With the Wildcats' stellar season and buzzer-beating final shot for the national championship, Villanova University officials weren't sure whether they would see a flood of admitted students enroll by the May 1 deadline.

In fact, with the team ranked No. 1 nationally for several weeks before admission decisions were to go out, the university decided to make a few hundred fewer offers this year than last year, just to be on the safe side.

As it turns out, the Catholic university on the Main Line - where tuition, fees, and room and board topped $62,000 for 2015-16 - expects to be full for the coming fall.

But not flooded.

"We were a little more conservative with admission offers, and as we sit today, we are in very good shape," said Michael M. Gaynor, director of university admission.

Just over 1,750 students accepted admission offers by May 1 - 23.4 percent of the more than 7,400 accepted, just a slightly higher yield than the year before, Gaynor said.

Since that time, 41 of those students have decided to go elsewhere, leaving Villanova with 1,711 students for a class targeted at 1,670. Typically, more students withdraw over the summer, so Villanova may end up very close to its target, Gaynor said.

That's different from 1985, when the Wildcats last won the national basketball title and 119 more freshmen enrolled the next fall than the previous year. But admissions staff then may not have been as conservative as they were this year.

"We're more sophisticated in our approach now than we were then," Gaynor said.

The target for last year's freshman class also was 1,670. Just under 1,800 students accepted by May 1, and the university ended up with a class of 1,699, Gaynor said. The university has a total enrollment of 10,000 students, 6,300 of them undergraduates.

Anecdotally, Gaynor said, he's heard some accepted students note the basketball team's success. But just how much of an impact it had is hard to know, he said.

It sure didn't hurt, he said.

"Jay Wright planned the best yield activity ever on April 4," he said, citing the date the Villanova coach and his team beat North Carolina for the title.

Still unknown is what impact the team's success may have on next year's applicants.

A national basketball championship can bring in more applications and other benefits, studies have shown, though some are skeptical of a connection.


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