The Question

Imagine that the administrators of a university are revising their budget and have decided to change their funding priorities.  As a result, the university will now spend more money on sports and athletic facilities than they do on the campus libraries.  Would you support this idea?  Why or why not?

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The Sample Essay

          It is very challenging for university administrators to decide how to spend their money. Personally, I am of the belief that universities should provide more funding for athletics than they do for libraries.  I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

           To begin with, most universities offer identical academic programs, and are only able to set themselves apart from the crowd through the popularity of their sports teams.  These days there are hundreds of universities across the United States which are almost entirely interchangeable, while only a few Ivy League schools are considered better than average.  It may seem somewhat arbitrary, but a sports team can help a school stand out from the crowd and attract new students. For example, my cousin is a very average student. When he graduated from high school a few years ago, he chose to attend California State College based solely on the fact that he loves basketball and that school is known for its on-court success. This may seem superficial to some people, but it mattered a lot to him. Moreover, according to recent surveys he is not the only student who chose to attend the school for this reason. It is clear that the college earned his loyalty as a result of the care and attention it has paid to its athletic program.

         Secondly, sports are very profitable and are a good source of revenue in today’s precarious economic times.  Schools across the nation are facing a funding crisis, but they still need to build academic facilities and dormitories for new students. University sports are a huge business in my country, and are even more popular than professional sports in a lot of areas. Therefore, athletic teams can generate money for their schools through corporate sponsorships, ticket sales, licensing and broadcast agreements. These profits can then be used to pay for academic facilities, including libraries. For instance, my school recently built a state-of-the-art biology lab using the money it made from its popular football team. It would not have been able to afford the construction without that revenue.

         In conclusion, I strongly believe that colleges should provide more funding to their sports teams than they do to their libraries.  This is because sports help universities stand out in today’s crowded market of schools, and because the profits they generate can be used to fund other programs. (400 words)



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