Associated Press - June 2, 2009 8:45 AM ET
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Changing the name of a college or university apparently does little to boost enrollment.
Marshall University says doctoral student James M. Owston studied
data from more than 160 institutions across the country that changed
Most of his research focused on institutions in West Virginia, which
had the largest percentage of "college-to-university" rebrandings of
Since 1970, 11 West Virginia schools, including The University of Charleston and Shepherd University, have changed their names.
Owston says the impetus behind most changes was to gain prestige and boost enrollment and fundraising efforts.
But in most cases, Owston found enrollment slowed. At schools where
enrollment grew, the rate was not as great as before the name change.
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