Athletic success could draw more applications

Admissions officials say it’s difficult to discount the correlation between the amount of university applicants and the success of the university’s athletic programs. Applications for the university have more than doubled since 2001 and increased by more than 2,000 students between 2009 and 2010.

Some students say that a winning football team is something they seriously consider when choosing a university. Another likely cause for the correlation is the university’s increased exposure on national television. The university often runs advertisements for its various colleges during the games, drawing attention to the school’s academics programs as well as athletics.

At convocation, the chancellor said this year’s applicants set a new high in SAT and ACT scores, with more than 14,000 students applying for a goal of 1,600 new students. Increased applications allow a university to be more selective with its students, which in turn promotes the university’s reputation as a whole.

The results can be seen in accomplishments like the university being named a top 20 “Up-and-Coming National University” in the U.S. News & World Report for the first time ever. The exposure a university gets from participating in a nationally televised bowl game is advertising that money can’t buy.

This increased attention will continue to improve the quality of the university as long as admissions continues to admit only the most qualified applicants from the larger and larger pool.

News Editor Andrea Drusch for the editorial board.