10:27 AM

Ohio State athletes post graduation success rate of 86 percent

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In graduation data released by the NCAA Wednesday, Ohio State student-athletes have a four-class average (2007-10) of 86 percent in the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and, in the 2010-11 cohort, have a Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) of 74 percent.

“This is another strong showing from Ohio State’s student-athletes,” John Davidson, Ohio State Faculty Athletic Representative and Professor in Germanic Languages and Literatures, said. “Meaningful academic success is valued throughout athletics at Ohio State, and that is reflected in the positive results we see here. Of course, it is clear the time commitment of athletics participation has an impact, as does the culture of increased mobility among student-athletes.”

The GSR and FGR metrics provide slightly different perspectives on graduation. The FGR assesses only first-time full-time freshmen in a given cohort and only counts them as academic successes if they graduate from their institution of initial enrollment within a six-year period. It makes no accommodation for transfers into or out of an institution. The rate is limited because it ignores the large number of transfer students in higher education, but it is still the only rate that allows a direct comparison between student-athletes and the general student body. GSR begins with the federal cohort, and adds transfer students, mid-year enrollees and certain non-scholarship students to the sample. Student-athletes who leave an institution while in good academic standing before exhausting athletics eligibility are removed from the cohort of their initial institution.

“The FGR, which simply tracks whether students who enter an institution as freshmen graduate from it within six years, is higher for Ohio State’s general student body than the subset who are athletes (although both groups posted an increase of one percent in this year’s report),” Davidson said. “On the other hand, the GSR, which adjusts for successful transfers and professionalization, shows that the student-athletes in the 2010-11 cohort graduated at a higher rate than the FGR of their colleagues.” For the four-class average (classes entering Ohio State between 2007-10), the GSR for Buckeye student-athletes was 86 percent. More specifically, 14 Ohio State programs are equal to or ahead of the national GSR for their sports. Six teams have a 100 percent GSR: men’s fencing, rifle, pistol, men’s volleyball, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball. Another 14 are at 85 percent or above in the GSR: baseball, men’s golf, men’s hockey, men’s lacrosse, men’s swimming, women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s cross country/track, women’s ice hockey, women’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, softball, women’s swimming and synchronized swimming.

During that four-class time period , the federal rate (FGR) for OSU student-athletes (74 percent) was above the Division I average of 68 percent for student-athletes and 66 percent for the general student body at DI institutions.

“The consistency of these data across years is a tribute to the dedicated hard work of our student-athletes, but also to the coaches and administrators who understand the academic demands of our institution,” Davidson said. “They recruit with that in mind and structure their programs to foster high achievement in the classroom as well as in the arena. That is why the majority of our teams scored at 85 percent or better in the GSR, with six - including some national championship teams - notching a perfect 100 percent.”

In all, 13 Ohio State programs have an FGR above 85 percent. Men’s volleyball, women’s fencing, pistol and women’s tennis are at 100 percent, with men’s golf, rifle, women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s lacrosse, softball, women’s ice hockey, women’s swimming and women’s volleyball above 85 percent.