University of Kentucky Student-Athletes Break Graduation Record

Oct. 28, 2014

University of Kentucky Student-Athletes Break Graduation Record
Cats Post Highest Mark Ever in NCAA Rate

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky student-athletes set a school record for graduation rate in the annual report issued Tuesday by the National College Athletic Association.

The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2004-05 through 2007-08, was 81 percent.  That was up two points from last year and continued UK’s trend of having broken or tied the mark for earning diplomas every year since the NCAA began charting graduation.

The GSR includes all scholarship athletes. Athletes who transfer in good standing do not count against the school’s GSR. Schools also are allowed to count incoming transfers who subsequently graduate.

Year Announced NCAA GSR
2014 81%
2013 79
2012 79
2011 77
2010 74
2009 73
2008 73
2007 71
2006 71
2005 68

To the right are the annual scores for UK student-athletes breaking or tying the school record each year of the 10-year history of the GSR.

The Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) for student-athletes, also a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2004-05 through 2007-08, is 58 percent, just one point shy of the school record posted a year ago.  Data for this statistic is available since 1991. In the FGR, student-athletes who transfer count as non-graduates, regardless of their academic standing or subsequent graduation from another institution. Incoming transfer students, from junior college or four-year schools, who graduate at UK are not counted as graduates. These factors account for the difference between the FGR and the NCAA GSR.

These improvements reflect the emphasis on academic success by Mitch Barnhart, who became director of athletics in 2002.

“I’m pleased that a new graduation record was set,” Barnhart said. “Completing degrees is a foundational piece of future success and we’re proud of the achievements of our student-athletes.”

The long-term outlook remains bright for UK’s student-graduation numbers. One of Barnhart’s goals for UK Athletics is a composite 3.0 grade-point average for all student-athletes. The Wildcats have hit that goal the last four semesters.