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A score unsettled : a reexamination of athletic success and alumni giving

by Thorne, Tyler


In recent years, state appropriations to higher education decreased. In response, universities of all sizes, both public and private, are forced to shift many of the associated burdens to their students in the form of increasing tuition rates and decreasing institutional quality to cut costs. As such, increasing alumni giving rates is essential to all institutions of higher education as they seek to maintain high academic standards, attract the best prospects, and foster future growth and financial stability. There is a large body of research seeking to address these pressing issues in higher education, many focusing on athletics as a stimulus for alumni giving. This paper builds upon the existing literature and ultimately answers the question: how does athletic success affect alumni giving? A fifteen-year panel data set comprised of 65 Division I universities is examined and the results show an insignificant relationship between athletic success and alumni giving. However, the analysis informs the influence of the macroeconomy and parameters for institutional quality. While athletics do not provide any substantial predictive power in this paper, the significance of other explanatory variables justifies this re-examination of athletics and alumni giving and explicitly highlights further avenues for research.


Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Copyright restrictions apply.
Colorado College
Digital Origin
born digital
57 pages : illustrations
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Lybecker, Kristina
Economics and Business
Degree Name
Degree Type
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Grantor
Colorado College
Date Issued