NCAA: College athletes graduating at record high rate

Graduation rates among college athletes continue to hit record highs.

The NCAA’s most recent statistics, released Wednesday, show 89% of all athletes who enrolled in college in 2012 earned degrees, an increase of 1 percentage point over last year’s all-time high. That’s nearly 10 percentage points above the 80% goal the late NCAA President Myles Brand established when the governing body first started calculating this measure in 2002.

“Our students engaged in intercollegiate athletics continue to demonstrate excellence in both athletics and academics,” Georgetown President John DeGioia, the Division I Committee on Academics chairman, said in a statement. “These numbers—nearly 30,000 additional graduates because of the NCAA’s academic policies—show that our work is vital.”

The Football Bowl Subdivision percentage jumped 3 points to 82%—another record. Black football players in the FBS hit 78%, also a 3-point increase.

Players in the Football Championship Subdivision and Division I women’s basketball players maintained their numbers from last year at 79% and 91%, respectively.

And, for the first time, every women’s sport finished with a graduation rate of at least 90%..

But Division I men’s basketball players saw a 2-point drop, to 79% overall, while the percentage of black players fell to 79%, a 3-point decline.

Still, Mark Emmert, president of the Indianapolis-based NCAA, applauded the results.

“College athletes continue to meet and exceed the benchmarks set for academic achievement,” Emmert said in a written statement. “They have surpassed the original goal by nearly 10 percentage points, a phenomenal achievement that highlights the commitment these students have to succeed in all areas of life.”

Federal stats also show athletes and non-athletes each graduating at rates of 68%, according to federal data.

The two measures differ because the federal rate does not consider whether students earn a degree from a school other than the one in which they first enrolled.

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