Chasing Flutie : a closer look into the impact of collegiate athletics on admissions.

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2017-04-20

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As the cost of maintaining a competitive athletic program continues to rise, many are questioning the true benefit of these programs. For some universities, athletic expenditures have increased at a higher rate than its academic expenditures. This study examines the impact of athletic success on enrollment measures. Using admissions and sports data for a group of 355 universities over a span of 10 years, the study revealed that athletic success plays a marginal role in influencing admission measures. The advertising effect of athletic success is most pronounced in an increase in application with 4.8% increase in applications in the year following a football conference title. Despite a larger applicant pool, the quality of applications, measured by standardized test scores, experiences little change. Additionally, athletic success encourages local students to remain in their home state, but it does little expand the reach of the university.

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