Oct. 26, 2012
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 2002-05.
Each of the four Patriot League classes came in at a rate of 92 percent or higher in graduation success rates, and 85 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 and women's basketball and baseball. The Ivy League was not included in the conference data released by the NCAA.
Each of the eight Patriot League schools excelled in graduation success rate data, with Bucknell tying for second in the nation with a 99 percent rate while Colgate and Holy Cross tied for fifth with a 98 percent mark. American and Lafayette were next with a 97 percent rate, with Navy (93), Army (90) and Lehigh (87) also posting outstanding scores.
Bucknell was also second in the nation with a 91 percent federal graduation rate, with Holy Cross tied for fourth at 90 percent, Lafayette sixth at 89 percent and Colgate eighth at 87 percent. Lehigh (79) and American (77) each posted well-above average marks as well. Army and Navy do not report federal graduation rates because they do not offer athletics aid.
Patriot League members combined to have 86 League-sponsored teams reporting a perfect 100 percent graduation success rate, a total that accounts for nearly two-thirds of all League squads. The total is consistent with recent years, with 84 teams hitting the 100 percent mark in 2010 and 85 doing so last year.
The GSR for the last four graduating classes of all Division I student-athletes (2002-2005) remains at 80 percent. Only a handful of Patriot League teams fell below the national average, with five of the eight Patriot League schools placing all of their League-sponsored squads above the 80 percent mark.
Each of the seven Patriot League women's lacrosse teams posted perfect 100 percent graduation success rates. In addition, all three women's golf programs had a perfect mark. Women's golf was added as the Patriot League's 24th championship sport for the 2012-13 season.
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 13. When teams that play outside of the Patriot League are factored in, Bucknell had 20 overall squads reporting at 100 percent while Colgate and Holy Cross each had 18.
Of the 86 Patriot League teams that recorded perect graduation success rates, 36 also notched a 100 percent score in federal graduation rates.
The graduation-rates report provides information about two groups of students at a college or university: (1) all undergraduate students who were enrolled in a full-time program of studies for a degree, and (2) student-athletes who received athletics aid from the college or university for any period of time during their entering year. The class that entered in 2005 is the most recent graduating class for which the required six years of information is available.
The graduation success rate differs from the federal graduation-rate formula in that it factors in transfer students who graduate, and does not penalize schools for losing transfers who leave in good academic standing. 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.
For full NCAA data for all schools, conferences, sports and years, go here