The influence of climate on the academic and athletic success of student-athletes: Results from a multi-institutional national study

Susan Rankin, Daniel Merson, Jason C. Garvey, Carl H. Sorgen, India Menon, Karla I. Loya-Suárez, Leticia Oseguera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Students’ perceptions of the campus climate can affect their success and outcomes. Student-athletes’ experiences with campus life are unique. The Student-Athletes Climate Study (SACS) is a national study of over 8,000 student athletes from all NCAA sports and divisions. The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of individual and institutional characteristics, as mediated by climate, on student-athletes’ (a) academic success, (b) athletic success, and (c) athletic identity. Results indicated that differences in outcomes existed based on institutional and individual characteristics. It was also clear that climate mattered. Six of the seven climate scales influenced the outcomes, and differences in outcomes based on sexual identity, Division, and featured sport participation were more salient when climate was taken into account. Positive aspects of climate led to increases in outcomes in almost every relationship. Implications for researchers and practitioners are discussed, as well as specific suggestions of initiatives to improve the climate to promote the success of all student-athletes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-730
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Higher Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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