Black Athletes Show Major Progress in Improving Their College Graduation Rates

Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, released a study earlier this month which found that African-American student athletes in all sports have dramatically increased their college graduation rates over the past 14 years. During the period, the graduation rate for black student athletes increased from 35 percent to 52 percent. The graduation rate for white student athletes increased from 59 percent to 66 percent during the period.

The current graduation rate for black student athletes is nine percentage points higher than the graduation rate for African-American college students generally. One of the major reasons for the disparity in graduation rates between black athletes and black students in general is that student athletes receive athletic scholarships which ease the financial burden of attending college. Many black students who are not athletes do not receive adequate financial aid, especially after their first year in college. As a result, many of these non-athlete students drop out of college.