It’s getting harder and harder to get into Villanova University, and the Wildcats’ success on the basketball court is at least a part of that, according to university officials.
In 2016, when Villanova won the NCAA men’s basketball championship, the university admitted just over 43% of its applicants.
With nominations booming since then—which usually happens after the NCAA championships and the Wildcats have won two in the past six years—the school’s selectivity has changed dramatically.
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Villanova accepted 23% of its 23,813 applicants this year. The average Villanova student has a grade point average above 4.0 high school GPA and SATs of about 1450 on a 1600 scale, said Patrick G. Maggitti, provost of Villanova.
“It’s a constant theme among our alumni,” he said. “They say I could never get into Villanova now. Everyone at Villanova seems to be above average in one way or another.
And the competition could get even stiffer if the Wildcats win their Final Four game on Saturday night and move on to another championship on Monday.
The university’s rate of return – the percentage of admitted students who choose to enroll – has also increased, from 22.3% in 2016 to 28.7% last year.
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Other things have happened at Villanova — which has 11,000 students, including about 6,500 undergraduates — over the past six years. years than two basketball championships.
Villanova changed from a regional university to a national university when the Carnegie Foundation raised its ranking to the doctoral research category from the master’s category. It is now ranked among the top 50 national universities in the country by US News and World Report. And in 2016, his business school ranked #1 in Bloomberg Business Week. It also remains one of the largest producers of Fulbright scholars in the United States – 97 since 2016 – and boasts its graduate placement rate, this year at 98%, with an average starting salary of over $65,000. $.
But Maggitti and the Reverend Peter M. Donohue, president of Villanova, said the school’s basketball prowess has undoubtedly helped, especially in raising awareness of the school among international students and those from the states. distant.
“The basketball team has helped propel Villanova around the world,” said Donohue, in his 16th year as president. “They put our name on the map.”
Villanova’s tuition, fees, and room and board have increased from $58,245 in 2014-2015 to $77,705 in 2022-23, while financial aid has also increased significantly.
Studies have shown that national basketball championships can attract more applications, higher quality students, more donations, and drive corporate sponsorships, licensing, and sports ticket sales. Schools get a boost about two years after a win, said Kristi Dosh, a Florida-based sports business analyst who has studied the effects of national championships.
A 2009 study by economists Devin and Jaren Pope found that success on the court increases applications by 2% to 8% for the top 16 basketball schools, and those increases are two to four times greater for private schools than for public schools.
After Villanova’s 2016 championship, which also came in the same year of ranking and ranking business schools as a national university, applications increased by 23%, Maggitti said, although they did not changed a lot after the 2018 win. Prior to 2016, requests were growing at 3-6% per year.
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Applications for this fall’s incoming class have shown a small dip, but it’s unclear what another basketball championship might mean this month.
Success in the NCAA Tournament offers countless publicity opportunities, Villanova found. In 2016, from March 17 to April 7, the school’s website, Villanova.edurecorded 1.9 million visits, up more than one million from the same period in 2015.
The school received nearly 50,000 media mentions or citations from the start of March Madness that year to the championship game and parade. Villanova found herself on the front pages of nearly 200 newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Inquirer. He also graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.
The university estimates the advertising value of the 2016 championship at around $250 million. If in-game streaming is included, the value would exceed $1 billion, said Jonathan Gust, a spokesperson.
The numbers were comparable for the 2018 championship, Gust said.
“When they say it’s press you can’t buy, I can assure you we couldn’t buy that,” Maggitti said.
Fundraising has also increased, Villanova officials say, most recently with a $20 million donation from an alumnus for a library upgrade. Earlier this year, the school began a 150,000 square foot addition to the college of engineers.
Over the next two years, the university plans to launch a fundraising campaign worth more than $1 billion, Maggitti said. The university has already raised $350 million in the so-called silent phase.
Villanova has also upgraded its athletic facilities in recent years, including a major renovation of its on-campus basketball arena.
Academic prowess extends to Villanova athletes. More than 500 Villanova students compete on its 24 sports teams, earning an overall average of 3,395, Maggitti said. The basketball team’s overall GPA is also over 3.0.
“Win or lose, it’s a great group of young men,” Donohue said of the basketball team. “I’m very proud of them.
It remains to be seen what will happen this weekend on the court. But a national competition has already been decided. Inside Higher Education, an online publication, corresponded to the university progression of players from each of the NCAA teams.
No. 1? Villanova.