Northwestern’s five-year average graduation rate for athletes is the highest in Louisiana for schools in the same athletic division as NSU and the third best for all public universities in the state behind only LSU and Louisiana Tech.
For student-athletes enrolling at Northwestern in 2008, the rate of graduation by the spring semester of 2013 was 71 percent for participants in all 14 intercollegiate sports. The graduation rate for NSU’s athletic program has exceeded 70 percent for several years.
In the Southland Conference, which includes 14 schools from four states, Northwestern’s graduation rate ranked second among universities with football programs and fourth among all schools just one percentage point behind third place Oral Roberts.
The graduation rates of some of Northwestern’s individual sports programs were especially impressive. The 85 percent rate for men’s basketball was the highest in the conference and also second among all Division I programs in the state behind Tulane.
Women’s soccer had a graduation success rate of 91 percent, which was the highest in Louisiana and second best in the league. The 92 percent graduation rate for softball was tied for second in Louisiana and ranked third in the Southland Conference. That was also the highest mark for any team at Northwestern.
Northwestern’s baseball team had an 89 percent graduation rate that was the highest among public universities in Louisiana and the second best in the Southland Conference. Women’s basketball had an 80 percent rate, which was third highest in the conference.
Greg Burke, Northwestern’s athletic director, called academic achievement the “primary cornerstone” for the university’s sports programs. The school’s record of success in graduating student-athletes reflects that emphasis on academics.
The NCAA established the Graduation Success Rate to help assure that universities assign a high priority to assisting student-athletes in obtaining college degrees. Northwestern’s consistently high graduation rate underscores the university’s success in keeping athletes on track academically.