The NCAA's most recent statistics show 89% of all athletes who enrolled in college in 2012 earned degrees

“College athletes continue to meet and exceed the benchmarks set for academic achievement"
Image: NCAA athlete graduations
Iowa plays Penn State during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Kinnick Stadium, on Oct. 12, 2019, in Iowa City, Iowa.Matthew Putney / AP file

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By Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Graduation rates among college athletes continue to hit record highs.

The NCAA’s most recent statistics, released Wednesday, show 89% of all athletes who enrolled in college in 2012 earned degrees, an increase of 1 percentage point over last year’s all-time high. That’s nearly 10 percentage points above the 80% goal the late NCAA President Myles Brand established when the governing body first started calculating this measure in 2002.

“Our students engaged in intercollegiate athletics continue to demonstrate excellence in both athletics and academics,” Georgetown President John DeGioia, the Division I Committee on Academics chairman, said in a statement. “These numbers — nearly 30,000 additional graduates because of the NCAA’s academic policies — show that our work is vital.”

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Players in the Football Championship Subdivision and Division I women’s basketball players maintained their numbers from last year at 79% and 91%, respectively.

And for the first time, every women’s sport finished with a grad rate of at least 90%..

But Division I men’s basketball players saw a 2-point drop to 79% overall while the percentage of black players fell to 79%, a 3-point decline.

Still, NCAA President Mark Emmert applauded the results.

“College athletes continue to meet and exceed the benchmarks set for academic achievement,” Emmert said in a statement. “They have surpassed the original goal by nearly 10 percentage points, a phenomenal achievement that highlights the commitment these students have to succeed in all areas of life.”

Federal stats also show athletes and non-athletes each graduating at rates of 68%, according to federal data.

The two measures differ because the federal rate does not consider whether students earn a degree from a school other than the one in which they first enrolled.