Winning Teams Draw College Applicants

May 26, 2008 02:20 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
As March Madness nears its conclusion, a study finds that college basketball and football success can boost applications and, indirectly, raise standards.

30-Second Summary

Sibling research team Jaren and Devin Pope, analyzed incoming freshman classes at 330 NCAA Division I colleges and universities, looking at how well those schools did in football and basketball from the years 1983 to 2002.

The schools with successful teams all saw spikes in student applications. For instance, schools in the Final Four in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament received a 4 to 5 percent increase in applications the following year.

The researchers also suggest that the new data could play a role in the ongoing debate about whether schools should spend so much money on athletics.

Although college sports supporters have argued that successful athletic programs not only boost admissions but also improve general morale and increase donations, others say athletics programs, and athletes themselves, should not receive special treatment.

But “athletic success does indeed present an opportunity to schools to be either more selective in their admission standards or enroll more students while keeping a fixed level of student quality," write the Pope brothers.

Headline Links: Successful college sports teams boost applications

Opinions & Analysis: Intercollegiate sports crucial to American schools

Related Topics: Successful sports teams bring many benefits

Athletics programs should not get special treatment
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Reference: The NCAA and March Madness


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