Study Says Sports Success Equals Rise in Applicants

Good news for Davidson College: Success in high-profile sports is linked to a boost in student applications, a study confirms.

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Good news for Davidson College: Success in high-profile sports is linked to a boost in student applications, a study confirms. Putting numbers to a notion we all already assumed, two researchers found an NCAA football or men's basketball championship corresponded to an increase of about 8 percent in applications the next year, the Gonzaga Bulletin reports. Small private schools—like Gonzaga and Davidson—seem to reap the most benefits of the "Flutie Effect," named after Boston College's newfound high profile following Doug Flutie's game-winning Hail Mary pass in 1984.

Case in point, a Gonzaga sophomore: "In sixth grade, I fell in love with Gonzaga's basketball team. That's when I knew Gonzaga was my No. 1 choice."