^well, they're not relying on it, in the sense that they absolutely need it, but it does help them "boost" their stats. it makes them look better. more people apply. perhaps the acceptance rate will go down, making them look more selective and impressive. or maybe some bright kid who wasn't really considering them will give them a second glance, and they'll end up with a great student at their college that they wouldn't have had otherwise.
marketing helps them look good and helps them get better accepted students