This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A Descriptive Study of the Relationship between Graduation Rates, Amounts of Financial Aid, and Tuition Cost for Student Athletes in Higher Education




Smith, Mikos

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



The purpose of this study was to examine the graduation success rates, amounts of financial aid, and tuition costs for student athletes in higher education. This study sought to determine whether financial scholarships were benefitting this group of individuals and to observe student athletes graduation success rates from colleges or universities. Understanding student athletes can provide insight related to and assist with making any changes within the student affairs, financial aid, and athletic support functions to support student athletes in achieving their goals of being athletes and graduates of these colleges and universities. The study also examined whether this group of individuals were achieving the goal of graduating from their college or university. Student athletes are a highly visible group among college campuses and can influence the formation of an institution’s image (Zimbalist, 1999). This group of students can be a promotional factor for the institution. This group can influence the enrollment of the student body, the cost of tuition for the institution, and the reputation of the institution. This descriptive study focused on graduation success rates of student athletes, amounts of financial aid, and cost of tuition for student athletes from 2015-2018. The findings of the research identified if the independent variables, the amount of financial aid and tuition cost, affected the graduation success rate of student athletes. The results of this study have implications pertaining to student affairs, financial aid, and athletic departments. Further research should continue to examine graduation success rates for student athletes. Some factors that could affect this group of students from graduating are the cost of tuition, and the financial resources for students for the college or university of their choice.