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Understanding College Application Decisions: Why College Sports Success Matters

35 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2008  

Devin G. Pope

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Jaren C. Pope

Virginia Tech

Date Written: November 26, 2008

Abstract

Using a unique, national dataset that indicates where students choose to send their SAT scores, we find that college sports success has a large impact on student application decisions. For example, a school that has a stellar year in basketball or football on average receives up to 10% more SAT scores. Certain demographic groups (males, blacks, out-of-state students, and students that played sports in high school) are more likely to be influenced by sports success than their counterparts. We explore the reasons why students might be influenced by these sporting events and present evidence that attention/accessibility helps explain these findings.

Keywords: College Choice, College Athletics, Information

JEL Classification: I23, D01, J24

Suggested Citation

Pope, Devin G. and Pope, Jaren C., Understanding College Application Decisions: Why College Sports Success Matters (November 26, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1307788 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1307788

Devin G. Pope

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Jaren C. Pope (Contact Author)

Virginia Tech ( email )

Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

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