Tribe's student-athlete grad rates among top in nation

  • Student-athletesThe College of William and Mary athletics department again ranked among the national leaders in graduating student-athletes. The Tribe football team performed extremely well, with a 91 percent graduation rate against the national average for Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) programs of 65.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas.

    Student-athletes
  • Student-athletesThe basketball team's graduation rate of 92 was a full 30 points above the national average. The team has not only succeeded in the classroom, but on the court as well. Earlier this year, they made it to the final game of the CAA championship.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas.

    Student-athletes
  • Student-athletesThe women's teams at the College performed extremely well, with eight teams -- including cross country -- achieving a 100 percent graduation rate. Four men's teams achieved a graduation rate of 100. Courtesy photo.

    Student-athletes

The College of William and Mary athletics department again ranked among the national leaders in graduating student-athletes, with 12 teams graduating 100% of their participants who enrolled between 1998 and 2001.

"We are extremely proud of our student-athletes," athletics director Terry Driscoll said. "It is a credit both to them, and to our coaches, that so many Tribe teams perform both on the court and off at a high level year after year."

William and Mary athletes graduated well above the national average in 18 of the 19 sports measured, including in all nine men's sports. Four teams, including the 2008 National Academic Champion gymnastics squad, soccer, swimming and diving, and tennis, posted a 100% graduation rate. The nine teams averaged 19 points above the national GSR average in each sport. The basketball team's GSR of 92 was a full 30 points above the national average, and the football team also performed extremely well, with a GSR of 91 against the national average for Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) programs of 65.

The women's teams at the College also performed extremely well, with eight teams showing a GSR of 100. One of those eight was the basketball program, which ranked 18 points over the national average as the single-largest margin for all of W&M's women's teams. Also achieving a GSR of 100 were the cross country and track teams, golf, gymnastics, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. In total, the 10 women's teams measured averaged 8.5 points above the national average.

In the federal data, which does not take into account transfer athletes who go on to complete their degrees at another school, both the men's and women's soccer teams achieved a 100% graduation rate, with the men's score an astonishing 42% above the national average for the sport. Seven of the Tribe's men's programs were measured in the federal data, with each averaging 26.86 percentage points better than the national average. The women had eight teams measured, with an average clearance above and beyond the federal rate of 14.88 points in each sport.

William and Mary's 12 teams with GSR rates of 100% led all conference and state schools. Only UNC Wilmington equaled the Tribe with four men's teams at 100, while no other school had more than six women's teams reach that plateau. In fact, only one school (Drexel) combined for eight teams at 100 between both genders.

The NCAA released its 2008 Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data Tuesday,  along with the latest federal graduation rate data for all Division I athletic programs, and both datasets showed the highest-ever graduation rates for athletes. Measuring the degree-completion rate of students entering college between 1998 and 2001, the GSR showed that 78% of all student-athletes earned their degree within six years, up one point from last year, and the federal rate showed a success rate of 64%, up two points from last year at two points above the federal graduation rate for all students.