College athletes continue to graduate at record rates and outperform non-athletes, according to the NCAA’s new Graduation Success Rate report.
The data released Tuesday shows 90% of Division I athletes who enrolled in 2013 earned a degree within six years—an increase of 1 percentage point over last year’s previous high and 10 percentage points above the goal established by the late NCAA President Myles Brand in 2006.
The federal report shows 69% of all students earn degrees within six years, though that does not count students who enroll at one school and graduate from another.
“To see 90% of student-athletes accomplish the ultimate goal of college graduation is a testament to their hard work and dedication,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “We must also support initiatives that help the remaining 10% of student-athletes earn their degrees.”
Men’s basketball players led the way with a 4 percentage point jump to 87%. The percentage of women’s basketball players earning degrees increased by 2 points to 93% while players from the Football Bowl Subdivision saw a slight slip, from 82% to 81%.
The numbers among Black basketball players also improved significantly, going from 79% to 85% on the men’s side and from 87% to 90% among women. The percentages of white basketball players slipped 2 percentage points among women, to 97%, and 1 point, to 92%, among men.
Overall, though, the percentages increased almost universally.
The overall number for Black athletes also increased by 1 point to 80% while white athletes maintained a 93% graduation rate. Hispanic/Latino athletes held steady at a rate of 87%.
Football Championship Subdivision teams hit 80% for the first time thanks to a 1 point jump over last year and women’s ice hockey came in at 100%. In fact, every women’s sport was at or above 90% except bowling, which came in at 84%.
The four-year scores showed 1 percentage point gains in baseball, basketball, cross country and track, the FBS and FCS and golf, while rifle with lacrosse and wrestling both recorded 2-percentage point increases.
Fencing dropped 3 points over the four-year cohort and water polo lost 2 percentage points. Both were at 91% and were the only sports to lose ground over that span.