NCAA graduation rates Division I
UC San Diego’s 2021 women’s soccer team. Photo credit: Mike McGinnis, via

Scholarship athletes at UC San Diego graduate at the highest rate among public institutions in Division I and II, according to a new NCAA report.

The campus’ four-year class average, beginning with the cohort entering as freshmen in 2014-15, posted a 90% Federal Graduation Rate, which has held within one percentage point for UCSD in each of the last seven years.  

The report ranked UCSD highest among public institutions in all of Division I and Division II. Its Federal Graduation Rate ranked second to Stanford University amongst all institutions on the west coast.

UC San Diego began its transition to full Division I status in July 2020 and is continuing a four-year reclassification period.

The student-athlete Federal Graduation Rate is the proportion of first-year, full-time scholar-athletes who entered an institution on athletics aid and graduate from that institution within six years.

In addition to the federal rate, NCAA Division I calculates a separate metric – Graduation Success Rate (GSR). The GSR also measures the percentage of athletes who graduate from an institution within six years of initial collegiate enrollment. 

However, it excludes those athletes who leave the institution with NCAA eligibility remaining and who would have been academically eligible had they remained at UCSD.  The GSR also includes athletes who transferred to the campus and received athletics aid during their first year of enrollment.  

UC San Diego’s four-class average GSR is 91%, which ranks second in the Big West Conference.

Overall, the NCAA reported that Division I student-athletes continue to graduate at their highest rate in the 20 years the data has been tracked. Since its inception Graduation Success Rates for Division I athletes overall have increased 16 points, to 90%.