Nov. 19, 2009
SEATTLE - It is widely known that the University of Washington is recognized as one of the world's top academic and research institutions. But, what isn't quite as publicized is how successful its student-athletes are in the classroom.
Figures released yesterday by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) revealed that Washington student-athletes earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 84 percent compared to a 79 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 1999-2000 through 2002-03.
Washington's GSR rates as the second-highest among Pacific-10 Conference institutions and is the second-highest among Division I public universities on the West Coast.
"Everyone pays attention to the obvious measures of competitive success. Really, the core of our purpose is to provide educational opportunities and graduate our student-athletes," Athletic Director Scott Woodward said. "We place a great value on academic success at Washington and these strong graduation rates are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes, coaches and staff. We are blessed with having a world-class academic and research institution and it is no coincidence that we succeed on a national level in athletics as well."
Washington's GSR also translated to its football program as the Huskies have the second-highest rating among teams in the Pac-10. UW football players graduated at a rate of 69 percent, which ranks behind only Stanford in the report. The Federal rate of 61 percent for the rolling four-year average also ranks second in the league.
This year marks the 19th release of institutional graduation rates since national "right-to-know" legislation was passed in 1990. In 2005, the NCAA Division I Committee on Academic Performance implemented the initial release of the team GSR data.
The GSR is the NCAA's more inclusive calculation of student-athlete academic success. The NCAA rate is more accurate than the federally mandated methodology because it includes incoming transfers and students enrolling in the spring semester who receive athletic aid and graduate and deletes from the calculation student-athletes who leave an institution and were academically eligible to compete. The federal rate does neither.
The four-year federal graduation rate average for Husky student-athletes was 69 percent, which is significantly higher than the national average of 63 percent. The four-year average for University of Washington students was 75 percent, also far exceeding the 62 percent rate for all students nationwide.
A few of the UW's highlights on the NCAA's report on graduation rates:
• UW has the second-highest graduation success rate (GSR) among Division I public institutions on the West Coast;
• UW has the second-highest graduation success rate among all Pacific-10 Conference institutions;
• UW's class entering 2002-03 graduated at the third-highest rate among Pac-10 institutions;
• UW's 84 percent GSR equals its highest rating since the NCAA began calculating the average five years ago;
• UW's GSR is six percentage points higher than the overall Division I average;
• UW's student body graduates 13 percent higher than the overall Division I average (4 class average)