Final Four brings major exposure, not necessarily applications, to VCU

HOUSTON, TX (WWBT) - As the Rams make history in Houston the school and its administrators are prepared to take advantage of the incredible amount of exposure the Final Four brings.

If VCU decided to invest in a marketing campaign that would bring them even close to this much exposure it would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. But don't expect the impact to be on "future" students, the benefits may be for current students and alumni.

Doctor Dallas Dance is the ultimate VCU success story. He holds a masters degree and a PHD from the school and is now in charge of all middle schools in the Houston Independent School district.

Exposing his alma matter to his new city is exciting.

"It gives people the opportunity to really understand what is going on at VCU and all the good things that are happening there," Dance said.

Dance had a fleet of Houston middle schoolers at the stadium today, the exposure for VCU goes way beyond the basketball court.

"Folks were looking at VCU and saying was that a community college? Was it a small liberal arts university? So it gave us the opportunity over the last couple of weeks to say, no this is the largest institution in Virginia," he said. "So it's really given us a chance to put VCU on the map this week."

But that might not lead to new applications, at least right away. NBC12 Education Analyst Doctor Bill Bosher said more exposure, doesn't always mean more students.

"The reality is the applications may jump a little, they may not," said Bosher. "At George Mason they actually went down."

Applications aren't the only barometer of success, and the branding exposure for the institution helps everyone connected to VCU.

"Everyone now knows the name 'VCU'. In the short term and in the long term that is only good," Bosher said.

It is the kind of good that could help the school and its students for many years to come.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.