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Lakers post 85 percent graduation success rate

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mercyhurst Lakers are earning college degrees at rates well above both national and conference averages.

Academic Success Rate figures released Tuesday by the National Collegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA) show that 85 percent of student-athletes who entered Mercyhurst between 2006 and 2009 (the latest reporting period) have earned their degrees. Among schools in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), only West Chester had a higher rate, at 86 percent. The average Academic Success Rate for the PSAC was 79 percent.

Division II student-athletes across the nation continue to graduate at high rates, the new report showed, with the national DII average remaining steady at 71 percent.

“We’re extremely proud of the success our Laker teams achieve in competition, but we’re even prouder to report that they are well-rounded students who also excel in the classroom,” said Mercyhurst President Michael T. Victor.

“Our foremost commitment to the student-athlete is a degree,” added director of athletics Joe Kimball.  “Mercyhurst student-athletes excel on a national level in competition and graduate at one of the highest levels in the PSAC, and at a rate higher than the student body.  That’s a tremendous compliment to the balance of athletics and academics our students experience.”

This is the 11th year the NCAA has published Academic Success Rate (ASR) figures. Unlike graduation rates compiled by the federal government, the ASR includes students who compete on athletic teams but don’t receive athletic scholarships, and also accounts for transfers into and out of a school. As a result, the ASR is based on a much larger population of student-athletes, more than 100,000 from more than 300 institutions.

Federal graduation rates, based on a national population of just over 50,000 athletes, show Mercyhurst with a 68 percent graduation rate, compared to 65 percent for the PSAC as a whole and 55 percent for Division II schools nationally.

The federal graduation rates show athletes graduating at a higher rate than the total student population. Mercyhurst’s overall graduation rate is at 65 percent, the PSAC at 57 percent, and all of Division II at 49 percent.