A “massive” statewide study done in North Carolina in 2001 revealed “significant differences” in the academic performance of athletes and non athletes. The study looked at 125,000 high school students at 131 schools. The seven criteria looked at included: GPA, attendance rate, two different end-of-course testing components, discipline referrals, dropout rates and graduation rates. Athletes did better in every aspect.
- GPA: The mean for athletes was 2.98. For non athletes is was 2.17.
- Algebra End of Course Testing: The mean for athletes was 66.1 v. non athletes at 57.9.
- English End of Course Testing: The mean for athletes was 61.4 v. non athletes at 50.8.
- Attendance: Athletes missed and average of 6.3 days in a 180 day school year v. 11.9 for non athletes.
- Discipline Referrals: Of discipline referrals made by the schools, 33.3% were athletes v. 41.8% that were non athletes.
- Dropout Rate: The mean dropout percentage for athletes was 0.6% v. 10.32% for non athletes.
- Graduation Rate: The mean graduation rate for athletes was 99.4% v. non athletes at 93.51%
Here’s an article about the study.