University of Minnesota sets school record for student-athlete graduation rates

November 22, 2018 10:38 PM

The number of student-athletes at the University of Minnesota who graduate is at an all-time high.

This month, the school announced a 93 percent graduation rate for these athletes, a dramatic increase from just more than a decade ago.


Jared Weyler is a force on the football field as the starting center for the Gophers football team. Off the field, number 62 realizes there's a life that he has to prepare for beyond the game. 

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"I'm going to play football until I'm 22 but for the next 60 years of my life I'm going to be doing whatever I'm studying," said Jared Weyler, a senior at the University of Minnesota. 

Weyler is on track to earn his masters in accounting in the spring and he's proud to be at a university that just set a school record for student-athlete graduation rates.

"Academics is extremely important here," Weyler said. 

The latest data shows the University of Minnesota ranks tied for second among all Big-Ten schools for NCAA Graduation success rates. 

"I'm not sure how much higher we can go but we obtained 93 percent this year and it's really fantastic," said J.T. Bruett, director of the Lindahl Academic Center at the University of Minnesota. 

This is a major improvement for the University of Minnesota. That's because when the NCAA first tracked this number in 2005, only 68 of student-athletes graduated from the University of Minnesota, the worst rate in the Big-Ten. 

"I think we identified that we needed to do better," Bruett said. 

J.T. Bruett is the director of the Lindahl Academic Center at the University of Minnesota and is seeing the transformation first hand.

"We've made tremendous strides probably over the last 10 to 15 years," Bruett said. 

Bruett believes the recent success starts with the type of students they recruit, leading to a strong learning environment for everyone. 

"It's become a culture, there's a culture of academic success and it's showing in our grad rates," Bruett said. 

Long after his playing days, Weyler knows he has a resume that will help him succeed, and he hopes other student athletes at the University of Minnesota continue to put the 'student' first. 

"Football ends right? So you gotta prepare for whatever's next," Weyler said. "The student part is so important because it propels you to that next stage of your life."

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Brett Hoffland

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