Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Black Student Athletes Outperform Black Students Overall

November 7th, 2007 by Ajuan Mance

It seems that hard work on the playing field does translate into hard work in the classroom.

The current issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that among all but one demographic (white males), athletes at Division I institutions are graduating at higher rates than their non-athlete peers, most often by double-digit proportions. Consider the statistics for Black student athletes:

Male African-American athletes graduated at a rate of 49 percent, 10 percentage points higher than the rate for male African-American students over all. For female African-American athletes, the rate was 63 percent, 13 percentage points higher than the rate for their counterparts in the student body at large.

These statistics were compiled based on the number of students who “who began college as freshmen in the 2000-1 academic year,” and who “were completing their degrees within six years of enrolling.”

These numbers are a refreshing antidote to the reports of student-athlete  misconduct and academic failure that dominate coverage of this much-storied demographic.

For African Americans, these numbers should hold particular interest. For my part, I would encourage all who are interested in Black educational achievement to consider these statistics alongside other related findings that show increased academic engagement and higher completion rates among high school students who are involved in music and art programs. Considered in light of The Chronicle‘s findings on student-athlete success, the path for advocates of Black educational progress seems clear. Students who have a passion for a non-academic area — art, music, drama, sports — will often transfer the focus, work habits, time management skills, and confidence essential for success and pleasure in the extracurricular field to their academic subjects.

…just a little good news about U.S. Blacks in higher education…

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Posted in Achivement Gap, African American Students, Black Students, graduation rates, My Favorite Blogs, race, Student Athletes

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