By Kristen Johanson

By Kristen Johanson

PHIALDELPHIA (CBS) — It is crunch time for high school seniors to get in their college applications, as the deadline approaches for area universities. But there’s a unique reason that Temple University has seen an increase in the number of applicants.

For some prospective students, Temple has quite an appeal.

“We’re ahead in applicants, it is still really early,” says Admissions Director Karin Mormando, “but we are just over 12 percent from this time last year.”

Mormando says some of the interest has been sparked by the national attention the football team has earned. This past week, Temple had its largest-ever open house.

“We had 6,000 prospective students and their families on campus, visiting.”

And once they get here.

“It’s the campus that’s going to be able to sell students,” says Mormando, “what’s been happening in terms of new improvements, like our new library that’s being built right, it’s our faculty, it’s our academic programs.”

“The national exposure that our athletics program is giving to us is really putting a spotlight on this campus, this university and even the city,” said Mormando.  “It gives us a great opportunity to really shine a light on the strength of our academic programs.”

“Anytime we as a program can represent Temple the right way and continue to be on national TV and show people a little glimpse into this great university, we’re proud to do it,” said Temple University football coach Matt Rhule.

“To be ahead in applications at this point – compared to last year is really exciting – it’s very early but it’s very exciting,” said Mormando.

“With them being this high up, it’s just cool to be a part of the school spirit,” said Griffin Hanson.

If you want to be an Owl, the deadline to apply is March 1st.

 

 

CBS 3’s Rahel Solomon contributed to this report.