “most popular schools.”
The U.S. News Web article explains, “One of the best indicators of a school’s popularity among students is the school’s yield, the percentage of applicants accepted by a college who end up enrolling at that institution in the fall.”
Based upon the acceptance rate and the percent of those who choose to enroll, U.S. News ranks Duquesne among the top 100 popular schools in the nation. The publication explains that enrolling a large portion of students accepted “means that the school is probably very popular and has a top reputation and that students are highly motivated to go there.” On the other hand, U.S. News states, a low portion of students enrolled would indicate that the school was a second choice or “safety” school.
“While yield is an important measure of how students perceive our University, it’s also important to note that 75 percent of our Fall 2008 freshman class responded that Duquesne was their first choice for higher education. Another 19 percent responded that Duquesne was their second choice,” said Paul-James Cukanna, associate provost for enrollment management.
“The popularity of our institution is reflected in the increases in the number of freshman applicants and the count of those who enroll,” Cukanna continued. Freshman applicants have increased by more than 100 percent since 2001, with a corresponding 20 percent increase in the size of the freshman class.
While Cukanna agreed that yield is a good indicator of a school’s popularity among students, he also noted that yields can vary from year to year, based on market conditions. Yield rates for specific high-demand academic programs not offered by many institutions, such as health sciences, may be even higher than the 33 percent listed in the U.S. News article.
Selectivity—both on the part of students and the University—plays a role in the statistics. As Duquesne has grown more selective, it also is being considered by highly talented students who have a multitude of school options to weigh.
With all students, the fit with the University is critical for retention and continued success, Cukanna said.
Primary reasons for students choosing Duquesne include program of study, urban location, academic reputation, size and distance from home.
“Each student defines fit differently, but if that fit is not right, the student is not happy with his or her college choice,” Cukanna said. “Our goal is to provide services to the students and make sure they understand the Duquesne mission and what is expected of them.”