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Graduation Rates for CU-Boulder Student-Athletes

Most recent submission: April 2015, with six-year graduation rates (graduation through summer 2014) for freshmen entering in 2008.

Each April, the Office of Planning, Budget and Analysis submits data for the IPEDS Graduation Rates Survey of the US Department of Education. The population of students in this dataset is full-time (12+ hours counted at the end of the fall term) first-time freshman who entered in the summer or fall cohort year. The cohort year is six years prior to the previous summer term of when the report is submitted (i.e. in 2007, with the previous summer term being in 2006, the cohort year is 2000). This gives students a full six years (or 150% of "normal time") to complete their degree.

Student-athlete data is restricted to those students who received athletic aid in their first term enrolled at CU-Boulder.

Timeline of reporting student-athlete graduation rate data

  • Prior to 2004, we submitted all data to IPEDS and the NCAA obtained the information from IPEDS.
  • From 2004 to 2007 we submitted reports to both IPEDS and the NCAA.
  • From 2008 to 2009 we posted all-freshman counts to the IPEDS collection site in April, and student-athlete counts to the NCAA data collection site only, in May. The NCAA then calculates the graduation rates.
  • Beginning in 2010, the NCAA requested submission of outcomes for student-athletes by individual. The NCAA then used these records to calculate graduation rates. IPEDS submission remain unchanged.

Additionally, the NCAA asks for completion data on student-athletes who entered either as a spring freshman or as a transfer student. The data reported on these web pages are only for full-time first-time freshman who entered in the summer or fall cohort term and DO NOT contain information on spring freshman or transfer students. Please e-mail us if you would like to inquire about viewing these data.

June 2011: Starting with the 2002 cohort, we have added data on students who left CU-Boulder and later transferred to another insitution. These data come from The National Student Clearinghouse. In the 2007 cohort, 21% of all entering freshman and 24% of student-athletes were marked as 'transfer-out' students.

Student-athletes are separated into four sport groups: football, basketball, track/cross country and all other reportable sports (at CU-Boulder these sports are golf, soccer, skiing, tennis and volleyball).

Highlights of six-year graduation rates from the most recent submission include:

  • 70% of all full-time 5,823 first-time freshmen entering in 2008 graduated in six years
  • 71% of 17 football players
  • 57% of 7 basketball players (men and women combined)
  • 67% of all 58 student-athletes entering in 2008 in all sports combined

Click here to see the memo sent out in April with a full summary of the current year's submission (PDF).

Click here for a summary of graduation rates for football, men's basketball, all sports and all entering freshman from 1991 to the most recently reported cohort year. (Excel)  A second tab in the Excel shows rates by individual sport (e.g., men's golf, women's golf).

The NCAA produces two summary reports upon submission of the student athlete data.

  • NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) Report. By gender and sport. Shows two rates for the four-year combined cohort. The "federal" rate is the standard six-year graduation rate for new first-time freshmen athletes. The GSR includes student-athletes transferring in and those entering in spring, and allows institutions to subtract (from the denominator) student-athletes who leave the institution prior to graduation as long as they would have been academically eligible to compete had they remained.
  • NCAA Institutional report. Shows summary tables (most recent cohort and four-year combined cohort) for all freshman, all student athletes plus by sport group results.

For more detail, the tables below show the 4-, 5-, and 6-year graduation rates from cohorts starting in 1991 to the most recently reported cohort year. They are shown for each cohort and four-year combined cohorts (four consecutive entry years combined, i.e. 1996-1999 = 1996 + 1997 + 1998 + 1999). Tables for all freshman are shown by gender and ethnicity. All athletes combined are shown by gender with minorities combined and the sport groups are only shown by gender because the counts for minorities are too low for statistical reliability. We have created two separate password protected Excel files (by cohort year & by 4-year combined cohorts) with more detailed results that may be viewed by administrators. Click here to request the password for these files.

Group By cohort year By 4-year combined cohorts
All freshman
All sports combined
All other reportable sports

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Last revision 04/21/15

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