More and More Athletes are Reaching the Finish Line

NCAA- Money for College Sports (

College athletes who graduate are at an all time high. The NCAA’s team in charge of recording Graduation Success Rate released this data to the public in October of 2014 in response to the Federal Government asking for the information. It is required by law for the NCAA to post data about graduation percentages publicly. In these new numbers released, 84% of Division I College Athletes who started college in 2007, graduated within six years of starting. This data shows an increase of 2% following last year.

Football players in the highest competition (including those with bowl games) had a graduation rate of 75% which specifies a 4% increase from last year. It also is the FBS’s all-time high.

Perhaps the most optimistic data to date is the fact that black football players had a record 68% graduation rate. Black athletes, who usually fall behind white athletes in the percentage graduated category, are on the steady increase and are up 3% from last year. The female athletes continue to have higher graduation rates than the male athletes. White females are 8% the white males superior in terms of percent graduated. Also black females are 16% the black males superior in terms of percent graduated.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association or (NCAA) has explained that the reason for the high rate of graduation is a direct cause of the academic reforms newly instituted. Another reason the percentages appear to have increased so drastically as of late is because the university’s record their statistics a different way than the federal graduation rate.

The Graduation Success Rate (GSR) has different rules than the Federal Graduation Rate (FGR). For example, the GSR counts those who transfer schools, but have good academics, as graduates while the FGR does not. So when you have a large college where athletes commonly leave to go play professional before graduating, using the GSR you  do not count those who transfer as athletes who did not graduate. It also increases your percentage of college athletes who are counted as having graduated.

Statistics References