October 25, 2012

Bona Student-Athletes Continue To Graduate Ahead Of Their Peers

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure University student-athletes continue to graduate at a rate well above their peers, according to statistical information released Thursday by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The NCAA’s annual study of institutions nationwide revealed that St. Bonaventure student-athletes entering school in the 2005-06 academic year earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent. In comparison, the average for the last four graduating classes at all Division I institutions remained at 80 percent, an all-time high.

Over the last year five years, St. Bonaventure’s combined graduation rates have been 86 percent or higher. Last year’s rate also came in at 88 percent.

Twelve of St. Bonaventure’s 14 Division I teams achieved a GSR rate of 88 percent or higher for their incoming 2005-06 student-athletes. Five of those teams – men’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s cross country – earned rates of 100 percent. Women’s swimming (96 percent), women’s soccer (94 percent), baseball (92 percent), softball (91 percent), lacrosse (91 percent), women’s basketball (90 percent) and men’s soccer (88 percent) all achieved rates of 88 percent or better. Men’s swimming (73 percent) and men’s basketball (61 percent) rounded out the 14 sports.

In addition to releasing each institution’s Graduation Success Rate, the NCAA also released Federal Graduation Rates for all students and student-athletes on Thursday. For those student-athletes entering St. Bonaventure in 2005-06, the federal graduation rate was 74 percent, while the four-year average graduation rate for student-athletes was 72 percent. In comparison, the 2005-06 rate for all students at St. Bonaventure was 63 percent and the four-year average was 67 percent.

Both the NCAA GSR and Federal Graduation Rates include only student-athletes who receive athletics aid. Both calculations also allow students six years to graduate. For that reason, the most recent data is based on the entering class of 2005-06.

The GSR is considered to be the more exact calculation of the two because it includes both entering freshmen and in-bound transfers receiving athletic aid, and does not include out-bound transfers under the condition that they are academically eligible when they transfer out.

The federal rate, on the other hand, counts all out-bound transfers as failing to graduate, regardless of their academic standing or reason for leaving the institution. Additionally, the federal rate does not count in-bound transfers in calculations. The differences in methodology account for the lower reported federal graduation rates.

In addition to their perfect GSR rates, St. Bonaventure’s men’s golf, men's cross country and men’s tennis teams also earned 100 percent federal graduation rates. Women’s swimming (85 percent), women’s soccer (83 percent) and lacrosse (81 percent) also garnered federal rates better than 80 percent.

Women’s basketball received a 57 percent, while men’s basketball recorded a 33 percent; however, it is important to note the methodology and the time frame as the data dates back to the 2005-06 freshman class. Since then, a coaching change on the men’s side has taken place, and both the men’s and women’s teams have seen drastic improvements both academically and athletically.

The 16 members of Atlantic 10 collectively ranked second among all 31 Division I conferences nationwide with a GSR of 90 percent. The conference improved one spot over its 2011 ranking of third.