Today's Date: May 12, 2021
Resource Innovations Welcomes Nexant to the Team, Creating a Powerful Organization to Drive Energy Innovation and Diversity   •   Analytics Insight Names ‘The 10 Most Impactful Women in Technology’ in May 2021   •   Brookdale to Present and Host Investor Meetings at the RBC Capital Markets Global Healthcare Conference   •   COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Now Available for Adolescents Ages 12 to 15 at Select CVS Pharmacy Locations Nationwide   •   Nemours Name Change Reflects Bold Strategic Direction to Redefine Children's Health   •   Amber Kegley & Erin Rudy Named CRN's 2021 Women of the Channel   •   P&G and GLAAD Announce “The Visibility Project” and Release New Research to Advance LGBTQ Visibility in Advertis   •   Henry Schein Commits to Advance ESG Stewardship   •   The Latin Recording Academy® Announces Leadership Changes in Preparation for Growth Opportunities   •   Government of Canada launches applications for Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative External Reference Group   •   Meta Special Aerospace Supports Veterans with Employee-Led Fundraiser   •   Wienerschnitzel Continues Its Record-Breaking Sales in 2021   •   ICAN! Launches Five-Year Initiative To Address Unmet Contraceptive Need In Illinois   •   $330K Subsidy Will Help Gateway CDC Build Affordable Housing in Yazoo City   •   Plymouth Rock Assurance and Slippery Rock University Alumni Association Align to Launch New Insurance Discount Program   •   Matchbox Toy Car Storage Display Case Shelves Organizer Bins for Toys from Tidy Treasures Teaches Kids to Clean Up After Themsel   •   Atlanta's Imhotep Academy Voted National Winner of the Colgate Bright Smiles Kids Awards   •   Discovery Senior Living and Lone Star Funds Partner on Recapitalizing Flagship Community Portfolio   •   Susan G. Komen® and American Bone Health™ Unite on Campaign to Empower Women Through Healthy Living   •   United States Cannabis Council Becomes Corporate Partner
Bookmark and Share



Youth, Nation Have Stake in “Graduation Championship Series”



Sheepskins Should Trump Pigskins: Youth, Nation Have Stake in "Graduation Championship Series"


WASHINGTON (January 5, 2010) – Each fall, millions of young fans watch as their favorite colleges and universities vie on the gridiron for bragging rights in the national rankings. They dream of the excitement that comes from attending a top-ranked football power. They dream of being winners. But after the bowl games are over and the stadium lights have dimmed, too many of these students find themselves losing out on what matters most—the education and degrees they’ll need to compete beyond the campus and athletic field.
     As the nation celebrates its top-ranked college football teams, it’s worth examining their records as academic institutions. Some colleges and universities playing in this season’s bowl games received well-deserved criticism last month for low graduation rates among their players. Yet this scrutiny overlooked an even more critical issue: the success rates of all students, particularly students of color.
     If colleges and universities competed not in athletics, but instead in college-completion rates, their rankings would look quite different. A “Graduation Championship Series” (GCS) would reward schools that ensure that their students—regardless of race or ethnicity—earn a degree. 
     The University of Cincinnati Bearcats went undefeated in the regular season, and took the field at the Allstate Sugar Bowl ranked third overall in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings. But when it comes to student success rates, this institution is no winner. According to College Results Online, only half of all students enrolled at Cincinnati graduate in six years, below the national average of 56 percent. Among minorities, the numbers are even more disheartening. Fewer than one-third (32 percent) of the school’s minority students earn a degree in six years. However, the average college completion rate for minority students at Cincinnati’s peer institutions is ten percentage points higher: 42 percent.
     Rose Bowl champion Ohio State University is known for spirited fans, but there’s little cause for celebration in the lecture halls surrounding the fabled “Horseshoe.” The graduation-rate gap between Ohio State’s white students and its minority students is 20 percentage points. 
     Although the University of Miami finished the season rated 15th in the BCS standings, the “U” would be among the top finishers in this year’s “GCS.” Miami’s minority students graduate at a slightly higher rate (78 percent) than the university’s white students (75 percent). Other schools that would rank high in the GCS are Oregon, Georgia Tech, and Florida State. All have overall graduation rates above the national average, and their minority students graduate at rates close to or higher than the rates for white students.
     If graduation rates counted on the gridiron, Thursday night’s national championship contest in Pasadena would result in a victory for the Longhorns: The graduation rate for minority students at Texas is 70 percent, 13 points higher than that of its opponent, Alabama—but still eight percentage points lower than the university’s graduation rate among its white students.
     Beyond the prestige of the BCS championship, a more important drama is playing out with much higher stakes for young fans and for the country. Let’s remember, amid the excitement of this year’s run for the national championship, that sheepskins matter far more than pigskins. We should celebrate not just the schools that are preparing the next set of NFL superstars but those that are preparing the next generation of America’s leaders.


For graduation rates from four-year colleges and universities across the U.S., visit




Lauren Stephens, Communications Specialist

202.293.1217 x. 373



Back to top
| Back to home page

White House Live Stream
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Sounds Make the News ®
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News