Feb. 14, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- For the fourth straight year, a recent report compiled by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) revealed that scholarship student-athletes at Santa Clara University graduate at the highest rate in the West Coast Conference and the second-highest among Division I institutions on the West Coast.
According to the report, SCU student-athletes graduated at a four-year rolling average rate of 76 percent while the overall student body at the institution graduated at a slightly higher rate of 82 percent. The report examines a four-year rolling average ending with freshman entering school in 1998-99.
The freshman class that entered Santa Clara in 1998-99 graduated at a rate of 86 percent. That figure, while a drop from the previous class, maintains a top-10 ranking in the state. Experts freely admit the single class graduation rate can be skewed by various one-time factors and that the rolling four-year average is more reflective of a pattern of academic success.
Santa Clara's graduation rates are considerably higher than the NCAA Division I average of 62 percent for student-athletes and 60 percent average for Division I student body.
"We are extremely proud of the record of achievement of our student-athletes in the classroom," said Dan Coonan, Director of Athletics and Recreation at SCU. "This year's graduation rates again place Santa Clara Athletics in some elite company nationwide. Our student-athletes have clearly established a reputation for competitiveness in the classroom that rivals their reputation on the fields and courts, which is right where we strive to be as a program."
The current report's 76 percent graduation rate for SCU student-athletes approaches the average for student-athletes at the institution since the NCAA began tracking the data in 1990. The highest student-athlete graduation rate for SCU, based on the four-year average, was an 82 percent rating for the class entering in 1988-89, which was released in the NCAA's 1995 report.
Santa Clara County possesses the two institutions with the highest graduation rate in the state of California in SCU and Stanford. Student-athletes at Stanford graduate at a rate of 88 percent, compared to the institution's four-class average for the overall student population of 94 percent. Fellow WCC member University of San Diego moved into third in the state rankings, graduating student-athletes at a 74 percent rate, while the University of California at Santa Barbara slipped to fourth with 72 percent ranking. Cal is ranked eighth at 67 percent, while UCLA is 12th among the 22 Division I schools in the state at 62 percent.
Among West Coast Conference institutions, Santa Clara rated at the top of the list, ahead of second-place San Diego and the University of Portland. Among the overall student population, SCU's league-leading 82 percent is five percentage points better than Gonzaga University's second-best 77 percent.
According to the NCAA report of the federally mandated Graduation Rates, 62 percent of all NCAA student-athletes who entered Division I colleges and universities in 1998 graduated in the six-year window established by the U.S. Department of Education as the standard. This year's rate remains unchanged for student-athletes when compared to 2003 figures. The six-year graduation rate for the overall student body grew one percentage point, to 60 percent, over the past year.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,397 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the third-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at www.scu.edu