UALR Touts Athletic Grad Rates

Graduation rates are looking good for student athletes attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock — much better, even, than the school’s overall grad rate.

The most recent numbers released by the National Collegiate Athlete Association showed 77 percent of student athletes who enrolled at UALR during the 2006-07 school year have since successfully graduated.

A report from UALR compared that to the University Central Arkansas in Conway’s 73 percent, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville’s 74 percent, Arkansas State University in Jonesboro’s 70 percent and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s 60 percent.

But even more dramatic is that 77 percent compared with the overall 20 percent six-year graduation rate for UALR.

“That’s an issue that we have great concern about,” said Richard Turner, a senior associate athletic director at UALR. “But for our institution, as with most metropolitan universities that have non-traditional student populations, that’s going to be the case. It appears that we’re underachieving, but we’re really not.”

He said the low number is because the federal numbers only show students who enter UALR as freshmen and graduate within six years.

“At our institution, there’s a huge percentage of students who graduate from our institution, but do not enter as freshmen,” he said. “So if they transfer in and graduate, that’s not reflected in any of the reports.”