Could IU help its "prestige" factor if the university simply cut its acceptance rate?

Aside from having a top-10 business school, IU has a variety of highly-ranked programs w/ strong placement and contrary to some perspectives, the school does drag in good students from around the world and not just for Kelley. From an outside perspective, IU seems like it has what it needs to be considered close to the "top-tier" public schools, besides its absurdly high 77% acceptance rate. IU ranked at #76 this year in US News. 

If, for example, IU simply lowered its overall acceptance rate closer to 50-60%, would it be seen as a better school to WSO? Is it largely its acceptance rate that drags down what seems to be an otherwise good school, or is it something else? Additionally, do you think a lower acceptance rate could lead to higher rankings?

Maybe this isn't the right place since I am not asking just from an IB perspective, but I do notice a lot of heated discussion about the school here. 

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Comments (17)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 7, 2020 - 4:58pm

Lol what? Google a school's yield and you'll have your answer...they cant do this because simply cutting the acceptance rate would dramatically reduce the number of students and therefore revenue...if it was that easy don't you think every school would just simply lower its acceptance rate. This was a pretty dumb question tbh.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 7, 2020 - 7:09pm

I think that from a purely analytic standpoint, it would make it more prestigious because the perception changes if it gets harder to get in. Why are HYPSM so prestigious? Because the majority of high schoolers know that no matter how hard they grind, they'll almost never get in there anyway because it's just so damn hard to get in. However, people want to go to Harvard because it's just prestigious, that's a qualitative trait that has a correlation with acceptance rates, but it's not a causal relationship.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 7, 2020 - 7:26pm

Well ya acceptance rates are indicative of academic prestige...however take them with a grain of salt...some liberal arts colleges have acceptance rates that don't match their academic prowess/prestige because not as many people know about them/apply...also some schools have lower acceptance rates than their academics convey because they get a ton of applicants. But, overall, acceptance rates are a pretty good sign of prestige

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Oct 7, 2020 - 7:51pm

all schools are a business...they have x seats to fill...and y applicants

school seeks to maximize profit.

"prestige" is not a valuable metric for the school...they really don't care.

YOU might care about your alma maters perceived prestige...but the school doesn't care.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 26, 2020 - 5:21pm

Well that's not fully true. More perceived prestige = more applications. More applications = more money (each applications like a 100 bucks) and a better talent pool of applicants. Better talent pool of applicants = more successful graduates. More successful graduates = more donations and more applications and the cycle continues. It's just very hard to break into that cycle.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 28, 2020 - 12:54am

Well, technically the school has more applicants than most elite schools Mr.Prop trader. And the b-school's acceptance rate is 30%. The kids who come out of the investment management workshop probably have a better job than u LOL

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Oct 8, 2020 - 11:45am

This is like giving up easy money to move from 50th place to 41st place.  50-60% is still not even close to what you want.  What then?  You gonna have 1 student per class?

And a top 10 undergraduate business school is like being 10th place in a 15-person race.  Most top schools don't have undergrad business.  Don't hang too much weight in that ranking.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 26, 2020 - 3:03pm

Two schools I know that aggressively tried lowering their admit rates, and were successful, were UChicago and Northeastern. I think they made applying really easy and marketed their schools as much as possible. IU is public though so the chance they try something like that is really small as their first "duty" is educating residents of Indiana which doesn't really go with lowering your admission rate aggressively.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 6, 2020 - 12:24am

UChicago's always been known as a good school but just to put it into perspective, in 1997 their acceptance rate was 71% with Yale and Columbia at 20% and 24% respectively and significantly higher median SAT scores as well. I used them as an example because they've tried to, and did, lower their admission rates as much as possible in order to get more "prestige points" even if they were already known as a good school. 

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