UK Student-Athletes Match Highest Graduation Marks in NCAA, Federal Rates

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2015) – University of Kentucky student-athletes tied the school's records for graduation rate in the annual report issued Wednesday by the National College Athletic Association.

The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2005-06 through 2008-09, was 81 percent.  That ties last year’s school record and continued UK’s trend of having broken or tied the mark for earning diplomas every year since the NCAA began charting graduation.

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 11-year history of the GSR.

Year Announced            NCAA GSR

2015                             81 percent

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 2005-06 through 2008-09, is 59 percent, tying the school record posted two years ago.  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.

“I’m pleased that our students are continuing their progress in graduation rates,” Barnhart said. “Education is a key component of future success and completion of degrees is a significant accomplishment in our students’ lives.”

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 six semesters.


MEDIA CONTACT: Tony Neely, 859-257-3838.