UI Student-Athletes Outpace Peers Academically

Nov. 23, 2009

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The graduation rate for student-athletes who enrolled at the University of Iowa in the fall of the 2002-03 academic year was 70 percent, six percentage points better than the national average and two points better than a year ago, according to data released Wednesday (Nov. 18) by the NCAA.

The national graduation rate for NCAA Division I student-athletes who entered college in 2002 of 64 percent matched the highest rate ever, was unchanged from last year, and is two points higher than the general student body. The graduation rate for UI student-athletes was four percentage points better than the rate for all UI students.

The Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for student-athletes at the UI was 85 percent. The national GSR was 79 percent. Iowa’s department-wide GSR a year ago was 86 percent. The GSR calculation takes into consideration a number of factors including, most importantly, student-athletes who left the UI in good academic standing.

“As in the past, these numbers represent the commitment our student-athletes, coaches and administrative staff have to the `student’ in `student-athlete.’ I applaud everyone involved for their outstanding work,” said UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta, who also singled out the efforts of the staff of Academic Student Services unit of the UI Athletics Department.

“As in the past, these numbers represent the commitment our student-athletes, coaches and administrative staff have to the `student’ in `student-athlete.’ I applaud everyone involved for their outstanding work.”
Gary Barta
UI Director of Athletics

“These numbers also represent a return on the investment the UI and its many friends and fans have made in the academic piece of the intercollegiate athletics experience,” added Barta, who singled out the extraordinary vision of Russell and Ann Gerdin of North Liberty.

For three decades, the Gerdin’s have been extraordinarily generous friends of University of Iowa student-athletes and the UI athletics program. They have supported the Russell A. and Ann Gerdin Athletic Learning Center, the Roy G. Karro UI Athletics Hall of Fame and Visitors Center, athletic scholarships, and the renovation of Kinnick Stadium.

Last September, the Gerdin’s extended their philanthropic support to include the largest athletics scholarship gift in UI history: a $5 million commitment to the UI Foundation to establish the Russ and Ann Gerdin Family Athletic Scholarship Fund, which will provide multiple scholarships each year for student-athletes in football, men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, and other men’s and women’s sports on a rotating basis.

“Russ and Ann provided the financial resources a little less than a decade ago to help the UI build our Athletics Learning Center and they reaffirmed their commitment to the `student’ in `student-athlete’ earlier this year with their generous support of our scholarship fund. I’m pleased that we can provide this tangible evidence that their generosity and commitment to the Hawkeyes is paying dividends,” said Barta.

Barta noted the Gerdin’s generosity also extends well beyond the intercollegiate athletics program. Their support of the Russell and Ann Gerdin American Cancer Society Hope Lodge and the J. Hayden Fry Center for Prostate Cancer Research are just recent examples of their generosity and support of the UI.

The graduation rate for Iowa’s nationally ranked football program was 67 percent for the second consecutive year. The national average was 55 percent.

Both of Iowa’s basketball teams posted graduation rates that were a perfect 100 percent. The national average for men’s basketball was 51 percent; the national average for women’s basketball was 64 percent.

“I am very proud of the achievement of our student-athletes,” said Fred Mims, the UI’s associate athletics director for student services and compliance. “They clearly take their academic responsibilities seriously and have been rewarded for their hard work. We look forward to even greater success in the future.”