Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers


The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe student-athletes' preparation for and performance in college. Additionally, the study sought to reflect upon the role of the individual institution in support of the student-athlete's pursuit of higher education. Student-athletes from all intercollegiate athletic sport teams entering Iowa State University in the fall terms of 1981 and 1982 were matched to non-athletes by entry date and race;Hypotheses were tested for significant differences (p ≥.05) in the areas of (1) academic preparation (high school rank and American College Testing composite score), (2) academic success (graduation rate and terms to graduation), (3) academic performance (cumulative hours and cumulative grade-point-average), (4) factors contributing to nonperformance (major changes, lower division credits registered for after 60 hours, remedial courses and terms on temporary enrollment), (5) summer school participation (summer sessions enrolled, summer credits registered for and passed and cumulative summer sessions grade-point-average);The main finding suggests that student-athletes were less well prepared for college, performed less well academically and were less likely to graduate than the matched group of non-athletes. A subgroup comparison found student-athletes participating in revenue-generating sports less well prepared for college, that they performed less well academically and were also less likely to graduate than a comparison group of athletes participating in non-revenue-generating sports. A final subgroup comparison of male and female athletes found male athletes less well prepared for college work, performing less well in the classroom and less likely to graduate than the female student-athlete group;The results of this study supported the findings of others in reporting that student-athlete groups are less well prepared for college and that they need strong support services to have a chance to perform as well as they can in the classroom and to have a sincere opportunity to succeed in college (to graduate).



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Gary Irving Wade



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

84 pages