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Education and Retention

Module by: Craig Aimar. E-mail the author

The External and Internal Challenges of Collegiate Student-Athletes and the Impact on Persistence to Graduation

Craig T. Aimar Ed.S.

EDLD 712 Literature Review



As a first generation college student myself, whose main goal in high school was to be athletically eligible each week to participate in weekly competitions, I can empathize with student-athletes in college who may struggle to make a positive mark academically and conversely contribute to the negative retention and graduation rates at our national collegiate institutions. High school to college was an extreme transition for me, and I fell behind at first, but thankfully I had the resources and motivation to catch up and excel in my education. Many times, student-athletes get lost in the shuffle, are not cognizant of the impact of a poor grade point average in any semester and how that affects their eligibility, and set unrealistic athletic aspirations, instead of setting academic goals. Student-athletes make up a solid portion of institutional enrollments, and these are the reasons I have chosen to focus my research on student-athlete retention and graduation.

I am lucky to have had a great support system in college and hope that my future contributions allow further research and programs to be added to the pursuit of student-athlete success and graduation. Student-athletes by no means have an easy road to success in college, but fortunately they are usually provided with a great deal of resources and support that can allow them to perform at a high level academically. My hope is that each institution who wishes to increase retention and graduation rates, look introspectively at their own policies, programs and procedures that can enhance the academic development of these gifted student-athletes. The following paper will introduce readers to the history, problems, research and potential solutions for student-athlete success.


Retention and graduation rates within colleges and universities nationwide have been at the forefront of Presidents, Provosts and Chancellors agendas for the last five years. This growing trend to positively increase the number of successful graduates from universities and colleges has led to many initiatives and analyses being created and examined to assist in the success of college students. My retention and graduation research has focused upon student-athletes and the impact that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), winning programs, increased study halls, athlete requirements and the team atmosphere has had on the overall success for their educational development.

Student-athletes are an integral part of the university success and much of the literature has focused upon the special admissions granted to these student-athletes. However, I have focused my dissertation research on the student-athlete population at Saginaw Valley State University, where the student-athlete academic profile mirrors the general student population. There is a great deal of attention that student-athletes have received and I will review some of the attributes of a successful student-athlete retention plan.

The NCAA has published the graduation reports by team and sport for each university and they are alarming rates. The reports show 78% of all Division I athletes graduate from college within six years, a great overall statistic, however two of the most notable and recognizable programs in football and men’s basketball, have the lowest graduation rates of any sport at 67% and 62%, well below the other athletic programs. Both football and basketball are generally the revenue producing “brand names” of each institution, and also obtain some of the larger alumni donations and additional merchandise revenue. If you were to look even further at the NCAA data, African Americans, who are the majority of the members of these two programs, have a lower graduation rate at 58% compared to 80% graduation rates of their White teammates.

Student-athletes are usually monitored much closer than normal degree seeking students, due to the eligibility requirements to participate in athletics and NCAA oversight. They have to maintain passing grades, attend weekly study halls and classes, participate in extracurricular activities and attend all practices and competitions. This is not an easy schedule to follow, yet at the same time it does have its’ benefits. Mandatory weekly study halls with tutors is a great resource tool for a systematic approach to delivering additional support services to student-athletes, which the general student body does not always have free access to. There is also a structure to the athletic environment, which the student-athlete must follow to do well. This schedule minimizes down-time/distractions and effectively educates the student-athlete on organization and time management. These are also resources which general students do not necessarily receive. Add to this the daily competitive environment that student-athletes endure, and one can argue that they develop the intrinsic motivation, that the general student body does not, effectively increasing their chances for academic success.

The perception and intermediate educational preparation that student-athletes have towards college may as well play a significant role in their academic success. In high school, student-athletes usually excelled and were the best in the sport regionally. In addition some of these students received a non-college prep schedule of classes to boost their GPA and allow them to be eligible each week to participate in their competitions. When they arrive at college they are introduced to hundreds of other teammates that are just as athletically gifted as them, if not more, and receive class schedules that all students enroll in without the watered-down blow-off class(es).

In Fall 2011, Saginaw Valley State University used a retention software program called MAP-Works (Making Achievement Possible) to gauge the level of college readiness and perceptions of all freshmen students and student-athletes. Each of these students completed a survey during week # 3 of the first semester and week #8 to see if they were still transitioning from high school to college in a positive manner. We were able to dissect the data and when reviewing the student-athletes one can see how realities set in due to their survey responses. During week # 3, student athletes were asked how many believed they would have a 3.0 – 4.0 GPA at the end of this academic year. Exactly 89% of all student-athletes expected to receive a 3.0 – 4.0GPA at the end of their freshmen year. When we surveyed the freshmen student-athletes again at week # 8 there was a stark difference in the answers. Only 69% of student-athletes in week #8 felt confident that they would receive a 3.0 – 4.0 GPA, a drop of 20% in just 5 weeks. This shows that the complexities of being a student-athlete and managing time. Also, they were more than likely receiving grades from their first assignments and/or exams that gave a good indicator into how they were actually performing academically and this is when realities set in.

So who has the easy fix to student-athlete retention? Unfortunately there is no silver bullet and no easy fix. With student retention there are a host of variables to consider when trying to address the situation, and each institution has their own academic profiles and degree requirements of students. An idea/program can work at one institution, however may not be applicable at the next institution because of various factors including limited resources, different academic profiles and institutional agendas that may not match with a student success centered education. This paper will focus upon the literature and studies conducted into student-athlete persistence to graduation to draw correlations amongst similar groups, as well as to introduce new factors that are being reviewed.

Literature Review

The NCAA has also stepped in with their presence to monitor the graduation rates of student-athletes in relation to each university. According to Hamilton (2005) the NCAA will hand out contemporaneous penalties, i.e., they’ll start losing athletic scholarships, for those institutions that fall below the 925 Academic Progress Rate and/or 50% graduation rate. The NCAA awards points for the Academic Progress Rate by awarding students one point for remaining eligible, and another point for remaining at the institution. Student-athletes are held to higher standards then general degree seeking students with both retention and team participation rates counting as compared to merely the retention rates as general students are measured by. This emphasis by the NCAA shows the importance of analyses and programs to affect student-athlete retention in a positive direction. Some findings from the NCAA that Hamilton (2005) chooses to focus upon include the following:

-Football, baseball and men’s basketball are the only athletic teams in which the APR is below the mandated 925 score.

-31% of all varsity intercollegiate football teams did not make the minimum 925 score as compared to 23% of the baseball and 20% of the basketball teams.

Hamilton (2005) also reviewed which programs were thriving and succeeding under this new retention mandate and some of the schools listed were shocking. The University of Southern California has an overall graduation rate of 81%, however their athletic teams did not fare as well. As a reminder, the USC athletic program has been undergoing significant NCAA review for compliance and extra benefits for students. In fact in the past five years at least one athletic team at USC has received probation or significant penalties due to committing major NCAA violations. The USC football team scored 15 points below the minimum APR, the baseball team finished 47 points below the minimum APR, and lastly the basketball team missed the mark by a whopping 164 total points. One of the most important factors that Hamilton pointed to, correlates directly to my research for my thesis. Hamilton notes that at the end of the basketball season, the top four ranked basketball teams based on winning percentages were in excellent shape with their APR averages (North Carolina had a perfect score, Illinois and Wake Forest both had a 979 and Duke rounded out the top four with a score of 960). These are perfect examples of a winning athletic program and the effect on positive student retention and graduation.

So what are the factors that affect student success in a negative way, that decrease graduation rates? Jensen (2011) introduces readers into the most common factors that lead to academic non-performance from a cultural and social integration point-of-view. Jensen (2011) notes there are three levels of factors that influence retention:

Individual Level

Academic Performance: College GPA and academic performance, high school GPA, course load and credits earned and self-discipline.

Attitudes and Satisfaction: Positive attitudes about academics, commitment to college, sense of belonging and social connectedness.

Institutional Level

Academic Engagement: Undergraduate research activities, university size, opportunities to join clubs.

Social and External Level

Social and Family Support: Faculty and staff support, family support, familiar and authentic cultural environment, sense of belonging and community, mattering and sense of importance.

These are the specific factors that Jensen (2011) introduced as his research, however studies show there are many other factors to consider in terms of retention. At regional universities with similar student enrollment profiles and campus cultures such as Saginaw Valley State University, Northern Michigan University and Oakland University factors for retention include the following as identified uniquely by each of the institutions own retention committees and research:

*Student Life*Parking*Residential Life*Availability of classes


One major player in the college retention field that has just recently been introduced to national colleges and universities is the new Federal Financial Aid SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) Policy. This new policy effectively changes the way students become eligible to receive federal financial aid form one year to the next. Students need to complete 67% of their attempted credits after one semester with a minimum 2.0 GPA to receive financial aid for the next semester. If they fail to meet these minimum standards, they will be placed on financial aid warning for the next semester, and will lose federal financial aid after year number one if they fail to meet these standards. This policy was changed to allow students only one semester to meet minimum qualifications, whereas in previous years students had one full year to meet the financial aid standards before being put onto probation for their second year and losing it altogether in year number three (O’Bryan 2011). This change has huge ramifications on schools like Saginaw Valley State University where 87% of our undergraduate students used and rely on financial aid to pay for tuition. If a student is not prepared and/or performs poorly in their first semester in college, the likelihood of them returning for their second year at the same institution is very dismal.

While most research historically have focused on the relationship between academic performance and athletics, recent reports have also taken into consideration the effect of social and behavioral aspects of collegiate performance in student-athletes. Miller (2002) looks into the interwoven relationship between participation in collegiate activities and student-athlete academic performance. According to research from John Gardner and the Gardner Institute, students have a higher graduation rate if they become engaged in the campus culture and community. While engagement can be considered as participating in athletics for student-athletes, Miller (2005) attempts to show that student-athletes that get involved in other aspects of college have higher graduation rates and also higher educational aspirations. This is another example of how student-athletes have more on their “plate” to deal with than non student athletes. Many times they are held to a higher standard as shown by the NCAA APR averages.

The much acclaimed college retention specialist, Vincent Tinto, refers to campus immersion and engagement in his research on persistence to graduation. Tinto (1975) notes that persistence occurs when a student successfully integrates into the institution both academically and socially. Integration, in turn, is influenced by pre-college characteristics and goals, interactions with peers and faculty, and out of classroom factors. Researchers agree with Tinto on the campus engagement and integration, however there are immediate concerns for student-athletes becoming over engaged based on the time commitment and requirements to participate in athletics. Very few would argue that student-athletes are not engaged in their campus, as athletics is an avenue to commitment and familial bonds within the institution, but the student-athlete must be active in their limited open time with other aspects of university life and engagement according to Miller (2005).

The Sport Journal published an article to draw correlations between winning athletic programs and student success in terms of attracting a better quality, more prepared college student. Lovaglia (2005) shares evidence that winning athletic programs increase the number and quality of student applicants to universities. He suggests that there could be a possible relationship amongst the university athletic success and its academic quality because a better applicant pool can lead to an enhanced selection process and enrollment of students that contribute to a higher graduation rate. This could be very well true and applicable to bigger institutions, and those that specifically deny more students than they admit.

For purposes of Division II institutions i.e. Saginaw Valley State University, Ferris State University etc. Lovaglia’s theory does not necessarily apply to these institutions. Saginaw Valley State University typically admits 80% of its applicants and Ferris State accepting nearly 90% of its applicants. A winning athletic program will not necessarily attract a large enough pool to make up the difference of students that may not be at the top of their graduating high school class. Many Division II institutions are those of opportunity not choice, meaning that if you meet the minimum acceptance scores, you will be given the opportunity to enroll and succeed at these institutions.

Student-athletes give us a great cohort to study in terms of retention and graduation rates. They are the student group that faces many challenges both inside and outside of the classroom, yet are still under pressure to win athletically and academically. One could argue that if they can achieve in the classroom, then any general student can do the same. Many researchers have attempted to review the success of student-athletes in an attempt to draw a correlation to additional resources, or to show that additional pressure and time commitments hinder the success of this student group. One such research by Foltz (1992) showed that GPA’s were higher for athletes in season rather than out of season. Details were lacking in what Foltz attributed this to, but one can surmise that student-athletes in season had to become more organized and scheduled, and for the most part, professors that use progress reports, had to submit grades for each student-athlete on a weekly basis, which did not allow student-athletes to fall behind without immediate intervention. If you compare this group and how they succeeded against the overall general student population, you would be surprised with the results according to Flotz (1992). Despite the added pressure of athletics and programs to win, overall retention rates and GPA’s of selected in-season student-athlete participants were notably higher than non-student athletes.

One factor that is addressed multiple times in literature and college success is the link between faculty and students. Faculty involvement is vital to student success, however in recent years faculty have drifted away from mentoring and advising freshmen to working more closely with their disciplines and field colleagues (Upcraft 1989). One avenue in which faculty and student can interact and develop a working network is through freshmen seminar courses which are becoming very popular on college campuses. At Saginaw Valley State University, we lack the offering of a first year seminar course, however we understand the importance of connecting faculty with students. In one recent survey we administered through MAP-Works, (Making Achievement Possible), we asked all freshmen students how many are struggling in at least one course after 8 weeks of the Fall Semester. The number of students admitting to struggling in at least one course was 56%. We asked a follow-up question to those students that are struggling and asked how many have spoken to their faculty from that course they are struggling in, and 73% said they have not talked to the professor in that course. We also divided the question down by solely the student-athletes and their responses, and they mirrored the overall student response at 57% and 72% respectively. This data supports Upcraft (1989) in student to faculty interaction for an increased persistence to graduation rate.

After addressing each concern of student-athlete retention visited upon in the literature above, one has to ask, what are schools doing to ensure positive retention of their student-athletes? In Kissinger (2009), East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, has partnered each student-athlete with a declared major to an assigned faculty advisor. This builds the relationship amongst the student and faculty, while simultaneously addressing an expectation level and commitment to education. This faculty “advisor”, is also responsible for providing the student-athlete with academic support (tutoring) services, advising and personalized attention. Reviewing the results from East Stroudsburg in the past ten years, Kissinger (2005) provides the data for an increased retention rate for student-athletes due to the support programs and faculty advising put into place during that time. Another model to increase retention rates in which Kissinger explains is from Cecil College where the following goals where establish to enhance student-athlete retention rates:

*A campus commitment to developing and improving study skills necessary for college-level academic success for student-athletes. From top to bottom and across the entire campus

*Bringing self-discovery and self realization to student-athletes which often is lacking in the overall education process.

*Providing guest speakers to discuss specialized topics at key times throughout the academic year.

One of the easiest fixes an institution can make is to raise its’ admission standards of student-athletes. This does not necessarily fix the national retention at hand and furthermore just adds to the restriction of education to those advantaged individuals. Sack (2011) argues that graduation rates will raise if the university’s academic selectivity increases in freshmen enrollments, which essentially solves the retention problem. One area Sack noted was student-athlete graduation rates relative to those of other students decreased as the overall success of their team increased. This was the first and only research that I could find that presented this correlation as a means to correct retention issues. I would harbor a guess that the research was completed in this study at small research institution that lacked a general liberal arts education, that had very little value/emphasis placed onto intercollegiate athletics.

A detail that institutions have control over to impact retention of student-athletes is the amount of work dedicated to the athletic team form the student-athlete. The NCAA also regulates how much a student may invest into their sport each week by limiting how many hours coaches can demand from the student-athlete to only 20 hours per week (Wieberg 2008). The NCAA surveyed more than 1,600 student-athletes and found an alarming perception in terms of student-athlete priorities. Two out of every three student-athletes surveyed admitted that they consider themselves more as athletes than students. Some other notes from their surveys include the following (Wieberg 2008):

— Football players in the NCAA's Division I Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) said they spent an average of 44.8 hours a week on their sport — playing games, practicing, training and in the training room — compared with a little less than 40 hours on academics.

— Division I baseball players said they spent 40 hours on their sport, 32 on academics. In men's basketball, it was 36.8 hours on their sport vs. 33.9 hours on academics.

— Women's basketball was little less time-intensive, players saying they spent a little more than 36 hours on their game vs. a little more than 37 on class work.

— Other sports exceeding or approaching a 37 1/2-hour work week were men's golf (40.8) and hockey (37.6) and women's softball (37.1).

As it turns out, no matter what level of student support that institutions provide for student success, the above survey shows that if the student-athletes will not make academics a priority over athletics, than the retention and graduation rates of student athletes will suffer. This analyses is representative of the Division I institutions where student-athletes do stand a chance of playing their selected sport professionally after their collegiate career. Even though the chances are higher for students at this level to continue playing their sport, the average athletic career does not have a long lifespan, so student-athletes should not be devoting more time to athletics than academics since they will need a career to have whenever their playing days are completed. So blame may be placed on negative graduation and retention rates at Division I institutions, on the actual college, administration and athletic program for allowing such perceptions to become realities.

At the Division II and Division III levels, there is a very small chance that student-athletes will continue to play their respective sport professionally, however student-athletes at these levels still devote the same amount of preparation and dedication because of where their values lie. The only saving grace, is that it is not at the same amount percentage-wise as those in Division II institutions. This is clearly a large problem which should be addressed by institutions at all NCAA levels.

There are institutions that are examining how their own student-athletes perceive the assistance given to them to succeed to analyze the gaps and make progress towards positive retention and graduation rates. Kamusoko (2011) summarizes one college study on the well-being and perception of support for student-athletes by analyzing the respondents expressed thoughts on the university:

Student-athletes are satisfied with the athletic department and services, but were less impressed with their exposure to life-skill programs, and social/behavioral programs outside of athletics.

Student-athletes gave satisfactory remarks to faculty interaction and quality of instruction, however asked that more be done in terms of building positive student-athlete to student (peer to peer) connections.

In terms of institutional facilities and the physical plant of the campus, student-athletes were happy with the availability and space for counseling, student life, health service, computer labs, library services, academic advising, tutoring and weight training. They were less satisfied especially female student-athletes with athletic practice and competition facilities.

According to Kamusoko (2011) the above findings show the student-athletes ”Dual mission” on campus to contribute both athletically and academically, while still requiring the campus resources to be invested in both areas as shown above. Kamusoko (2011) notes, that in addition to the literature being reviewed and previously presented, there are additional (external) factors that affect student-athlete retention and graduation rates. A factor that depending on level of scholarship available to each student-athlete is in regards to financial aid and ability to pay for classes. Especially in the state of Michigan, where college tuition has increased by 124% over 15 years, and the unemployment level rising, the ability for many students in Michigan to afford college is becoming a pressing issue. With the new SAP Policy in place, many student-athletes could lose additional financial aid funding if they do not meet the minimum passing rates and grade point averages. This is a major external factor in terms of student and student-athlete retention.

Another interesting focus on retention studies has been within the residential areas of student success. Snyder (2011) shares his research from student-athletes at Utah State University, where he examined the relationship between residential factors and student-athlete retention rates. Snyder (2011) notes that students that live off campus usually have a smaller number of actual roommates, which in turn limits the amount of distractions available. Additionally students who live off campus tend to have more of a choice in choosing their roommate, which allows these students to have more of a voice in selecting those roommates who best match their academic commitment level and living style. At Utah State, in Snyder’s study, the athletic programs require certain grade point averages in order to be allowed to stay off campus, so as a result they had students with higher established grade point averages with better study habits already living off campus, which contributed to the higher grade point averages compared to those on-campus student-athletes who had not established a high enough grade point average to even consider moving off campus.

Comparing gender, Snyder (2011) noted that female student-athletes regularly out-performed the male student-athletes in terms of grade point averages. The female students in this study consistently performed better, regardless if they were living on or off campus. Snyder attributed this to literature he reviewed, which shared that female student-athletes are more likely to enroll at colleges from the top 25% of their high school class and also that female student-athletes tend to focus more on academics and graduation rather than athletics, as all compared to their male counterparts.

Ruiz-McGill (2011) reports on the University of Arizona and their efforts to improve student-athlete retention with an emphasis on one specific change that the University of Arizona made in the student-athlete academic structure in 2007. At that time C.A.T.S. (Commitment to an Athlete’s Total Success) was moved to the Student Affairs division from the previous division of Arizona Athletics. This new reporting structure was created to improve the support, programs and services which student-athletes receive by allowing the accountability for these initiatives to fall squarely on the Student Affairs division, which is where all other general student success initiatives are hosted. CATS Academics now collaborates with other units in the newly established Student Learning Services area within Student Affairs. This revision recently garnered national recognition with a national certificate that promoted the change in the structure, which in turn led to all University of Arizona athletic teams meeting or exceeding institutional, NCAA and other national standards.

Mike Meade, Director of the University of Arizona CATS Academics program, said that this structural change resulted in a greater involvement of coaches in the academic success of their student athletes. The coaches are actually evaluated on the academic progress of their student-athletes, based on the team APR, the overall grade point averages in each semester and the cumulative grade point averages of the team. Each coach actually has a bonus in their contracts for student-athletes meeting or exceeding expectations. This model shows that once accountability is added and shared amongst key stakeholders on campus, changes can be implemented and those responsible for student-athlete achievement are finally held responsible for this, shifting the focus from 100% athletics to a more even focus at 50% / 50% on academics and athletics.

The University of Arizona has since added additional support services to their new CATS Program with the inclusion of the following items towards student-athlete success:

  • Providing an overview of academic services with prospective student-athletes visiting campus early in the recruitment process.
  • An early academic assessment used by staff that develops an individualized academic plan used during the student-athlete's first year.
  • A high school to college summer bridge program for incoming students.
  • The monthly recognition of student-athletes' effort and performance in the classroom to emphasize success in academics.

Finally a study that shows the importance of the transition from high school to college, along with an early emphasis an institutional commitment towards student success with the addition of bridge programs, and instilling the breadth of academics in their early recruits. This model that the University of Arizona has developed has shown the linkage from John Gardner’s study of campus engagement and organizes the support structure in the correct areas for student-athlete development. They understand that the athletic department does not have the necessary backbone to provide the tools required for student-athletes to achieve academically.

Too often, especially in the other literature reviewed, the answers that researchers and administrators present, is to just raise the admissions standards and recruit better student-athletes. They feel this way because of the time commitment, NCAA regulations, and athletic contributions that student-athletes must achieve in order to succeed, but fail to recognize the basic underlying premise, that these are students just like anyone else, and they do require a certain level of additional focus and support in order to achieve, much like general students, no matter what their background is. All students, no matter what their ethnicity, background, interests and abilities are should be afforded the opportunity and support/resources to receive a college education. This is the notion in which America was founded upon.


Student-athlete retention is an area in academia that is not lacking for discussion and research. There seems to be somewhat of a disconnect, with the review of higher education and student-athletes in regards to the level of accountability that institutions should hold student-athletes to. Whereas most research says to increase retention rates, institutions should increase campus engagement and interaction. However some of the literature feels as if the student-athletes are engaged enough already and have higher demands than general students. The small athletic family that each student-athlete belongs to is enough to become engaged and integrated into the community some authors feel, as opposed to others, where the level of additional academic and campus engagement for student-athletes should be increased to improve retention rates.

Many of the authors address problems that student-athletes endure as they strive for success in college; however most of these authors focus too much on K-12 preparation and college readiness as noted by the emphasis on high school grade point averages. As much as they want to point out grade inflation in high school, and student-athletes receiving special admissions to colleges, there is not much an institution can do to address the perceived notion that our K-12 school systems are not adequately preparing students for college. This is an entire separate thesis in its own regards. Once a student is enrolled in college, that institution must take what they have and focus on improving the social, behavioral and academic skills of each student, let alone student-athletes, and put models and programs into place to work with each student on success initiatives no matter what background and development each has.

So who is right? Well that is not easy to answer and proves that retention should be viewed as a social science in itself. There are no easy fixes, and with many universities and colleges being autonomous of each other, what works at one school may not work at another. The research is plentiful, however each institution must decide where they fit respectively into the many retention equations by a variety of trial and error initiatives and right-sizing the programs and efforts into their own campuses. One area that everyone seems to agree on is that retention is a big factor in building and balancing institutional budgets. Increasing students from one year to the next is how to offset governmental cuts and inflation while building and saving for the future. Adding to that, some university athletic programs are actually revenue generators and provide a surplus to university budgets. This is especially true with Division I institutions in football and basketball.

Additional studies in enrollment and recruitment show a winning athletic program can increase visibility and marketing to high school students, at a relatively low relational cost, which can lead to increased qualified freshmen applications and enrollments. As state and federal funding continue to dwindle for state institutions, college and universities must look for better ways to educate and recruit future students. Improving retention and graduation rates along with athletic success, can only add to the success and impression of colleges and universities. Any way you slice it, retention is too important to not focus on as an area to improve and continue to research at every institution from the Ivy Leagues and Big Ten schools, to the regional universities and community colleges.


Foltz, R.A. (1992). Academic achievement of student-athletes. Unpublished master's thesis, Fort Hays State University, KS

Hamilton, Kendra. (2005). “Putting the ‘student’ back into the student athlete: in an effort to improve retention and graduation rates, the NCAA rolls out new rules and regulations.” Black Issues in Higher Education. April 2005. Volume 22

Hobneck, C., Mudge, L., & Turchi, M. (2003). Improving student athlete academic success and retention. Saint Xavier University, Chicago, IL.

Jensen, Umi. (2011). Factors Involving Student Retention in Higher Education. Kamehameha Schools Research and Evaluation. Honolulu, HI.

Kamusoko, Sibongile & Pemberton, Cynthia. (2011) Student Athlete Well Being and Higher Education Persistence. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Volume 4

Kissinger, Daniel B. & Miller, Michael T. (2009). College Student Athletes: Challenges, Opportunities and Policy Implications. Information Age Publishing.

Lovaglia, Michael & Lucas, Jeffrey. (2005). “High Visibility Athletic Programs and the Prestige of Public Universities.” The Sport Journal. Volume 8 Number 1.

Miller, P., & Kerr, G. (2002). “The Athletic, Academic and Social Experiences of Intercollegiate Student-Athletes.” Journal of Sport Behavior. Volume 25.

  • NCAA. (2008b). 2008-09 NCAA Division I Manual: Constitutional Operating Bylaws, Administrative Bylaws, Effective August 1, 2008. Indianapolis, IN: NCAA.

O’Bryan, Kimberley. (2011). A new look for financial aid – Changes in financial aid to affect all college students. Arbiter Online Boise State Student Media. November 3rd, 2011.

Ruiz-McGill, Rebecca. (2011). Academic Structural Changes Improve Student-Athlete Retention. University of Arizona News. June 8th, 2011.

Sack, Allen L. & Park, Eun-A. (2011) Watch the Gap: Explaining the Retention Gaps between FBS Football Players and the General Student Body. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Volume 4.

Snyder, Eric M. & Kras, John M. (2011). The Relationship of Residence to Academic Performance in NCAA Division I Freshmen Athletes. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Volume 4.

Tinto, Vincent. (1975). Dropout from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of Educational Research, 45(1): 89-125.

Upcraft, M. Lee &Gardner, John N. (1989). The Freshmen Year Experience. Helping Students Survive and Succeed in College. Jossey-Bass Publishers. San Francisco, CA.

Weiberg, Steve. (2008). Study: College Athletes are Full-time Workers. USA Today Sports. January 13, 2008

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