Gary B.: Study shows student-athletes perform better in school

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In partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education and the Office of Education Policy at the University of Arkansas, the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) has released a study relating to students’ success in the classroom to their participation in extracurricular activities.

Students from the 2018 graduating class identified by school personnel as participating in AAA activities were compared with students who were not identified as participating in AAA activities. The two groups were compared on school attendance, disciplinary actions, grade point average, and graduation rate. In addition, the 11th grade ACT scores of those students who participated were compared with those students who did not participate in AAA activities.

It was found that 46 percent of the class of 2018 participated in AAA activities. That number was composed of 47 percent female and 46 percent male. 52 percent of white students participated in athletics compared with 36 percent of black students and 32 percent of Hispanic students.

In attendance, AAA students attended 95 percent of school days with non-AAA students at a close 92 percent.

Who performed better on the ACT test? AAA students received an ACT Composite Score of 19.95, which will just about get you into Lyon College. Non-AAA students received an ACT Composite score of 17.98.

When it came to grade point average, AAA students received an average GPA of 3.32 in their senior year of high school, while non-AAA students GPAs averaged 2.97.

AAA participating students were also less likely to be involved in disciplinary incidents. They were involved in 31.54 disciplinary actions per 100 students, compared to the non-AAA students’ rate of 38.24.

And finally, on the all-important graduation rates, AAA participating students were more likely to graduate: AAA students graduated at a rate of 99 percent compared to the non-AAA student rate of 89 percent.

It is important to note that students who participate in AAA activities are more likely to be economically advantaged than students who do not participate in AAA activities.

Data for these analyses were provided by the Arkansas Department of Education.

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