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The Impact of College Sports Success on the Quantity and Quality of Student Applications

Author

Listed:
  • Devin G. Pope

    () (Department of Operations and Information Management, The Wharton School, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA)

  • Jaren C. Pope

    () (Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (0401), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA)

Abstract

Empirical studies have produced mixed results on the relationship between a school’s sports success and the quantity and quality of students that apply to the school. This study uses two unique data sets to shed additional light on the indirect benefits that sports success provides to NCAA Division I schools. Key findings include the following: (1) football and basketball success significantly increases the quantity of applications to a school, with estimates ranging from 2% to 8% for the top 20 football schools and the top 16 basketball schools each year, (2) private schools see increases in application rates after sports success that are two to four times higher than public schools, (3) the extra applications received are composed of both low and high SAT scoring students, thus providing potential for schools to improve their admission outcomes, and (4) schools appear to exploit these increases in applications by improving both the number and the quality of incoming students.

Suggested Citation

  • Devin G. Pope & Jaren C. Pope, 2009. "The Impact of College Sports Success on the Quantity and Quality of Student Applications," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 750-780, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:75:3:y:2009:p:750-780
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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