Athletic success increases application numbers


TCU School of Journalism

Photo courtesy of Sam Bruton

Even students who aren’t athletes can be attracted to a university because of its sports programs.

Harvard marketing professor Doug Chung calls this the “Flutie Effect,” noting that Boston College saw a rise in applications after then-quarterback Doug Flutie threw a last-minute “Hail Mary” pass to defeat the University of Miami in a nationally televised game.

Chung’s research found that a successful football program can boost applications by 19 percent.

TCU has mirrored this since finishing a perfect season by defeating the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2011 Rose Bowl. That fall, TCU received 7,215 more applications than in 2009, according to the TCU Fact Book. Since 2009 transfer applications have nearly doubled.

Collin Peterson, a junior at TCU, said Horned Frog athletics influenced his college decision.

“I knew I wanted to go to school where athletics are a big thing,” Peterson said.

He said he attended football games at TCU in high school and continues to enjoy the opportunity to spend time with fellow students outside of the classroom.

Duke University is recognized for its academics and its athletics, in particular basketball and the “Cameron Crazies,” the fans who cheer on the Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Rising sophomore Noelle Cassier said many factors played into her decision to attend Duke, including the athletic atmosphere.

“I definitely knew about the success of the team and was so excited to be part of the Crazies,” Cassier said.