Student Right to Know of Athletic Graduation Rates

As one academic year comes to an end this month, that means another begins — in just 2 weeks. While there is ALOT on everyone’s plate for this upcoming academic year, many things remain the same — such as federal reporting. And the Student Right to Know of Athletic Graduation Rates is one of them. This federally required report must be posted on college and university websites by July 1. 

Many people think … “we’ve been posting graduation rates on our website for years.”  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 (more details in this article). And yes — this is a federal requirement.

Athletes starting footrace on track should be counted in athletic graduation rates.

Athletic Graduation Rates?

Now, 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 — 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!”.

I’m not talking about regular institutional graduation rates. I’m talking about your athletic graduation rate data. And not just any athletic graduation rate data — data that complies with Federal Regulation 668.45.

You might be wondering when they sneaked this new requirement in. 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?!?) As you can see from the previous link, institutions are required to make publicly available a report that specifically shows its athletes’ graduation rates.


What is the Student Right to Know of Athletic Graduation Rates Annual Report?

Federal regulations require that the Student Right-to-Know Athletic Graduation Rates Report be provided to prospective students. To ensure wide access, many institutions put the Report on their website to streamline the process and ensure it’s easily accessible to the public. Often, the STRK Report is placed on the athletic department website and looks similar to this sample report.Student Right to Know of Athletic Graduation Rates Sample Report.


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

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 1No exceptions.


Is My Institution in Compliance with the Federal Regulation? 

Here’s a quick review that you can do yourself. In order to be in compliance, your institution must be both (1) making the SRTK Athletic Graduation Rate Report available to students and (2) providing the website URL where the Report is posted to IPEDS. Here’s how you can check for yourself:

  1. Go to the NCES College Navigator
  2. Enter the name of your institution into the search box.
  3. Select your institution from the options provided.
  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.
  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 maynot be in compliance with the federal regulation.
  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 and that your Report contains the necessary data (as shown in the sample report). If the 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.


How to Comply

Now, if your institution is a bit behind the curve here, no need to panic. 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.  What does not vary is that these reports are due and are required to be publicly posted each year by July 1. The easiest way to comply with the posting requirement is to share the information via a link or text on your website. In fact, IPEDS asks you to provide the URL for your athletic graduation rate data:

IPEDS question asking for the URL for the institution's Athletic Graduation Rate Data.

Maybe you’re feeling unsure where to start with this. 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.

Want to Get Ahead on Other Federal Reporting?

As a higher education administrator, your plate is always full. And those are the good days. As a senior leader, you know your institution’s IPEDS reports and data submissions are important. Very important. But you don’t have time to be an IPEDS expert. And the IEHE doesn’t think you should have to. So, we’ve developed the IPEDS Definitive Guide for Senior Leaders.


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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.