The more successful a college’s sports teams are, the more applications that school will receive, according to a study conducted by Jaren and Devin Pope, two professors whose work will be published this year in the Southern Economic Journal.
This phenomenon, dubbed the Flutie Effect after former Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie, has generally been acknowledged by college admissions officials, but this is the first time it has actually been documented. The researchers examined data on freshman classes at 330 NCAA Division I schools and compared it with the success of the schools’ sports teams from 1983 through 2002.
The study concluded that winning the NCAA football or men’s basketball championship accounted for an 8 percent rise in applications. If a school advances to the Sweet 16 in the men’s basketball tournament, it will likely see an average 3 percent increase in applications the next year, the researchers found.