LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky student-athletes set a school record for graduation rate in the annual report issued Thursday by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, continuing UK’s trend of having broken or tied the school record for earning diplomas every year since the NCAA began charting graduation.
The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2002-03 through 2005-06, was 79 percent. That is a two-point increase from last year’s previous high mark. The GSR includes all scholarship athletes. Athletes who transfer in good academic standing do not count against the school’s GSR. Schools also are allowed to count incoming transfers who subsequently graduate.
UK student-athletes have either broken or tied the school record each year in the eight-year history of the GSR.
Year Announced NCAA GSR
2012 79 percent
The Federal Graduation Rate (FGR), also a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2002-03 through 2005-06, is 57 percent. That is the second-highest in school history, one point behind last year’s school-record mark, with data available since 1991. In the FGR, student-athletes who transfer count as non-graduates, regardless of their academic standing or subsequent graduation from another institution. Incoming transfer students, from junior college or four-year schools, who graduate at UK are not counted as graduates. These factors account for the difference between the FGR and NCAA GSR.
The improvements reflect the emphasis on academic success by Mitch Barnhart, who became director of athletics in 2002.
“I’m proud to see another graduation record set by our student-athletes,” Barnhart said. “Most young people will not have the opportunity to play professionally and graduation is an important component to their future success.”
The long-term outlook remains bright for UK’s student-athlete graduation numbers. One of Barnhart’s goals for UK Athletics is a composite 3.0 grade-point average for all student-athletes. Recent semester GPAs for all student-athletes have been above the 2.9 mark, bringing the department close to reaching that goal.