One major challenge for admissions offices within DPT programs is improving the yield rate. Yield rate is defined as the percent of students that matriculate into the program after having received an offer of admission. Currently, there is little understanding of what factors ultimately contribute to the yield rate. The purpose of this project is to describe the academic and non-academic characteristics associated with prospective DPT students that ultimately matriculate in the program.
With the increasing numbers of applicants and the burden associated with recruitment and admissions processes, an evaluation was conducted to determine what applicant characteristics were most likely to result in a prospective student proceeding to matriculation. A secondary analysis of academic and non-academic factors was carried out and the sample excluded any early decision (n=9) and early assurance (n=4) applicants. Univariate analyses were conducted to determine the association between variables and variables were screened for multi-collinearity. Ultimately, four academic metrics including cumulative GPA > 3.5, cumulative GPA > 3.2, verbal GRE > 152, and quantitative GRE > 152 plus three non-academic factors including state of residence, prospective student interaction with program prior to applying, and initial application review score. A stepwise logistic regression was conducted.
Four variables were retained in the final model including prospective student interaction prior to applying, state of residence, verbal GRE > 152 and cumulative GPA > 3.5. Overall, the model explained 25% of the variance within the sample (Nagelkerke R2 = 0.246). The variable of a prospective student interacting with the program prior to applying demonstrated the largest odds with the prospective student matriculating (p= 0.02; OR 3.0; 95% CI: 1.24-7.42). State of residence (being in-state) also was significant and increased the odds of an applicant matriculating within the program (p=0.05; OR 2.75; 95% CI: 1.0-7.49). Two additional academic variables were retained in the model including cumulative GPA > 3.5 (p=0.07; OR 0.39; 95% CI: 0.14-1.06) and verbal GRE > 152 (p=0.07; OR 0.40; 95% CI: 0.14-1.09).
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education
In this analysis, two non-academic variables state of residence (in-state) and prospective student interaction with program prior to applying were the only significant variables and may help explain factors that are involved in prospective students making choices regarding DPT education. Prospective students that interact with the program prior to application (in-person or electronically) resulted in the best odds of matriculation at this institution. Understanding which factors may impact the yield rate for a program can assist with refining the recruitment and admissions processes and reduce time and effort of the admissions team.
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