Athletes beat graduation rate record

For the fourth year in a row, USC student-athletes achieved an all-time high graduation rate, according to NCAA data released last Wednesday. USC student-athletes who started school between 2007 and 2010 recorded an 86 percent six-year graduation success rate, 3 percentage points higher than in 2016. It also marks an 18-point increase over the past 10 years for USC.

“We are delighted that our student-athletes continue to perform well in the classroom,” senior associate athletic director Magdi El Shahawy said to USC News.

Out of 18 sports programs tracked by the NCAA, five recorded perfect graduation rates: women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s golf and women’s rowing. Four other sports had rates over 90 percent: Women’s water polo and women’s swimming both had a 96 percent rate, women’s basketball had a 92 percent rate and men’s volleyball had a 91 percent rate.

USC’s football program had an all-time high graduation rate of 73 percent, and 12 USC teams either raised their graduation success rate or stayed at the same rate. Men’s golf and men’s tennis increased the most, both by 20 percentage points. Men’s and women’s track both increased 13 percent, while women’s tennis also recorded double-digit improvement, with a 12 percent rise.

“There is a culture of academic success in our athletic department,” El Shahawy said, according to USC News. “And it is evident when data like this comes out.”