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College Without Varsity Sports: A Plus or Minus?

Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone Posts: 2,548CC Admissions Expert Senior Member
edited November 2012 in College Search & Selection
Historically Black Spelman College in Atlanta has made a bold move. The women's school will drop its intercollegiate sports program in favor of creating a wellness program that will affect all students.

Athletic Business Newswire - Women's College Drops Sports to Focus on Wellness

Because only 80 of Spelman's 2,100 students are varsity athletes and because African-American adult women have high rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, college president Beverly Tatum believes that the school's nearly $1,000,000 sports budget can be better spent on initiatives that could offer life-long benefits to everyone. (See Wellness)

My best guess is that this decision will have only a small impact on prospective Spelman students. Some who plan to play sports in college will have to look elsewhere, of course, but other high school girls may be attracted by a campus without athletic hoopla.

So here's my question ...

If YOUR target college were to drop varsity sports in order to spend the money elsewhere, would it be a plus, a minus, or a neutral?
Post edited by Sally_Rubenstone on

Replies to: College Without Varsity Sports: A Plus or Minus?

  • annasdadannasdad Posts: 4,825Registered User Senior Member
  • barronsbarrons Posts: 23,735Registered User Senior Member
    Big minus. Invaluable for advertising and uniquely high level of school spirit.
  • whenhenwhenhen Posts: 4,094Registered User Senior Member
    It depends on the college. If Alabama were to drop its varsity sports, it would loose an enormous source of its funding. If the school I currently attend, Oxford College of Emory University dropped its sports in favor of "student wellness" very few people would care.
  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone Posts: 2,548CC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    When students or parents ask me to help them generate a list of colleges to consider, I'd estimate that about 10% are interested in playing an intercollegiate sport in college, another 10% want a school community where watching sports is a big deal, and another 10% adamantly want to avoid a campus where sports hold a major role. The remaining 70% or so are looking at other factors when making college choices and don't seem to care one way or another about athletics on campus.

    However, the families who come to me for counseling advice probably don't represent the college-bound population overall. And I would guess that the number of students who want to either play sports or cheer on their teams (especially the big-time Div. 1 teams) is much higher than my own personal stat-keeping might suggest.

    So while I do feel that the Spelman decision sounds like a wise one for Spelman, it's unlikely to be widely replicated, even at small colleges with little-known athletic programs.
  • glowormgloworm Posts: 2,271Registered User Senior Member
    I'm from before Title IX, but D would not apply to schools that didn't have interscholastic sports.
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