The Impact of Athletic Performance on Tuition Rates

By Alexander, Donald L.; Kern, William | International Journal of Sport Finance, November 2009 | Go to article overview

The Impact of Athletic Performance on Tuition Rates


Alexander, Donald L., Kern, William, International Journal of Sport Finance


Abstract

This paper explores the impact of intercollegiate athletic performance on tuition rates. A number of recent studies have examined the advertising effect generated by participation in intercollegiate sports. These studies have attempted to ascertain whether athletic performance improves student quality, graduation rates, and state appropriations. Only one previous paper examines the impact of intercollegiate athletics on tuition, and it found a positive impact on out-of-state tuition rates from participation in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. In this paper, we find that athletic performance as measured by win-loss records in football and basketball impacts both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates, though it appears that the effects are largely confined to members of the six major power conferences.

Keywords: athletic performance, tuition rates

Introduction

Over the past two decades, a number of papers have investigated the impact of success in intercollegiate athletics on various aspects of university life, including alumni giving (Rhoads & Gerking, 2000; Goff, 2000; Baade & Sundberg, 1996; Humphreys & Mondello, 2007), state appropriations to universities (Coughlin & Erekson, 1986; Humphreys, 2006), student quality (McCormick & Tinsley, 1987; Tucker, 1992; Mixon, Trevino, & Minto, 2004; Tucker, 2005; Smith, 2008), and graduation rates (Rishe, 2000; Tucker, 1992; Bremmer & Kesselrig, 1993). In each of these instances, universities are viewed as having raised their public profiles as a consequence of their athletic successes and, as a result, have attempted to capitalize on those successes by securing larger contributions from alumni or greater appropriations from state legislators or by increasing the size and quality of their student bodies. These studies thus emphasize that intercollegiate athletics create an "advertising effect" that provides a means by which universities might generate increases in revenues and improve the quality of the institutions (McCormick & Tinsley, 1987). In simple terms, we can view intercollegiate athletics as a means by which universities attempt to shift the demand curve for their services to the right. If universities succeed on the field or on the court, this success may present them with an opportunity to increase enrollment or raise student quality or raise tuition.

Of course, university presidents will not, in all likelihood, directly address the increases in tuition and attribute them to this source. More commonly, university administrators will cloak tuition increases in terms of a need to cover increasing costs or some other more "legitimate" sounding rationale. This is much the same argument given by owners of professional sports teams in justification for rising ticket prices; "players' salaries have risen so we are increasing prices to cover those costs." But the direction of causation is reversed. Teams are willing to pay more for players because fans are willing to pay more to attend games. Similarly, we argue that universities spend more on athletics because they can raise tuition. This is due to the fact that students are willing to pay more to attend a school with a more prestigious reputation stemming, in part, from their success in athletics. The rise in tuition is then attributed to rising costs or an expansion of other university programs.

The aforementioned empirical studies have largely served to assess the extent to which these marketing efforts have been successful. The results of these studies have been something of a mixed bag, as some studies have reported that athletic success is a statistically significant determinant of student quality or alumni giving and others find no significant effects. Some have even found negative impacts (Tucker, 1992). Although a number of studies have investigated the effects of intercollegiate sports on student quality and enrollment, to our knowledge, only one has investigated the impact of athletic success on tuition (Mixon & Ressler, 1995). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Impact of Athletic Performance on Tuition Rates
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.