Fort Hays State University's athletes have demonstrated their academic excellence and commitment by maintaining a graduation rate of 55 percent for the past four years.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association reported that FHSU's athletic graduation rate was the highest from the Division II universities, with Pittsburg State closely behind.
The NCAA's reported four-year average graduation rate for Division II public universities was 47 percent.
When FHSU's graduation rate was compared to graduation rates given by the NCAA for Division I universities, FHSU's athletic success was the second highest out of major universities like the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Wichita State University.
Besides the higher graduation rate from the regent schools, FHSU athletes also had a higher graduation rate than the non-student athletes attending the university.
For the spring 2002 semester, the student athlete graduation rate was about 13 percent higher than that of non-student athletes. Fifty-five percent of FHSU's athletes graduated.
According to the NCAA's report for the 2002-03 academic year, FHSU had 420, or 12 percent, of the student body in athletics out of 3,647 undergraduate, on-campus students.
Besides a higher graduation rate, FHSU's athletes were noted for their academic success.
Of 403 student athletes in academic year 2001-2002, 282 had a semester and/or cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher.
FHSU also recently had nine men and nine women athletes inducted into the Track Coaches Association 2002 Academic All-American team. Athletes had to maintain at least a 3.25 GPA and make the provisional qualifying mark in their event to be considered for the team.