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Open Education Studies

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Sports Participation is Worth Two Letter Grades in Undergraduate Admissions Decisions

David Lavallee
Published Online: 2019-09-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/edu-2019-0003


The current study aimed to assess the impact of sports participation on undergraduate admissions decisions at universities, colleges, and conservatoires in the United Kingdom. A between subjects, experimental design was employed. Participants from providers of undergraduate courses completed an on-line experiment that required them to make a decision on one of three randomly assigned undergraduate applications written for the study: one without sport participation included (control) and two modified versions with sport participation included (one for team sports and one for individual sports). Participants were asked to decide whether to make an offer or reject the application. Significant differences were found between the control and sport-modified applications for one and two grade differences overall, as participation in sport elevated the undergraduate application. As this study was delimited to sport participation, the findings cannot be generalized to other extra-curricular activities. Future researchers could extend this investigation by examining the economic and social impact of participation in sports at secondary school post-University.

Keywords: sport; extra-curricular; higher education; admission; tariff


About the article

Received: 2019-06-07

Accepted: 2019-08-13

Published Online: 2019-09-10

Citation Information: Open Education Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 53–55, ISSN (Online) 2544-7831, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/edu-2019-0003.

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© 2019 David Lavallee, published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License. BY 4.0

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