Western Kentucky University graduated 60% of its student-athletes from the 2002-03 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 60% graduation rate by WKU student-athletes was the second-highest in the Sun Belt Conference. The graduation rate also exceeded the 47% graduation rate posted by all WKU students.
The graduation rate is the percent of students who entered school during the 2002-03 school year and graduated within six years (by August, 2008). 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 were men's basketball, men's golf, men's tennis, women's basketball, women's volleyball, women's swimming, women's soccer, and volleyball. 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 an NCAA high 19 conference championships from 2007-2009, 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."
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 five years. Since Selig was hired in August of 1999, 85% of WKU student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility have graduated. Other WKU academic highlights include:
- For all 438 WKU student-athletes, the overall cumulative average GPA is 3.00. Male student-athletes have an average cumulative GPA of 2.82, female student-athletes have a cumulative 3.17 average, and 46 percent of all student-athletes have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Ten of the university's athletic teams have a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or better and 18 athletic teams have a cumulative team GPA of 2.7 or higher.
- WKU student-athletes in the university's 19 sports are majoring in 76 different programs.