Lacrosse Slips in NCAA Graduation Rate Success Report

According to the NCAA's annual Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report, released this week, lacrosse again fares well for the 2006-2009 entering cohorts among schools in Division I. However, its ranking relative to other sports dropped, especially for men's lacrosse.

Male lacrosse players had a GSR of 87%, which was tied for 8th among the sports in the survey, and was tied for 5th with a federal graduation rate at 70%. A year ago the lacrosse cohorts ranked 3rd and 4th in the GSR and federal rates, respectively.

Female lacrosse players were tied for 4th in GSR at 95% and were tied for 5th with a federal rate of 80%. Last year, women's lacrosse was tied for 3rd in GSR, while the sport's federal rate ranking was the same.

GSR data, as well as the perhaps more familiar federal graduation rate data, are shown in the table below by gender and sport. For more information on the GSR, please see the NCAA web site.

[Note: The federal rate uses fall cohorts as a base, and from that a very small number of exclusions are made for deaths, military service, participation in church missions, etc. On the other hand, the GSR begins with the same cohort but adds freshmen who enter in January and transfers from two- and four-year colleges. It also includes non-scholarship athletes at schools not offering athletic aid. Finally, the GSR excludes students who left school while academically eligible.

The upshot for the 2006-2009 cohort is that 32,384 students were included in the GSR and not in the federal rate, and 24,450 students were excluded from the GSR but included in the federal rate. Given that the starting point is 88,171 student-athletes, the differences in the GSR and federal methodologies are significant. In particular, the GSR does not account for the 23,112 athletes (26.2% of the total) who left while eligible.


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