The Impact of Athletic Performance on Tuition Rates, pp. 240-254

Donald L. Alexander
William Kern

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.