SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Oct. 26, 2004 -- For the third straight year, student-athletes at Santa Clara University graduated at the highest rate in the West Coast Conference and the second-highest among Division I institutions in the state of California, according to a report compiled by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
According to the report, SCU student-athletes graduated at a four-year average rate of 78 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 1997-98.
Santa Clara's student-athlete graduation rate is considerably higher than the NCAA Division I average of 60 percent for student-athletes and the 71 percent average for Division I private institutions.
“One of the hallmarks of Santa Clara athletics, year in and year out, is solid academic performance, as evidenced by consistently stellar graduation rates," said Dan Coonan, director of athletics and recreation at SCU. "This year’s rates are no exception. Students and student-athletes at SCU are genuinely interested in furthering their education at one of the top institutions in the country and taking their broad-based experience to success beyond graduation. Student-athletes at Santa Clara are performing at an extremely high level both on the field and in the classroom. The University takes great pride in the consistent record of academic and athletic achievement posted of its student-athletes.”
The 78 percent graduation rate for SCU student-athletes roughly equals 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.
The two institutions with the highest graduation rate in the state of California -- SCU and Stanford are in Santa Clara County. Student-athletes at Stanford graduate at a rate of 87 percent. U.C. Santa Barbara was third in the state rankings, graduating student-athletes at a 76 percent rate, while the University of San Diego slipped to fourth with 75 percent ranking.
Among West Coast Conference institutions, Santa Clara rated at the top of the list, ahead of second-place San Diego and third-place Gonzaga University. Among the overall student population, SCU's league-leading 82 percent is nine percentage points better than Pepperdine University's second-best 73 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 1997 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 8,047 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the second-highest graduation rate among U.S. masters’ universities across the country, California’s oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at www.scu.edu.