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Factors Related to NCAA Student-Athlete Retention

Erin Sinnott


High school students recruited to play a college sport for revenue or non-revenue face some challenges concerning their treatment and socialization during their collegiate years. The first-year experience of NCAA student-athletes is the most vital time during their collegiate years. A student-athletes’ educational background, academic standing, and coping skills to make the adjustment from high school to college are just the beginning of the factors that affect retention rates of student-athletes. Once at a college or university, the educational institutions have a duty to care for the overall well-being of student-athletes who are plagued with issues ranging from emotional pressures to perform to the experience of loneliness and isolation in the classroom, not feeling supported by academic advisors, and, for some, academic deficiencies. Research shows that when a student-athlete integrates into the academic and social systems of their institution, they have higher retention rates.