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Summary of Division III Academic Success Rates

Beginning this year Division III institutions were required to submit student-athlete graduation information. At the 2019 national convention, Division III passed a proposal to make graduation-rate collection for student-athletes a division-wide policy. A census of graduation rates affords the membership an opportunity to conduct comprehensive self-assessment and benchmarking via the Institutional Performance Program (IPP) where the rates will be housed.  Additional research on trends and graduation rates is ongoing.

Division III launched the Academic Reporting Program in 2010, a voluntary data collection of student-athlete graduation information.  Division III schools were not required to report rates specifically for student-athletes, although they still had to fulfill the federal reporting requirement for the student body.  The voluntary program allowed for the calculation of Federal Graduation Rate and Academic Success Rate for Division III student-athletes.  The student-athlete cohort for both rates include non-scholarship, mid-year enrollee and transfer student-athletes. The difference in calculation is the Academic Success Rate accounts for student-athletes that separate from the institution prior to graduation while academically eligible to compete where the Federal Graduation Rate does not.

Between 2010 and 2019 as part of the Academic Reporting Program, 74% of the Division III membership participated at some point. In 2019, 264 institutions (60%) of the membership submitted data, the most ever.  The voluntary sample is representative of the division – that is, the pool of schools submitting data was proportionate to the makeup of the division as far as public/private, enrollment size and geographic location. Findings from the voluntary Academic Reporting Program will be reported in conjunction with findings from the newly required program.

With the first year of required reporting, the data continues to result in student-athlete Federal Graduation Rates higher than those of the student bodies at those schools – 68% versus 63%. The ASR, which accounts for student-athletes that separate from their institution prior to graduation and while academically eligible to compete, remains at 87%, the same level for the past six years.