Rice Student-Athletes Continue to Shine in NCAA Graduation Rate Success Studies



Oct. 25, 2011

Rice University student-athletes continue to be among the national leaders in the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate studies, according to the latest set of figures released by the organization on Tuesday.

(2001-04 Freshmen Classes)
All Student-Athletes
Notre Dame 99%
Duke 97%
Boston College 97%
Northwestern 96%
Navy 96%
Rice 95%
African-American Student-Athletes
Notre Dame 98%
Rice 96%
Football (National)
Notre Dame 97%
Northwestern 94%
Rice 93%
Duke 93%
Boston College 93%
Football (Texas)
Rice 93%
TCU 78%
SMU 72%
Texas Tech 68%
Baylor 62%
North Texas 61%
Texas A&M 59%
UTEP 59%
Houston 57%
Texas 57%
Football (C-USA)
Rice 93%
UCF 79%
Southern Miss 78%
Marshall 77%
Memphis 75%
SMU 72%
Tulane 68%
Tulsa 63%
UTEP 59%
ECU 58%
Houston 57%
UAB 55%

The Owls ranked sixth among all schools who compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), having graduated 95% of all student-athletes who enrolled as freshmen from 2001-2002 through 2004-05. Rice was second among all schools with a 96% graduation rate among its African-American student-athletes, while Rice's football team was tied for third among all football teams, with a graduation rate of 93% over the same period.

"These numbers continue to reflect the outstanding efforts of all our student-athletes," Rice Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan said. "Every young man and woman who accepts the offer to compete for Rice does so knowing that there are high expectations both in the classroom and on the playing field. They take great pride in extending this legacy of excellence and we celebrate their achievements."

"Each recruit who comes to play football at Rice knows that we expect their best in everything they do," Rice head football coach David Bailiff said. "We make a commitment to them and their parents that we will create the best possible environment for them to be successful and these types of rankings are the result."

The overall national Graduation Success Rate for student-athletes who began college in 2003 is 79 percent. While this rate matches the GSR for the past two years and continues to be the highest ever in Division I, it has risen five points in nine years of GSR collection

This year marks the 10th year of GSR data that have been collected. The NCAA began collecting GSR data with the entering freshman class of 1995. The latest entering class for which data are available is 2004.

The Graduation Success Rate was developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately measure the academic success of Division I student-athletes by better accounting for the many different academic paths followed by today's college students. Unlike the federal graduation rate, the GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.

By counting incoming transfer students and midyear enrollees, the GSR increases the total number of student-athletes tracked for graduation by more than 37 percent. Under the GSR calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. These outgoing transfers are essentially passed to the receiving institution's GSR cohort.

The NCAA also calculates the federal graduation rate for student-athletes, because it is the only rate to compare student-athletes to the general student body. There are almost 105,000 student-athletes included in the most recent four classes using the GSR methodology, as compared to more than 76,000 in the federal rate.

Rice ranked fourth overall in the federal graduation rate for all student-athletes (85%), while Rice's overall student body was ranked sixth (92%). The Owls posted the highest federal rate among African-American students (93%), while the football team was ranked third (84%).