CONWAY, SC (WMBF)- After Friday night's game, win or lose, there is no question more people will know about Coastal Carolina University than before the start of the NCAA Tournament. If the Chants manage to make the game competitive, the university may reap the benefits well after the game is finished.
"It's just inevitable people will hear our name that have never heard of us," said CCU Vice President of Enrollment Services Gregory Thornburg. "But then there are those who have heard of us especially on the eastern seaboard and say oh yeah I remember Coastal or I know Coastal."
While academics is the foundation for recruiting prospective students, Thornburg said there is no denying the impact CCU's first tournament appearance in 21 years will have on future classes.
"Families like to see us excited about our institution also and we are excited about when we talk about Coastal no matter where we are and athletics just adds that additional layer of excitement," added Thornburg.
Researchers at Harvard found a direct link been collegiate athletics success and other areas of a university. The study found when a college has a successful sports team, applications increased more than 18 percent.
The study also found schools were more selective for the upcoming year. Admission rates at mid-level schools improved more than five percent based on average SAT scores.
CCU's first tournament game in more than two decades could not have come at a better time for the university. Hundreds of high school students are touring the campus this weekend.
High School Junior Chris Drysdale said he could not help but notice the campus is rallying behind the Chants.
"We were walking around the tour and saw a couple of people screaming go Coastal so it's exciting," added Drysdale who said being on campus today may affect his college decision.
"I think if you see how excited people get with their pride in the school it really helps with the atmosphere and makes it more fun."