Radford student athletes keep graduation rates high

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Seth Megginson

Smegginson@Radford.Edu

Radford University student athletes have continued to post strong graduation rate numbers for the University over the past several years.

According to the most recent NCAA cohort Radford University has a posted a graduation success rate or GSR of 88 out of 100. Radford University is only behind William and Mary and the University of Richmond as far as graduation rates for division one schools in Virginia. Radford and Virginia Tech shared the same graduation success rate according to the NCAA.

The graduation success rate is a sample of all student athletes at a university and tracked their academic careers. Student athletes who transfer into a certain school, midyear enrollment students and sometimes even non-scholarship student athletes are taken into account for the graduation success rate. This is different from the federal graduation rate also used by the NCAA which does not include transfers.

On the NCAA‘s website on the graduation success rate it states how they factor in transfer students are students who leave school early, “Student-athletes who leave an institution while in good academic standing before exhausting athletics eligibility are removed from the cohort of their initial institution.” Meaning schools that have a student who transfer out will not be counted against that schools graduation success rate.

The graduation success for Radford University student athletes can be found in the 2007 cohort on the NCAA website. The 2007 cohort groups the student athletes from 2007-2013 into one group. Meaning these numbers are for student athletes who successfully graduated in a six year time frame.

Radford University graduation success rates for all of their sports where over 75, the lowest being women’s golf at 78. Five sports scored a perfect 100 four of which where women athletics those sports were volleyball, track/cross country, softball, and tennis and for the male’s tennis was the only graduation rate of 100.

Madeline Thomas a senior on the track and field team at Radford talked about why she thinks there graduation success rate was so high, “We have really good coaches who understand. If we have something we need to get done our coaches will tell us to get that done and we will come and practice at this time.”

Men’s and women’s basketball at Radford are arguably the two most popular sports. Both teams have had strong graduation rate numbers according to the NCAA cohorts. Men’s basketball rate was 86 while women’s basketball was even higher at 94. For men’s basketball the 84 rate is a big improvement from the 2002 rate which was a low 44, showing that men’s basketball players at Radford are graduating at a higher rate.

Radford student athletes seem to be having a great deal of success graduating at the University according to this data. Thomas credits the University for helping the athletes graduate and keeping a high graduation rate, “We have things like study hall, where people will meet with us and help us out. If our grades start to slip someone will notice and try to help us out.” Thomas also went on to state why she believes it’s important for student athlete to graduate. “I believe it is hard to be a student athlete. I have had interviews with people who are like ‘wow you are a student and an athlete.’ I think it will help lead me to a job.”

The NCAA is seeing a rise in student athlete graduation rates and was at its all-time highest in 2013 at 84. Radford University continues to post high graduation rate numbers for their athletes and will hopefully continue to do so with changes in the administration at the university on the horizon.