BEASTIE: Beneficial Effects of Athletic Success on Total Institutional Enrollment

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David Mulligan Samantha Shaw Andrew Russell Gregory Bucks


By David Mulligan, Aerospace Engineering; Samantha Shaw, Computer Science; Andrew Russell, Aerospace Engineering

Advisor: Gregory Bucks

Presentation ID: AM_D36

Abstract: This group is testing the effects of athletic success on a university's academic growth, specifically in reference to changes in enrollment totals over time. We hypothesize that three primary athletic factors will impact the percent change in enrollment at an institution: average ranking, participation in a major upset, and a national championship title. Due to constraints, we chose to focus our efforts on Division 1 Football and Basketball, based on the notion that these leagues are overwhelmingly more common across the nation than other NCAA athletic programs. Our model - which will be written and executed in MATLAB - asks users if their institution has won a championship or attained a "significant" upset in the past year, and also requires their average rank since 2000 in both football and basketball. From there, the program uses data from over 50 U.S. universities to estimate the school's projected enrollment for the upcoming year. However, we are confident that this model will have many useful applications when evaluating the importance of a university's athletic program in academic growth.

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AM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- D: New Frontiers