INDIANAPOLIS—Division I student-athletes continue to perform well in the classroom, and more of them are graduating from college, according to the latest NCAA Graduation Success Rate figures.
From 1995-2000, Graduation Success Rates increased in many sports, including high-profile men’s sports such as basketball, football and baseball, and high-profile women’s sports such as basketball, ice hockey and soccer. In fact, Graduation Success Rates in men’s basketball jumped nearly 8 percent.
NCAA President Myles Brand praised Division I student-athletes for their achievements in the classroom and on the field, adding that increased Graduation Success Rates have led to 850 additional student-athletes from the 2000 cohort earning their degrees than did in the 1995 cohort.
“NCAA student-athletes are students first, and by and large they are good students,” he said. “They have been afforded the privilege of competing in their chosen sport while pursuing their studies as full-time students, and most of them are handling those twin responsibilities quite well.”
The latest GSR figures show that 77 percent of student-athletes who began college from 1997-2000 graduated within six years. That four-year graduation rate is unchanged from last year’s data and up from 76 percent two years ago.
But a closer examination of year-by-year data shows that the GSR rose from 67.6 percent for male student-athletes who began college in 1995 to 71.5 percent for those who started their studies in 2000. The GSR for women rose from 84.9 percent to 87.3 percent from 1995 to 2000.
The Graduation Success Rate for men’s basketball rose from 55.8 percent in 1995 to 63.6 percent in 2000, a 7.8 percent increase. Football increased from 63.1 percent to 66.6 percent for teams competing in the Bowl Subdivision and from 62 percent to 64.7 percent for teams competing in the Championship Subdivision. Baseball increased from 65.3 percent to 67.3 percent.
The GSR for women’s basketball rose from 79.8 percent in 1995 to 80.7 percent in 2000; softball rose from 82.3 percent to 86 percent in the same time period; women’s volleyball rose from 83.2 percent to 88 percent; and women’s soccer rose from 86.1 percent to 89.6 percent over six years.
Brand says he remains confident that his goal of an 80 percent Graduation Success Rate will be met in the near future.
“While not an official goal, 80 percent is reachable, especially when you consider the impact of our academic reforms,” Brand said. “Our Academic Performance Rate has caused institutions to redouble their efforts to ensure that student-athletes succeed in the classroom and ultimately graduate with their college degree.”
The NCAA created the Graduation Success Rate three years ago to more accurately assess long-term student-athlete academic success. The GSR differs from the federally mandated graduation rate methodology in that it counts transfers into and out of an institution. NCAA figures show the GSR includes 36 percent more student-athletes than the federal graduation rate.
Figures released today include overall GSR data at the national level for all Division I student-athletes and nationally for each sport. In addition, the figures include team GSR and federal graduation rate data for every sports team at every Division I institution. Overall GSR and federal graduation rate data per institution (including data reported by ethnicity) will be released later this month.