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UK student athletes break graduation records

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — University of Kentucky student athletes set a school record for graduation rate in the annual report issued by the National College Athletic Association.

UK logoThe NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2004-05 through 2007-08, was 81 percent.  That was up two points from last year 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 who subsequently graduate.

Here are the annual scores for UK student-athletes breaking or tying the school record each year of the 10-year history of the GSR.

Year Announced        NCAA GSR

2014                             81 percent

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 2004-05 through 2007-08, is 58 percent, just one point shy of the school record posted a year 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 success by Mitch Barnhart, who became director of athletics in 2002.

“I’m pleased that a new graduation record was set,” Barnhart said. “Completing degrees is a foundational piece of future success, and we’re proud of the achievements of our student-athletes.”

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 four semesters.