They Visit…But Don’t Stay

Here’s a curiosity for you: The Athletic Department brags that campus tours by prospective students are up 65%, which the Athletic Department attributes to football.  “The achievements on the field have contributed to greater interest by prospective students,” says a prepared release.  But why then are applications only up 3.5%, per the Star Ledger?  The obvious answer would appear to be that the visitors did not like what they saw — the rotting College Avenue campus, the dysfunctional Livingston campus, the detached Cook campus, the neglected Douglass campus, and the sterile Busch campus which, together, just do not a compelling university make.  A fast 30 minutes walking around the College Avenue campus and eyeing the deferred maintenance — buildings literally rotting — ought to be ample to persuade any high schooler to head elsewhere for schooling.  They can always catch the Scarlet Knights on TV.

This is what happens when the money spigot for football is full force and the revenues available for academics and related infrastructure improvements are a scant trickle.

Of course another puzzle piece is how the Athletic Department knows that better football performance is the cause of the increase in tours. Were there polls?  Surveys?  Anything quantitative?  No.  The Athletic Department apparently is happy simply to state that better football brought in more visitors.  Say it loud enough and often enough and it will stick is the guiding principle of the Rutgers Athletic Department.

And still it cannot explain why the 65% increase in visitors translated into a negligible increase in applicants.

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3 Responses to They Visit…But Don’t Stay

  1. D says:

    This is just a little picture i made last year as part of my own little series of propaganda. I’m working on making more modern meaningful ones… but this one is entertaining

  2. ashok says:

    I just wanted to thank you for bringing my attention to an article that is not unrelated, the one about the football recruit being impressed by a helicopter landing at school.

    I felt sorry for that kid – knowing what I know now, I would have tried to get into BC at all costs if I were applying to school again. People like Christopher Bruell make the past come alive, in addition to bringing forth its relevance.

  3. Stan says:

    When I went to Rutgers a decade and a half ago, Busch campus was sterile, Livingston dysfunctional, Cook/Douglass neglected, and College Ave only marginally presentable. And the football team was beyond lousy. When Rutgers wasn’t spending money on football, they also were not spending money on improving the myriad campuses.

    I think you have committed the sin of correlation without causation. As has the Athletic Department as you argue in paragraph #3.

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