A commitment to academics and student-athlete success in the classroom is a vital part of the NCAA’s mission to integrate athletics into the fabric of higher education. The NCAA pledges to help student-athletes achieve their academic goals as well as their athletics goals.
Each year, the NCAA publicly announces the Academic Success Rate of all Division II institutions, along with a similar Division I Graduation Success Rate. According to the most recent Academic Success Rate data, 73 percent of Division II freshmen student-athletes who entered college in 2004 earned a degree. The graduation-rate data are based on a six-year cohort prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education.
The NCAA developed the success rates in response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflect the mobility among all college students today.
The Academic Success Rate accounts 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.
The Division II rate, the first such study to be undertaken within the Association, is unique in that it measures graduation outcomes for student-athletes who are not receiving athletically related financial aid.
That, combined with the assessment of transfer student-athletes, means that the Division II compilation evaluates nearly twice as many student-athletes as the study undertaken through the federal Student Right-to-Know Act.