March Madness & University Graduation Rates

During March Madness, I’ve been rooting for my alma mater – the University of Missouri.

I’ll be thrilled if Missouri wins its first national championship, but that wouldn’t keep me from feeling sorry for the school’s basketball players.

Only 25% of Mizzou’s basketball players ultimately graduate. And that pathetic number is hardly a fluke.

The Higher Ed Watch Blog recently released its Third Annual Academic Sweet Sixteen results, which concluded that the graduation rate for basketball players at many of these schools is bleak.

Here are the Sweet 16 schools with the worst basketball grad rates:

  • Arizona  13%
  • Connecticut 25%
  • Missouri 25%
  • Gonzaga 27%
  • Memphis 36%

Here are the schools with the best basketball grad rates:

  • Purdue  80%
  • Villanova  67%
  • Michigan State 60%
  • University of North Carolina 60%

Whether or not March Madness bores you, graduation rates are extremely important for anybody heading to college. Families which are drawing up lists of schools should examine each college or university’s graduation rates. Pay attention to a school’s four-year rate rather than the more commonly reported six-year grad statistic. (Do you know anybody who wants to pay for college for SIX years????)

You can find college graduation rates by visiting The Education Trust’s College Results Online.

Want to learn more strategies to evaluate colleges? Try reading The College Solution.

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  1. Your numbers differed vastly from what I researched.
    From several different outlets I came up with the same grad rates for men:
    Duke 89%
    Villanova 89%
    North Carolina 86%
    Xavier 82%

    At the bottom end was Arizona at 20%