ERIC Number: EJ735890
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Academic Fit of Student-Athletes: An Analysis of NCAA Division 1-A Graduation Rates
Ferris, Eric; Finster, Mark; McDonald, David
Research in Higher Education, v45 n6 p555-575 Sep 2004
Federal law mandates that universities reveal their graduation rates purportedly to inform policy makers and constituencies about efforts to support educational attainment for students and athletes. These rates are widely used to compare universities. Analysis of 10 years of graduation rates across all major athletic programs concludes that graduation rates alone are insufficient and misleading unless they account for the widely varying constituencies served by different universities. Constituency factors include university mission, admission restrictions, and institutional wealth. Universities with more selective admission policies graduate both students and athletes at higher rates, although their athletes graduate at "lower" rates, relative to their student cohorts. This research assesses: (1) athlete educational attainment, (2) the impact of athletic success and (3) the relationship between admission selectivity and educational attainment. The results provide implications for across-university policies and suggest a method for identifying universities that model the bifurcated goal of academic and athletic excellence.
Descriptors: Graduation Rate, College Athletics, Athletes, Educational Attainment, Educational Policy, Comparative Analysis, Universities
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A