HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Changing the name of a college or university apparently does little to boost enrollment.
University says doctoral student James M. Owston studied data from more
than 160 institutions across the country that changed their names.
of his research focused on institutions in West Virginia, which had the
largest percentage of "college-to-university" rebrandings of any state.
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.
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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