Michigan State Applications Drop Significantly After Nassar, Sexual Assault Scandals
Student applications to the school have fallen nearly 10 percent over the past year.
In the wake of the USA Gymnastics scandal involving former Spartan physician and associate professor Larry Nassar, undergraduate applications to Michigan State University have dropped by 8.3 percent over the past year.
Applications to the university, which has also drawn criticism for its handling of sexual assault allegations involving athletes, for the fall of 2018 fell by about 3,000, to 33,129.
That drop is a sharp contrast to the rising number of applications which are being submitted to MSU’s peer institutions in the Big Ten Conference as well as an increase in higher-education applications nationwide.
Prior to the Nassar sexual assault allegations coming to light in an Indianapolis Star article in 2016, applications to MSU had increased steadily for seven years.
For a school with such strong brand recognition and degree offerings, an 8.3 percent drop is substantial and it’s likely due to parents and/or prospective students feeling uncomfortable with the school.
“As a parent … you look at the culture of a school and you determine, ‘How comfortable will I feel with my son or daughter at this institution?’ … It’s possible that certainly student-athletes, particularly women, might not feel particularly supported in light of what’s happened at Michigan State,” David Hawkins of the National Association for College Admission Counseling told ESPN. “Michigan State has had a very difficult time dealing with this issue.”
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