Football vs. Graduation

In a piece in the Washington Post yesterday, the newspaper looked at the graduation rates of colleges with big football programs. According to the article:

The University of Cincinnati Bearcats went undefeated in the regular season, and took the field at the Allstate Sugar Bowl ranked third overall in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

But… only half of all students enrolled at Cincinnati graduate in six years, below the national average of 56 percent. Fewer than one-third–32 percent–of the school’s minority students earn a degree in six years.

Yet at Cincinnati’s peer institutions, the average college completion rate for minority students is 10 percentage points higher: 42 percent.

Now let’s look at Rose Bowl champion Ohio State University. The graduation-rate gap between Ohio State’s white students and its minority students is 20 percentage points.

The analysis is based on College Results Online, an interactive data tool put together by the Education Trust. College Results allows users to compare public information about colleges from across the country.

This is a little gimmicky, at least in part because all schools have graduates, though not all schools have football players, but it’s a fun tool if one is interested in a particular school.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer