WKU Athletics Shine in Latest NCAA Graduation Report

Western Kentucky University had six sports post a graduation success rate of 100% while posting an overall rate of 79% in the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate Report released Wednesday.  The 79% overall rate was the second-highest in the 12-member Sun Belt Conference.


WKU’s six sports that posted a perfect 100% graduation success rate were men’s basketball, men’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s swimming, women’s soccer, and volleyball.  Additionally, WKU had a graduation success rate of 75% or greater in 12 of the 16 sports programs measured by the NCAA.


The Graduation Success Rates are based on the four entering freshmen classes in Division I from 2000-01 through 2003-04.  The NCAA calculates the rates 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.  The Graduation Success Rate was developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately measure the success of Division I student-athletes by better accounting for the many different academic paths followed by today’s college students.


In addition to the Graduation Success Rate, WKU graduated 59% of its student-athletes from the 2000-01 through 2003-04 classes.  The 59% graduation rate by WKU student-athletes was the second-highest in the Sun Belt Conference and also exceeded the 49% graduation rate posted by all WKU students. 


The graduation rate is the percent of baccalaureate degree-seeking students who entered school during the four measured school years and graduated within six years after initially enrolling.  These are the most recent graduating classes for which the required six years of information is available.


"While we are very proud to have won an NCAA high 26 conference championships from 2007-2010, we are equally dedicated to making sure our student-athletes also excel academically,” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork. "Our combined successes in academics and athletics validates that those who wear ‘WKU’ on their uniform are truly student-athletes and that we are providing the proper resources and support for them to succeed.  It is also a credit to our coaches and academic support staff for preparing them for life beyond collegiate athletics.  There is a perfect blend of academic and athletic success at WKU.”


WKU has also had more individuals honored for their academic achievements by the Sun Belt Conference than any other league institution in each of the last six years.  Other WKU academic highlights include:


  • In the last 10 years, 85% of WKU student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility have graduated. 


  • For all 412 WKU student-athletes, the overall cumulative average GPA is 2.95 and 207 student-athletes (50.2%) are maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.  


  • Nine of the university’s 15 athletic programs have a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or better, and women’s track (representing cross country, indoor track and outdoor track) has a 2.99 cumulative GPA.  A total of 48 student-athletes (11.7%) had a 4.0 GPA for the spring 2010 semester.


  • A total of 60 WKU student-athletes representing 17 separate sports graduated on May 15. They obtained degrees in 26 different majors in diverse programs including accounting, business economics, chemistry, civil engineering, hospitality management/dietetics, nursing, social work and Spanish. 


  • A total of 83 student-athletes graduated in the last calendar year, as 23 graduated in December of 2009.  The 83 student-athletes represent 18 separate sports.