When Football Programs Increase the Racial and Gender Diversity at Small, Private Colleges


  • Joe Mullins
  • Daniel Teodorescu




diversity of enrollment, small college athletics, small college football


Abstract: This research examined if the addition of new small, private college football programs increased the diversity of enrollment on campus and provided opportunities for underrepresented minority students to earn a college degree. The researchers examined enrollment trends at 150 private small colleges: 50 that started new football programs between the years of 1990-2013, 50 that had existing football programs, and 50 without football programs during the same period. The study found that the percentage of small private colleges that experienced high increases in minorities and male students (5% or higher) was higher among the colleges that started a new football program than at institutions with existing football programs or institutions without football programs. The study’s findings provide valuable information for college administrators considering adding a new football program at their institution. The study also contributes new research that explores how adding a new football program impacts the diversity of student enrollment at small, private collegiate institutions. Enrollment management directors must become more aware of the need to hire diverse faculty and staff that can better relate to and serve a diverse student body. In addition, athletic leaders can approach college decision makers with information related to how the addition of a new football program will affect the diversity of student enrollment.


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