OXFORD, Miss. – The NCAA recently announced its latest Graduation Success Rate figures, and for the third straight year, Ole Miss athletics’ numbers are on the rise.
The NCAA created the GSR three years ago to better calculate graduation numbers among student-athletes, with the major difference being the inclusion of transfers with all other scholarship athletes in the equation. The 2007 ratings, which are based on the past six years of data, show 74 percent of Ole Miss student-athletes earning their degrees.
That number is even higher among four-year Rebels. By the Exhausted Eligibility Rate, if an Ole Miss student-athlete exhausts all four years of their eligibility in Oxford, they have an 89 percent chance of receiving their degree.
“That’s the commitment the University is making to student-athletes,” said Karen Schiferl, Ole Miss associate athletics director for academic support. “They are students first, and our number one goal is to help them achieve an education, graduate and be productive citizens and represent Ole Miss well, not just on the court or field but by living a successful life.”
The Federal Graduation Rate, which does not include transfers in and out, shows Ole Miss student-athletes graduating at a higher rate than the University’s student population as a whole, at 60 percent as opposed to 56. The Rebel football team is graduating players at an even greater rate than that at 67 percent.
The latest numbers also display an increase in Ole Miss’ rates among minorities. While 43 percent of all the University’s African-American students graduate, that figure jumps to 55 among African-American student-athletes.
“I think the minority numbers are important,” said Schiferl. “In the state of Mississippi, there have been historically low minority graduation rates. The fact that minority student-athletes are graduating at a significantly higher rate, shows that the athletics support services are helping them to be successful.”