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Division II grad rates increase

Division II student-athletes matched their graduation rates from two years ago, according to the most recent NCAA Academic Success Rate (ASR) data.

Now in its ninth year of data collection, Division II’s ASR is similar to Division I’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR), in that it includes transfers into a school in the calculation, but removes students who left school while academically eligible.  In addition, in light of the division’s partial scholarship financial aid model, Division II’s ASR also includes all non-scholarship freshman student-athletes (more than 35,000 student-athletes).

The Division II national four-year average ASR stayed the same at 71 percent, while the single-year ASR for 2007 increased three points to 72, marking a return to rates more consistent with trends from recent years.

“We are pleased to see the graduation rates return to previous highs,” said Terri Steeb Gronau, vice president of Division II. “Student-athletes and member schools are dedicated to achieving academic success as a part of the well-rounded and balanced experience that Division II provides.”

Last year, Division II schools used a new process to report their graduation rates. In its first year, the NCAA research staff saw some unusual patterns in the data reported by schools, which may have resulted in rates for 2006 being artificially low last year. This year, the reporting system was revised and the Division II membership received additional training, which is reflected in the rates returning to expected levels this year.

Even when using the less-inclusive federal rate, Division II student-athletes outperform the general student body. The federal rate for student-athletes increased to 55 percent, while the federal rate for the overall student body remained at 48 percent. The greatest difference between student-athletes and the general student body was with female African-American student-athletes: Those who entered college in 2007 graduated at a rate of 57 percent, 20 points higher than their peers in the general student-body.

The NCAA graduation success rates (Division I) and academic success rates (Division II and Division III) were formed when presidents and chancellors in all three NCAA divisions called for the Association to develop a measure of graduation success that better reflects transfer patterns and the population of student-athletes in higher education. The GSR and ASR count transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The Division I Graduation Success Rate data and Division III academic data also were announced today.