Nov. 2, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The NCAA recently released the latest Division I Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for student-athletes, with the University of Illinois finishing well above the national average with an overall graduation rate of 86 percent for freshman classes that entered college from 2000-01 through 2003-04. Additionally, Illinois boasted eight programs with a 100 percent graduation rate, while 14 programs were above the national average for the respected sport.
The overall national average of 79 percent matches the GSR for the past two years and remains the highest ever for Division I programs. The rate has increased five points since the first report was released in 2001 using data collected from the entering freshman class of 1995. The federal graduation rate for the entering class of 2003 was 56 percent.
Illinois, which ranked third overall in the Big Ten behind Northwestern (97 percent) and Penn State (90), is up two points from 2002 and has an average of 87 percent since 1998. Eight Illinois programs in all turned in perfect graduation rates, including men's basketball, men's gymnastics, men's tennis, women's golf, women's gymnastics, soccer, softball and swimming and diving.
Student-athletes from the Football Bowl Subdivision and men's basketball were highlighted in the report, as FBS numbers increased three points to 69 percent since last year, while men's basketball has risen 10 points in the past nine years to 66 percent.
Additional key findings:
GSR for entering class of 2003: 79 percent
GSR for entering classes of 2000-2003: 79 percent
2000-2003 GSR for male student-athletes: 72 percent
2000-2003 GSR for female student-athletes: 87 percent
Federal graduation rate for student-athletes who started college in 2003: 64 percent
Federal graduation rate for general students who started college in 2003: 63 percent
The NCAA developed the Graduation Success Rate as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The rate holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The Graduation Success Rate also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.
Under the calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. By counting incoming transfer students and midyear enrollees, the Graduation Success Rate increases the total number of student-athletes tracked for graduation by more than 37 percent. The NCAA also calculates the federal graduation rate for student-athletes. It is the only rate by which to compare student-athletes to the general student body.
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