Growth, Opportunity, Aspirations and Learning of Students in College, 2006 (ICPSR 35031)

Version Date: Oct 29, 2014 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Thomas Paskus, National Collegiate Athletic Association

Version V1

GOALS 2006

The Growth, Opportunity, Aspirations and Learning of Students in College (GOALS) study is used by NCAA policymakers and member institutions to study the experiences of student-athletes across all sports and NCAA divisions. It also provides objective and attitudinal data from student-athletes on possible academic and social trade-offs and sacrifices they have made in order to participate in collegiate athletics.

During the 2005-06 Academic Year, the GOALS study surveyed 19,786 student-athletes representing all three divisions and 620 NCAA institutions. Respondents provided information on important topics regarding their lives as student-athletes that included:

  • Academic engagement and success
  • Athletics experiences
  • Social experiences and integration
  • Career aspirations
  • Physical and mental health and well-being
  • Campus and team climate
  • Time commitments

Paskus, Thomas. Growth, Opportunity, Aspirations and Learning of Students in College, 2006. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-10-29.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote

United States

The data are restricted from general dissemination. Currently, the data are only available via periodic Requests for Proposals (RFP) administered by the NCAA organization, followed by the completion of a Restricted Data Use Agreement. The RFP process is currently closed; please check this site regularly and/or join our email list for information about future requests.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2005 -- 2006 (Academic Year)
2006 (Spring)
  1. Users should be aware that some of the variables have been recoded or dropped in order to address potential disclosure risks for the student-athletes involved in this study. As a result some of the questions contained in the survey collection instrument do not have corresponding variables in the data file.


Data were gathered through a self-administered, anonymous survey that was presented to student-athletes, who were 18 years of age or older, on-site at their institution. In a few cases, institutions opted to present students with an electronic version of the questionnaire.

Once institutions were identified and sports were selected for the schools, a letter was sent to the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) at each institution. The letter asked for the FAR's cooperation in administering the instrument and identified the athletics team(s) that the institution was asked to survey. The surveys were administered in a proctored setting, in which only the FAR and the team members were present; no athletics personnel (e.g., coach, trainers, etc.) were allowed in the room during the administration. The FAR was provided a specific protocol and script to read that emphasized that the study was completely voluntary and that each student's responses were confidential. The FAR was provided with a pre-addressed, pre-paid envelope into which student-athletes were to deposit surveys upon completion. Then, the last student-athlete to complete the survey was asked to seal the envelope and see that it was ready to send to the NCAA.

The sampling plan for the GOALS study was designed so that a representative sample of the NCAA member institutions that sponsor a given sport would be asked to survey their student-athletes in that sport. Student-athletes in most NCAA championship sports across the three divisions were targeted for participation. This sampling strategy was implemented to achieve an appropriate representation of the NCAA student-athlete population. Survey participants from several sports (e.g., fencing) with very low numbers were removed from the final analysis database.

After the sampling plan was devised, NCAA research staff created a computer program that sampled institutions at random and selected one to three sports at each NCAA member institution for the study. To minimize institutional burden, schools were asked to collect responses from no more than three of their athletics teams. Ultimately, students from 2,026 individual sport teams at 1,026 member institutions were asked to participate in the study. Responses were collected from teams at 620 institutions. In this process, data were analyzed from 19,786 student-athletes.


All student-athletes across all sports and all divisions in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

individual, school

Growth, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Learning of Students in College Survey, 2006

The 260 variables included in the final data are carefully selected and recoded to: (1) reflect respondents' opinions regarding their lives as student-athletes and (2) minimize the risk of identifying any individual institution or participant. Variables for respondents' opinions contained information about athletic experience, academic experience, social experience, student-athlete experience, health and well being, time commitments, and demographic information.

The institutional response rate in Divisions I and II was 66 percent, and 54 percent among Division III institutions.



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Paskus, Thomas. Growth, Opportunity, Aspirations and Learning of Students in College, 2006. ICPSR35031-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-09-15.

2014-09-15 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The NCAA research staff created five weighting variables in the file to ensure that any aggregate rates produced from this study reflect an accurate representation of the population rather than an anomalous value resulting from oversampling or response rate differentials.



  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

ICPSR logo

This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.