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Increase in College-Graduation Rate Linked to Prop 48

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The college-graduation rate of student-athletes increased after the National Collegiate Athletic Association's contentious Proposition 48 went into effect in 1986, a forthcoming study indicates.

The N.C.A.A. report, based on a study of selected Division I institutions, is the first to compare the graduation rates of students who enrolled before and after implementation of the measure's sweeping eligibility reforms.

Overall Rate Up

The overall graduation rate for student-athletes increased from 48.1 percent for those entering college in 1984 or 1985 to 56.5 percent for those enrolling for the 1986-87 academic year, the study found. The increases cut across racial and gender lines.

The study also found an overall increase in the graduation rate of enrollees who were partial qualifiers--those who failed to meet either the rule's minimum-test-score or grade-point requirements but who were provisionally admitted. While the rates for male, female, and black partial qualifiers rose, that of whites among that group decreased.

On the other hand, the report reveals a drop in the graduation rate for full qualifiers in the revenue sports of men's football and basketball after the rule went into effect, although the rates for women athletes increased.

The report is the latest in a series by the N.C.A.A. on the academic performance of student-athletes.

The next report slated for release is a study of the variables predicting the academic success of student-athletes who enrolled in the fall of 1986.

Standards Revised

The N.C.A.A. voted this year to revise the Proposition 48 eligibility standards by requiring incoming student-athletes to take more core courses and achieve a higher grade-point average in those courses.

The standards take effect in the 1995-96 academic year. (See Education Week, Jan. 8, 1992.)--M.P.

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