WKU Athletics Shine in Latest NCAA Graduation Report


Western Kentucky University graduated 68% of its student-athletes from the 2001-02 freshman class, and seven sports posted a graduation success rate of 100% in the NCAA’s 2008 Graduation Success Rate Report released on Tuesday. 


The 68% graduation rate by WKU student-athletes was the second-highest in the Sun Belt Conference and marked a 13% increase from the 55% rate of the previous year’s class (2000-01).  Both years were higher than the 49% graduation rate posted by all WKU students in each of these two respective years. 


The graduation rate is the percent of students who entered school during the 2001-02 school year and graduated within six years (by August, 2007).  This is the most recent graduating class for which the required six years of information is available.


In addition to the actual graduation rate, the NCAA calculates a Graduation Success Rate based upon the number of athletes who graduate in addition to those who left WKU prior to graduating but would have been academically eligible to compete.  WKU’s seven sports that posted a perfect 100% graduation success rate (men’s basketball, men’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s swimming, women’s soccer, volleyball) trailed only Denver’s eight among Sun Belt members and were more than twice as many as the other 11 conference schools (see chart below).  Additionally, WKU had a graduation success rate of 70% or greater in 14 of the 16 sports programs measured by the NCAA.


“While we were pleased to win a Sun Belt record 10 conference championships in 2007-08, we are equally committed to making sure our student-athletes also excel academically,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Camden Wood Selig.  “This report is tremendous validation that our student-athletes are as determined to excel in the classroom as they are on the playing field.  We continually stress the importance of giving a Championship Effort’ in everything we do, and it is rewarding to see so many taking this approach.  It is also a credit to our coaches for recruiting true student-athletes and preparing them for life beyond collegiate athletics.   We are very proud of what we have accomplished along with the direction we are headed.”


Under Selig’s guidance, 85% of WKU student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility have graduated and nine of WKU’s 19 athletic programs currently have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. 



Number of Sun Belt Programs w/ 100% Graduation Success Rate

1. Denver 8

2. WKU 7

3. Arkansas State 3

    Troy 3

5. Three schools with 2



Highest Sun Belt Graduation Rate for 2001-02 Class (schools listed with 50% rate)

1. Denver 77%

2. WKU 68%

3. Arkansas State 64%

4. Troy 63%

5. North Texas 56%

6. Louisiana-Lafayette 53%

    South Alabama 53%