Each year, the NCAA publicly announces the Graduation Success Rate of all Division I institutions, along with a similar Division II Academic Success Rate. According to the most recent Graduation Success Rate data, 82 percent of Division I freshmen scholarship student-athletes who entered college in 2004 earned a degree. In Division II, 73 percent of freshmen student-athletes who entered college in 2004 graduated. The graduation-rate data are based on a six-year cohort prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education.
The NCAA developed the Division I Graduation Success Rate in response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflect the mobility among all college students today.
Both the Graduation Success Rate and the Academic Success Rate account for the academic outcomes of student-athletes who transfer from one institution to another. The rate compiled using the federal government's methodology does not count transfers in and counts transfers out as graduation failures. Regardless of which rate is used, student-athletes are shown to graduate at a higher rate than their peers in the general student body.