National Liberal Arts Colleges Where Most Accepted Students Enroll

US News

Though prospective college students are increasingly applying to more schools, each applicant can ultimately enroll in just one. For fall 2011, some of the most popular choices among students were U.S. service academies.

Colleges refer to the percentage of their accepted first year students who choose to enroll as "yield" and report the statistic to U.S. News in annual surveys. Yield is an important indicator of what students think about their college choice. While a high yield shows students greatly value being admitted to a particular institution, a low yield may mean that the school was considered a "safety" and may not have been those students' first choice.

In a 2012 U.S. News survey, 233 ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges, generally small schools that emphasize undergraduate education, reported yield rates for fall 2011.

The United States Naval Academy reported the highest yield rate that year, enrolling 86.2 percent of admitted undergraduates. Following closely behind, the United States Military Academy enrolled 83.6 percent of admitted applicants for fall 2011, while 82.1 percent of students accepted to the United States Air Force Academy chose to attend.

On average, the ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges that reported yield rates to U.S. News enrolled close to 30 percent of accepted undergraduates for fall 2011. That's not as high as the average among National Universities: about 36 percent, according to school reports.

[See the yield rates at National Universities.]

High yield rates do not necessarily correspond with the overall Best Colleges rankings. Though Harvard University is the No. 1 ranked National University and has the second-highest yield rate amongst similar schools for fall 2011, Williams College, ranked No. 1 overall in the U.S. News Best National Liberal Arts Colleges rankings, reported a yield rate of 44.9 percent for fall 2011--the 25th highest on the list below.

The yield rates could be affected by any early decision or early action options offered by schools. Since students accepted through those programs are generally expected to enroll, overall yield rates may increase as a result.

Below are the fall 2011 yield rates for every National Liberal Arts College that reported the statistic to U.S. News.

School name Students accepted First year enrollment Yield
United States Naval Academy 1426 1229 86.2%
United States Military Academy 1473 1231 83.6%
United States Air Force Academy 1372 1127 82.1%
Providence Christian College 30 23 76.7%
Berea College 586 418 71.3%
Thomas Aquinas College 135 92 68.1%
Clearwater Christian College 245 151 61.6%
Soka University of America 179 110 61.5%
Principia College 168 103 61.3%
University of Wisconsin--Parkside 1337 766 57.3%
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma 373 211 56.6%
West Virginia State University 569 309 54.3%
Grove City College 1205 617 51.2%
Savannah State University 2458 1243 50.6%
Wisconsin Lutheran College 522 263 50.4%
Virginia Military Institute 969 480 49.5%
Claremont McKenna College 623 305 49.0%
Barnard College 1282 612 47.7%
Simpson University 308 146 47.4%
Salem College 394 184 46.7%
Colorado Mesa University 4671 2179 46.6%
Bowdoin College 1056 484 45.8%
St. John's College 338 152 45.0%
Wheaton College 1327 596 44.9%
Williams College 1215 545 44.9%
Goshen College 416 182 43.8%
Life University 544 234 43.0%
University of Maine--Machias 318 136 42.8%
Bethany Lutheran College 381 162 42.5%
Hillsdale College 925 393 42.5%
Wellesley College 1362 574 42.1%
University of Virginia--Wise 849 356 41.9%
Bucknell University 2188 916 41.9%
Washington and Lee University 1182 494 41.8%
Amherst College 1127 461 40.9%
Eastern Mennonite University 578 234 40.5%
Davidson College 1208 488 40.4%
Wesleyan College 280 113 40.4%
St. John's University 1225 494 40.3%
Calvin College 2395 961 40.1%
Fort Lewis College 1974 777 39.4%
San Diego Christian College 234 92 39.3%
Swarthmore College 987 386 39.1%
Erskine College 425 166 39.1%
Pomona College 1011 394 39.0%
Colorado College 1267 490 38.7%
Middlebury College 1563 602 38.5%
Haverford College 870 335 38.5%
Holy Cross College 322 122 37.9%
Judson College 200 75 37.5%
Vassar College 1798 671 37.3%
Smith College 1877 694 37.0%
Ouachita Baptist University 1245 459 36.9%
Morehouse College 1370 500 36.5%
College of St. Benedict 1444 525 36.4%
Presbyterian College 1000 359 35.9%
Bates College 1405 502 35.7%
Sweet Briar College 547 194 35.5%
Concordia College--Moorhead 2047 722 35.3%
St. Lawrence University 1855 647 34.9%
Wesleyan University 2340 808 34.5%
Centenary College of Louisiana 690 238 34.5%
Mount Holyoke College 1759 605 34.4%
Oberlin College 2192 751 34.3%
Houghton College 777 266 34.2%
Grinnell College 1330 448 33.7%
Carleton College 1546 519 33.6%
Bryn Mawr College 1080 361 33.4%
Hamilton College 1441 481 33.4%
St. Olaf College 2214 739 33.4%
New College of Florida 715 237 33.1%
Colgate University 2305 764 33.1%
Marlboro College 185 61 33.0%
Kenyon College 1429 468 32.8%
St. Vincent College 1249 409 32.7%
Scripps College 785 257 32.7%
College of the Atlantic 233 76 32.6%
Gettysburg College 2257 732 32.4%
St. Mary's College 1220 393 32.2%
Lycoming College 1299 417 32.1%
Shorter University 1263 405 32.1%
Shimer College 50 16 32.0%
Wabash College 916 293 32.0%
University of Minnesota--Morris 1462 465 31.8%
College of Idaho 777 246 31.7%
Western State Colorado University 1383 436 31.5%
Shawnee State University 3766 1187 31.5%
Northland College 469 146 31.1%
St. Norbert College 1917 594 31.0%
College of the Holy Cross 2435 751 30.8%
Pacific Union College 1182 363 30.7%
Reed College 1219 374 30.7%
Colby College 1527 467 30.6%
Franklin and Marshall College 1965 597 30.4%
Virginia Intermont College 359 109 30.4%
St. Mary's College of Maryland 1472 446 30.3%
Pitzer College 903 272 30.1%
Nebraska Wesleyan University 1196 360 30.1%
Hendrix College 1261 375 29.7%
American Jewish University 37 11 29.7%
Simpson College 1145 338 29.5%
Harvey Mudd College 660 194 29.4%
Wartburg College 1784 510 28.6%
Emory and Henry College 971 277 28.5%
Castleton State College 1623 462 28.5%
Lane College 2125 599 28.2%
Connecticut College 1804 508 28.2%
Alma College 1379 387 28.1%
Birmingham-Southern College 1155 324 28.1%
Trinity College 2118 591 27.9%
Hope College 2940 815 27.7%
Lafayette College 2304 638 27.7%
Muhlenberg College 2109 584 27.7%
Berry College 2014 557 27.7%
Xavier University of Louisiana 2860 786 27.5%
Illinois College 1054 288 27.3%
Skidmore College 2431 663 27.3%
Gordon College 1713 465 27.1%
Ripon College 837 227 27.1%
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 1136 308 27.1%
Hollins University 672 182 27.1%
University of North Carolina--Asheville 2018 540 26.8%
Bay Path College 583 155 26.6%
Purchase College--SUNY 3011 797 26.5%
Eastern Nazarene College 620 164 26.5%
Denison University 2304 606 26.3%
Lyon College 605 158 26.1%
Union College 2197 572 26.0%
Westminster College 978 254 26.0%
Brevard College 734 190 25.9%
Claflin University 1578 408 25.9%
Albion College 1499 386 25.8%
Hobart and William Smith Colleges 2656 681 25.6%
Dickinson College 2543 652 25.6%
Bennington College 829 212 25.6%
Doane College 1144 291 25.4%
Randolph College 696 177 25.4%
Linfield College 1811 459 25.3%
University of Richmond 3085 781 25.3%
Illinois Wesleyan University 2017 510 25.3%
Augustana College 2838 708 24.9%
Bard College 1960 486 24.8%
Warren Wilson College 920 228 24.8%
Moravian College 1546 375 24.3%
Kalamazoo College 1531 371 24.2%
Monmouth College 1401 339 24.2%
Sewanee--University of the South 1793 433 24.1%
Whitman College 1654 399 24.1%
Spelman College 2204 531 24.1%
Johnson C. Smith University 1552 373 24.0%
Wofford College 1861 446 24.0%
William Peace University 568 136 23.9%
Luther College 2631 627 23.8%
Juniata College 1528 363 23.8%
Lake Forest College 1711 406 23.7%
Gustavus Adolphus College 3088 727 23.5%
Hampden-Sydney College 1361 320 23.5%
Coe College 1547 361 23.3%
Westmont College 1424 332 23.3%
Cornell College 1457 339 23.3%
Lawrence University 1405 326 23.2%
Occidental College 2321 538 23.2%
Bethany College 935 214 22.9%
SUNY College--Old Westbury 1755 400 22.8%
Transylvania University 1075 245 22.8%
Susquehanna University 2644 599 22.7%
Macalester College 2137 478 22.4%
Bryn Athyn College of the New Church 370 82 22.2%
Maryville College 1325 293 22.1%
Pine Manor College 318 70 22.0%
Centre College 1700 374 22.0%
Agnes Scott College 1048 227 21.7%
Hiram College 1432 308 21.5%
Rhodes College 2658 571 21.5%
Central College 1926 412 21.4%
Allen University 841 179 21.3%
Beloit College 1487 315 21.2%
Bloomfield College 1854 392 21.1%
Earlham College 1109 234 21.1%
Wheaton College 2075 437 21.1%
Millsaps College 1077 224 20.8%
Austin College 1736 359 20.7%
McDaniel College 2074 424 20.4%
Hampshire College 1797 366 20.4%
Allegheny College 2747 559 20.3%
Southwestern University 1694 344 20.3%
Knox College 1706 346 20.3%
Stillman College 1526 305 20.0%
Whittier College 2137 427 20.0%
DePauw University 2950 584 19.8%
Louisiana State University--Alexandria 1618 320 19.8%
Eckerd College 2542 502 19.7%
Guilford College 1963 382 19.5%
Furman University 4058 785 19.3%
College of Wooster 2968 571 19.2%
Georgetown College 1895 353 18.6%
St. Anselm College 2953 550 18.6%
University of Puget Sound 3729 686 18.4%
Roanoke College 2910 533 18.3%
Kentucky State University 3126 558 17.9%
Tougaloo College 1148 204 17.8%
Randolph-Macon College 2369 410 17.3%
Albright College 3011 517 17.2%
Bennett College 952 158 16.6%
Siena College 4714 782 16.6%
Ohio Wesleyan University 2950 483 16.4%
Virginia Wesleyan College 2730 439 16.1%
Green Mountain College 872 140 16.1%
Ursinus College 2703 428 15.8%
Hanover College 2058 321 15.6%
St. Michael's College 3493 543 15.5%
Westminster College 2326 360 15.5%
Lewis & Clark College 3928 607 15.5%
Marymount Manhattan College 2892 439 15.2%
William Jewell College 1803 270 15.0%
Washington College 2715 399 14.7%
Rust College 1817 264 14.5%
Wittenberg University 3735 535 14.3%
Bridgewater College 3327 471 14.2%
Carthage College 4806 679 14.1%
Washington and Jefferson College 2855 387 13.6%
Goucher College 2764 367 13.3%
Willamette University 4685 617 13.2%
Dillard University 2728 354 13.0%
Hartwick College 3774 489 13.0%
Oglethorpe University 2027 262 12.9%
Drew University 3527 454 12.9%
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology 708 91 12.9%
Stonehill College 4693 568 12.1%
Wells College 1248 137 11.0%
College of St. Thomas More 10 1 10.0%
King's College 2255 162 7.2%
Fisk University 1864 125 6.7%

The yield data above are correct as of Jan. 28, 2013. For additional admissions data, complete rankings, and much more, access the U.S. News College Compass.

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