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The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2003-04 through 2006-07, was 79 percent. That tied the school record set last year and continued UK’s trend of having broken or tied the mark for earning diplomas every year since the NCAA began charting graduation.

The GSR includes all scholarship athletes. Athletes who transfer in good standing do not count against the school’s GSR. Schools also are allowed to count incoming transfers who subsequently graduate.

Here are the annual scores for UK student-athletes breaking or tying the school record each year of the nine-year history of the GSR.

Year     NCAA GSR
2013     79 percent
2012     79
2011     77
2010     74
2009     73
2008     73
2007     71
2006     71
2005     68

The Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) for student-athletes, also a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2003-04 through 2006-07, is a school-record 59 percent. Data for this statistic is available since 1991. In the FGR, student-athletes who transfer count as non-graduates, regardless of their academic standing or subsequent graduation from another institution. Incoming transfer students, from junior college or four-year schools, who graduate at UK are not counted as graduates. These factors account for the difference between the FGR and NCAA GSR.

The improvements reflect the emphasis on academic success by Mitch Barnhart, who became director of athletics in 2002.

“Our student-athletes continue to raise their level of academic achievement,” Barnhart said. “Most young people will not have the opportunity to play professionally and graduation is a cornerstone of their future success.”

The long-term outlook remains bright for UK’s student-athlete graduation numbers. One of Barnhart’s goals for UK Athletics is a composite 3.0 grade-point average for all student-athletes. The Wildcats have hit that goal in the last two semesters, fall of 2012 and spring 2013.

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