A Successful Sports Team Can Mean More College Applicants

By Catherine Groux
Posted August 27, 2012 03:00 PM

A winning sports team can bring a school more college applicants.
A winning sports team can bring a school more college applicants.
Throughout the years, college admissions officials have noticed that a successful postseason in football and men's basketball can bring a school more than just athletic glory - it can also bring a larger pool of applicants the following fall. In reference to Doug Flutie, a former quarterback for Boston College, this phenomenon is sometimes called the "Flutie Effect," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

In an effort to see how much a winning football or basketball team can really affect college admissions, researchers at Brigham Young University and the University of Chicago recently conducted a study, which is published in the Journal of Sports Economics.

The study found that, at least on a small scale, the Flutie Effect does seem to play a role in where bachelor's degree seekers choose to apply to college. Based on the data, colleges that win a national football championship experience an 11% increase in prospective students sending in their SAT scores. Additionally, schools that win national men's basketball championships see a 9% bump in the number of SAT scores submitted. In both sports, colleges that do not win championships but have strong postseason showings see smaller gains in the number of prospective students.

"These results suggest that the better the sports team performs, the more applications a college will receive in the year or two following the sports victory, but that these effects fade away very quickly," the report states.

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