Report cards were given out to athletics departments across the nation today and Iowa State student-athletes brought home a good one.
The NCAA released graduation rate data and the Cyclones had a rate of 71%. That mark bettered the school’s undergrad graduation rate (for only the third time), ranked second in the Big 12 and was second-best at Iowa State since 1999.
Iowa State joined TCU, Kansas, Purdue, Iowa, Washington State and Alabama as the only schools from the Big 12, SEC, Pac-12, American Athletic, ACC or Big Ten with student-athlete graduation rates above 70% as well as better marks than undergraduates.
The federal graduation rate is the oldest benchmark available. It’s an interesting tool because it tracks the graduation rates of only scholarship freshmen recruits from each class and it gives a six-year window for those cohorts to get a degree.
If a student-athlete transfers from a school, he/she is counted as a non-graduate even if they obtain a degree at their new school. Transfers (from other universities or junior colleges) coming into an institution don’t count either, even if they gain a degree.
The Cyclones had four sports – volleyball, women’s gymnastics, women’s swimming & diving and men’s golf – with the highest rates in the Big 12 this year.
It was, in general, a good report card. The student-athletes, who did the work, should be commended.