At first, it seems odd that the authors would focus their research on elite institutions that do not participate in big time college athletics. Bowen and Levin justify their choice of these elite institutions by explaining that athletics actually has a much larger impact on the smaller institutions. At NESCAC colleges, they found that 43% of male students and 32% of female students were athletes. In addition, about a quarter of the male student body (24%) and 17% of the female student body were recruited athletes. Though the percentages were a bit less for institutions in the Ivy League, these percentages are far greater than what you would find at the typical research university participating in big time college athletics. Additionally, these are prestigious institutions studied that do not offer athletic scholarships. They are supposed to epitomize the amateur ideal of intercollegiate athletics.