Isn’t it interesting that at the same time many Michigan high schools are cutting athletic programs and services to balance the budget, some small Michigan colleges are adding sports, and doing so for the same reason – to help balance the budget?
Small colleges, in competition with one another for students and their tuition dollars, have been investing in intercollegiate sports programs to attract students. Among examples are:
- Marygrove College, which added five intercollegiate sports in 2009, recently announced the addition of men’s and women’s track & field.
- Albion College has recently launched a women’s intercollegiate lacrosse program and will compete in a conference that has only one other Michigan college (Adrian).
In this day of tight finances and fierce competition for students stimulated by legislated “schools of choice,” Michigan public school districts might be as well served to expand the breadth and depth of their interscholastic athletic offerings. Each student who enrolls because of the sports program of schools, that in total costs less than two percent of the school budget, will bring with that student thousands of dollars in state funding.
In these tough times, it may be far better business to expand interscholastic athletics than to eliminate sports or levels of teams in a sport.