Student Athletes:

Most Schools Meet Proposed Academic Performance Reporting Requirements

HRD-89-157BR: Published: Sep 11, 1989. Publicly Released: Sep 11, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided: (1) available information about graduation rates and fields of study of student athletes, as compared to all students, at schools which received federal educational assistance; and (2) surveyed 96 higher education institutions regarding the burden proposed legislation could impose by requiring them to annually report information regarding student athletes' athletic participation, race, gender, field of study, type of academic degree, time taken to graduate, and amount of federal assistance to the Department of Education.

GAO found that: (1) 56 percent of the surveyed schools would be subject to the proposed reporting requirements, since they received federal assistance and provided athletic scholarships; (2) most of the schools already collected the required information, although most did not have automated collection systems; (3) most of the schools could also provide information regarding the amount of federal financial assistance their student athletes received; (4) schools spent an annual average of 39 staff days collecting the required data, projected that they would need an average of 17 staff days to design a data collection and reporting system that would fully meet the proposed reporting requirements, and believed that establishment of such a system would reduce the average data reporting time to 6 staff days; and (5) data from one major intercollegiate association showed that students participating in football and basketball had lower graduation rates than the general student population.

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