Academic Success and Retention: The Role of Recreational Sports Fitness Facilities

Danbert, Samantha J.; Pivarnik, James M.; McNeil, Richard N.; Washington, Ira J.
April 2014
Recreational Sports Journal;Apr2014, Vol. 38 Issue 1, p14
Academic Journal
This study evaluated the role of a university recreational sports and fitness center, in students' academic success. Study participants included freshmen at a large Midwestern university (n = 4,843; 56% women; 67% white). Recreational sports fitness facility members (students who purchased a recreational sports fitness facilities membership in their first semester; n = 1,138) were compared with nonmembers (students who did not purchase a recreational sports fitness facility membership in their first semester; n = 3,705). M ± SD and percentages were calculated for all variables of interest. Differences between groups were analyzed using t tests and percentages. Members had significantly higher high school grade point averages (GPA) (p = .002). After four consecutive semesters, members had significantly higher cumulative college GPA (p ≤ .0001) and cumulative credits completed (p ≤ .0001). Significantly more members than nonmembers were enrolled in school after two completed years, 89% and 85%, respectively. Results show recreational sports fitness facility membership is associated with, and may be beneficial to, college students' academic success.


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