Student Right to Know of Athletic Graduation Rates Cover

Student Right to Know of Athletic Graduation Rates: 2020 Definitive Guide

While there is ALOT on everyone’s plate for this upcoming academic year, especially under the shadow of COVID-19, many things remain the same — such as federal reporting.  Your institution is federally required to post its Student Right to Know of Athletic Graduation Rates report on your institutional website by July 1. The Student Right to Know of Athletic Graduation Rates: 2020 Definitive Guide breaks down what this federal regulation is and how to get it done.

Many people think … “we’ve been posting graduation rates on our website for years.” But this is more than the college or university wide graduation rates … it is the student right to know data for athletic graduation rates. There’s a BIG difference. And yes — this is a federal requirement.

Image of Runners - Student Athletes

Is This a New Requirement?

Many IPEDS key holders have been doing IPEDS for YEARS (or—ahem—what feels like years). I’ve been doing IPEDS for nearly 15 years and serving as a national IPEDS Educator for over a decade. But somehow, I discover valuable new information every year. This is due in large part to serving as an IPEDS Educator teaching workshops, talking with colleagues, and developing IPEDS training curriculum. In my IPEDS discussions, one thing I often hear is “I had no idea we needed to publish our athletic graduation rate data!” Athletic graduation rates refers to the completion rates of students who receive athletic scholarships. In fact, the federal government is very prescriptive on this requirement. For those of you who enjoy reading federal regulations, you can read it here. Or in a more digestible guide regarding required disclosure produced by NPEC – see page A-25. As you can see, the federal government requires institutions to make public a report that specifically shows its athletes’ graduation rates.

You might be wondering when they snuck in this new requirement. I’m sorry to tell you, but this requirement has actually been around for decades. (Doesn’t everyone else read federal regulations in their spare time?!?) IPEDS collected these athletic data through the 2006-07 Data Collection, as shown below.

Archived changes image from IPEDS - elimination of reporting for athletically-related student aid

So, What Does This Involve?

Institutions must make the Student Right-to-Know Athletic Graduation Rates Report available to prospective students. Specifically, the report must include the following items (some of the data elements are available through IPEDS, as noted):Law-Books-in-the-Library

  • the number of students, by race and gender, who attended the institution in the prior year (available through IPEDS);
  • the number of students who attended in the prior year and who received athletically related aid, categorized by race and gender within each sport (basketball, football, baseball, cross-country and track combined, and all other sports combined);
  • the completion or graduation rate, and if applicable, the transfer-out rate, of the certificate- or degree-seeking first-time, full-time undergraduates, categorized by race and gender for the most recently completing class (available through IPEDS)
  • the completion or graduation rate, and if applicable, the transfer-out rate, of the certificate- or degree-seeking first-time, full-time undergraduates who received athletically related student aid, categorized by race and gender within sport. (These data need not be disclosed for a category in which the number of students is five or fewer.)
  • average completion or graduation rate, and, if applicable, transfer-out rate, of the four most recently completing or graduating classes, by race and gender (available through IPEDS); and
  • average completion or graduation rate, and, if applicable, transfer-out rate, of the four most recently completing or graduating classes for students who received athletically related student aid, categorized by race and gender within each sport.” (NPEC, p. A-25)

And that’s the short version! There are more details and requirements outlined in the federal regulations.

If your institution is part of the NCAA, you may be able to use those data for the SRTK disclosure. More information about NCAA Academic Performance Program Data Collection Guides is available here.

How Should the Report Look?

To ensure compliance, many institutions put the Report on their website — and this makes the report easily accessible to the public. IPEDS annually collects the website link (more details below) and publicly displays the website link of every institution in the institutional profile on College Navigator. Often, the athletic department website houses the STRK Report. While the federal government does not have a required format, many use this sample report. The screenshot below displays the the first page.

First page of Sample SRTK Report

Your SRTK report should contain four tables with the following data provided, as follows:

SRTK Table 1 data outline

SRTK Table #2 data outline

SRTK Table 3 data outline

SRTK Table 4 data outline

Template SRTK tables are shown below:

SRTK All four tables with templates

 

Reporting the Website Address to IPEDS

IPEDS collects the website address (URL) with the SRTK Athletic Graduation Rates Report every year. As part of the registration process, IPEDS keyholders provide required basic information about the institution. This includes IPEDS Keyholder name, email, President’s name and email, and institution website. The URL for the Student Right-to-Know Athletic Graduation Rates Report is part of that basic information (as shown below). If the institution doesn’t have a URL, the IPEDS Keyholder must indicate that.

URL image from IPEDS

But just because an institution doesn’t have a URL for the report doesn’t mean they are exempt from the regulation. If an institution administers Title IV Financial Aid and awards athletic scholarships, this report is required by July 1 every yearNo exceptions.

Note: It’s important to provide context for your numbers. So, be sure to include the necessary wording that describes the report, along with allowable exclusions (noted in the regulation, similar to IPEDS), including small cell sizes and protecting personally identifying information (PII). The federal government (Institute for Education Sciences — the parent organization of IPEDS) put out a technical brief on the protocols for reporting small cell sizes and reporting graduation rates.

Your report should also include a point of contact for questions to be listed and their contact information.

How Do I Find Out If We Are In Compliance?

Here’s a quick review that you can do yourself to determine if your institution is in compliance with the federal regulation. In order to be in compliance, your institution must do two things.

  1. Making the SRTK Athletic Graduation Rate Report available to students and
  2. Provide the website URL where the Report is posted to IPEDS.

Here’s how you can check for yourself:

  1. Go to the NCES College Navigator1- College Navigator school look-up walk-through
  2. Enter the name of your institution into the search box. In this case,we’re looking up Menlo College.2 - College Navigator school look-up walk-through
  3. Select your institution from the options provided. Luckily, Menlo isn’t hard to find.3- College Navigator school look-up walk-through
  4. On the College Navigator page for your institution, you will see information that is submitted to the federal government from various reports, primarily IPEDS.4 - College Navigator school look-up walk-through
  5. The “General Information” section contains links provided by your institution. If you do not see the “Athletic Graduation Rates” heading and link, your institution may not be in compliance with the federal regulation.5 - College Navigator school look-up walk-through
  6. If the “Athletic Graduation Rates” link is listed, follow it to confirm that it takes you to the current SRTK Athletic Graduation Rates Report for your institution. You should also check that your Report contains the necessary data (as shown in the sample report). Menlo’s link on College Navigator directs you to the website shown below. If your institution’s link does not lead to the SRTK Athletic Graduation Rate Report or the necessary data aren’t included, your institution may not be in compliance.6 - College Navigator school look-up walk-through

Uh oh. . . What Do We Do If We’re Not in Compliance?

If your institution has missed the deadline for 2020, it’s important to get into compliance quickly. Here is a sample of what the report should look like. A quick Google will show you that the presentation of the data can vary a little. But most follow a very similar format. The easiest way to comply with the posting requirement is to share the information via a link or text on your website.

Track and field runners racing representing student athletes

If your institution has missed the deadline, you’re probably feeling unsure about where to start. Or maybe you’re feeling like your institution would benefit from a friendly review and critique of your IPEDS submissions. If so, the IEHE offers a specific service to help institutions do the reporting in accordance with federal regulations. Our team’s IPEDS expertise, combined with our core values of improving efficiency and enhancing effectiveness, can help your institution find ways to improve the process and your reporting accuracy. Contact us to learn more.

Visit our Student Right-to-Know Athletic Graduation Rate page to find out more about the annual reporting services we offer:

  • learn how to access your institution’s current public SRTK Athletic Graduation Rate website,
  • obtain a complimentary review of your institution’s current report, and
  • get information on pricing and more.



The Institute for Effectiveness in Higher Education (IEHE) innovates and improves higher education standards through our strategic research, publicly available resources, and partnerships with colleges and universities. We provide extensive expertise on data strategy, IPEDS, institutional research and student success to drive institutional effectiveness.