by Sean Montgomery, sports information graduate assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — According to the yearly NCAA academic calculations, Georgia College ranks first in Federal Graduation Rates (FGR) among student-athletes in all of NCAA Division I and II athletics within the state of Georgia.
The Bobcats lead the University System of Georgia (USG) with a 79 percent graduation rate and the class average for the last four undergraduate classes is also the highest in the state at 71 percent.
“These very impressive numbers show how well-rounded our student athletes are at Georgia College,” said University President Steve M. Dorman. “Not only do they excel on the courts and fields, but they focus and take as much pride in their academics as their athletic work. These students think independently and lead creatively in all their endeavors, and we are proud of them.”
Georgia College student-athletes consistently graduate at a rate above the general student body and show a nine percent increase in the four-class average.
“From the second I signed to play at Georgia College, I was fully aware of what I was getting into,” said senior Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President Sydney Cleveland. “I knew my education was more important than my sport, and that it would require commitment, sacrifice, and hard work. My coach and athletic department have always expressed the importance of our academics and all of the resources that are available to help us succeed. There was never a point in my experience where I felt like I had no support.”
While the Bobcats lead the entire USG in FGR, the latest class also sits atop the Peach Belt Conference (PBC). The PBC affiliates with 12 total schools from three additional states: North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
“This shows what a wonderful group of student-athletes we have at Georgia College,” said Faculty Athletics Representative Ken Farr. “Their dedication to academics and athletic competition should make everyone in the Bobcat family very proud. Congratulations for a job well done!”
Beyond the various athletic successes from routine PBC and NCAA postseason tournament appearances, the Georgia College Department of Athletics excels in defining what it means to be a student-athlete by preaching the mantra “student first” and continuing to dominate in the classroom yearly.
“We have an amazing University that attracts incredible students, faculty and staff,” said Athletic Director Wendell Staton. “We pride ourselves in ‘Graduating Champions for Life,’ and I commend our coaches for recruiting and retaining outstanding people that align with and desire the Georgia College experience.”
The FGR for student-athletes is an indicator of the percentage of freshmen who entered and were awarded athletics aid during a given academic year and graduated within six years of initial enrollment.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup and the 2017 PBC Sportsmanship Institution of the Year, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.