Recent data shows SSU student-athletes excel both on the field and in the classroom

December 18, 2020
Sonoma State athlete graduation
Sonoma State women's volleyball
Sonoma State athlete graduation
Sonoma State women's volleyball

By Nate Galvan

Rohnert Park, CA — Sonoma State University student-athletes are not only competitive athletically, but according to recent graduation data released from the National Collegiate Athletic Association, they are strong academically as well.

The NCAA calculates an Academic Success Rate by tracking student-athletes who graduated from an institution within a six year period. According to the latest data, SSU’s student-athlete cohort that enrolled in 2013 (covering from 2013-2019) ranked third in Academic Success Rate among the 13 schools in the Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association, with a respectable 81 percent. This is compared to the 72 percent success rate averaged for the entire CCAA.

“Student success is a strategic priority for Sonoma State University,” said Nicole Annaloro, interim director for athletics at SSU. “These academic success rates demonstrate the athletic department's commitment to all aspects of the student-athlete experience, particularly retention and timely progress toward a degree. We thank our team of coaches and staff, as well as the faculty and support services on campus, who play an integral role in the educational experience of student-athletes.”

The NCAA’s Academic Success Rate takes into account student-athletes receiving athletics aid, athletes who are transfer students, and over 32,000 non-scholarship athletes who enrolled between 2010-13. During this four-year period, there were 89,841 student-athletes participating in CCAA sports, making this the largest student body in any Division II conference. 

Nationally, the Academic Success Rate was 74 percent. Only two CCAA schools were rated ahead of Sonoma State with Cal Poly Pomona and UC San Diego rating at 86 percent and 92 percent respectively.

In early December the CCAA announced the decisions to forgo formalized 2020-21 CCAA conference games and championships for all sports. “I know this decision is extremely disappointing for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans,” said Mitch Cox, CCAA Commissioner. “But from the day this pandemic took effect, every decision we made going forward was focused on the health and safety of everyone involved. We remain committed to providing as many meaningful engagement opportunities for all of the student-athletes, coaches and staff throughout the rest of the 2020-21 academic year.”

For more information on the NCAA’s recent graduation rate statistics, visit their news piece on the climbing graduation rates for college athletes. Learn more about Sonoma State University Athletics by visiting

ABOUT US: Sonoma State is a public university committed to educational access and excellence, with a long-standing tradition of promoting intellectual and personal growth, leadership opportunities, and technological proficiency. We are driven by a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences and guided by core values of sustainability, inclusivity, and integrity. Situated among the rolling hills of Sonoma County, SSU is a living example of Northern California’s diverse natural beauty. We provide high-quality education through innovative programs that leverage the area’s economic, cultural, and natural resources. Connect with and learn more about SSU in the SSU NewsCenter.

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