Girls + High School Sports = College Graduation - Y Magazine
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Girls + High School Sports = College Graduation

Girls Sports

Photo by Bradley Slade

Girls who play sports in high school are 41 percent more likely to graduate from college, according to the graduate research of Kelly P. Troutman (BS ’03) and her mentoring professor, Mikaela J. Dufur (BA ’94). Their findings are reported in the June issue of the journal Youth & Society—just in time for the 35th anniversary of Title IX, the educational amendment that mandated equal federal funding for men’s and women’s sports programs.

Their analysis may also give credence to the amount of educational funding that is allocated to interscholastic athletics. “The assumption is that athletics are detrimental to academics,” says Troutman. “To a certain level, academics and sports are complementary.”

Troutman funded her research with a BYU ORCA grant and a Graduate Research Fellowship, both of which are subsidized by donations to the university. A former soccer and softball high school athlete, she now teaches at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and is applying to PhD programs in sociology.