The Eastern Kentucky University athletics department recently received its annual NCAA graduation success rate report, which included the current federal graduation rates for each of the department's 17 sports.
According to the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate (GSR), Eastern Kentucky graduated 81 percent of its student-athletes who entered college in 2003-2006 on scholarship. All of Eastern's men's sports and four of the seven women's teams exceeded the GSR average compared to Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) institutions.
In addition, EKU had five sports that had the highest GSR in the Commonwealth of Kentucky – men's cross country/track &field, men's golf, soccer, men's tennis and women's tennis. Men's golf, soccer, men's tennis and women's tennis all scored perfect scores of 100 percent.
According to the NCAA, the single-year GSR for all Division I student-athletes who began college in 2006 is 82 percent, the highest rate ever.
The NCAA's Graduation Success Rate includes transfer students and student-athletes who leave in good academic standing, unlike the federal graduation rate, which does not count transfers. The GSR and federal rate calculations measure graduation over six years from first-time college enrollment.
The federal graduation rate, while less inclusive than the GSR, provides the only measure of historic academic comparison between student-athletes and the general student body. By this standard, student-athletes consistently outperform nearly all their peers in the student body.
The latest data show that Division I student-athletes who entered college in 2006 equaled their highest federal graduation rate of 65 percent – one percentage point higher than the general student body at Division I institutions. At EKU, 58 percent of student-athletes entering college between 2003 and 2006 graduated, which is significantly higher than the percentage for the entire student body (37 percent).
This year marks the 12th year that GSR data have been collected. The NCAA began collecting GSR data with the entering freshman class of 1995.