Campus News

UK Student-Athletes Break, Tie Graduation Records

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2016)University of Kentucky student-athletes broke one school record for graduation rate and tied another in the annual report issued this week by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2006-07 through 2009-10, was 82 percent. That broke last year’s school record of 81 percent and continued UK’s trend of having broken or tied the mark for earning diplomas every year since the NCAA began charting graduation in 2005.

The GSR includes all scholarship athletes. Athletes who transfer in good standing do not count against the school’s GSR. Schools also are allowed to count incoming transfers and January enrollees who subsequently graduate.

Here are the annual scores for UK student-athletes breaking or tying the school record each year of the 12-year history of the GSR.

Year Announced         NCAA GSR Percentage

2016                             82 

2015                             81 

2014                             81

2013                             79        

2012                             79

2011                             77        

2010                             74

2009                             73

2008                             73

2007                             71

2006                             71

2005                             68

The Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) for student-athletes, also a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2006-07 through 2009-10, is 59 percent, tying the school record posted in three of the last four years. Data for this statistic is available since 1991. In the FGR, student-athletes who transfer count as non-graduates, regardless of their academic standing or subsequent graduation from another institution. Incoming transfer students, from junior college or four-year schools, who graduate at UK are not counted as graduates. These factors account for the difference between the FGR and the NCAA GSR.

These improvements reflect the emphasis on academic achievement by Mitch Barnhart, who became director of athletics in 2002.

“The academic success of our students is at the core of our mission as an athletics department,” Barnhart said. “The best measure of that success is the progress of those students toward graduation, so we are proud that they continue to raise the bar in the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate. I want to congratulate our students on their hard work. We will challenge our staff, coaches and students to continue to raise the bar.”

The long-term outlook remains bright for UK’s student graduation numbers. One of Barnhart’s goals for UK Athletics is a composite 3.0 grade-point average for all student-athletes. The Wildcats have hit that goal the last eight semesters.