Oct. 24, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League led the nation among conferences reporting both graduation success rates and federal graduation rates in the NCAA graduation rates report released on Thursday.
The data was compiled for the four-class average of student-athletes that entered their schools from 2003-06.
Each of the four Patriot League classes came in at a rate of 92 percent or higher in graduation success rates, and 84 percent or better in federal graduation rates. The Patriot League also had the best four-year graduation success rates and federal graduation rates in the nation for football, men's basketball and baseball, and the top federal graduation rate in women's basketball. The Ivy League was not included in the conference data released by the NCAA.
In addition to the four-year rates, the Patriot League scored highest with the most recent recorded graduating class that entered school in 2006. The League graduation success rate of 94 percent and federal graduation rate of 87 percent for the were the top marks within the four-year cycle, while men's basketball continued its surge upwards with a perfect 100 percent graduation success rate for the class entering in 2006.
All 10 Patriot League schools excelled in the graduation success rates data, with Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross and Lafayette all tying for fourth in the nation with a 98 percent rate. American, Boston University and Loyola University Maryland were not far behind at 95 percent, while Lehigh, Army and Navy each came in at 90 percent.
Bucknell matched Stanford to lead the nation with a 93 percent federal graduation rate, while Holy Cross and Lafayette were in a tie for third place at 89 percent and Colgate was in sixth nationally at 88 percent. Lehigh (82), Loyola (82), Boston (79) and American (74) also put up impressive scores in the data. Army and Navy do not report federal graduation rates because they do not offer athletics aid.
Patriot League members combined to have 105 League sponsored teams reporting a perfect 100 percent graduation success rate, while of that group 45 also reported a perfect score on federal graduation rates. There were also 12 non-League teams from full member schools to report 100 percent graduation success rates, bringing the overall total from full members to 117.
The GSR for the last four graduating classes of all Division I student-athletes (2003-06) bumped up one point to 81 percent. Only a handful of Patriot League teams fell below the national average, with five Patriot League schools placing all of their League-sponsored squads above the 81 percent mark.
Bucknell had 18 of its Patriot League-sponsored teams record perfect 100 percent graduation success rates, while Holy Cross and Colgate each had 16 and Lafayette had 14. When teams that play outside of the Patriot League are factored in, Bucknell had 21 overall squads reporting at 100 percent while Colgate had 19 and Holy Cross totaled 18.
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.
For full NCAA data for all schools, conferences, sports and years, go here