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    Athletics

    Athletics Grad Rate Above National Average

    by Mike MillerickOct 25, 2011

    University of the Pacific's Graduation Success Rate for student-athletes entering in the 2004-05 school year is 87 percent, which is five percent higher than the national average. Pacific has the highest Graduation Success Rate in the Big West Conference.

    The single-year NCAA Graduation Success Rate for student-athletes who began college in 2004 is 82 percent, a new high for the NCAA, three points higher than last year and eight points higher than when GSR collection began a decade ago. More than eight out of every 10 Division I student-athletes are earning their college degrees within six years, the highest marks ever for graduation, according to the most recent NCAA figures.

    NCAA President Mark Emmert said the GSR for the last four graduating classes (2001-2004) has hit 80 percent as well, a new high for Division I athletics and one point higher than the last four-year average.

    Even when measuring student-athlete success using the less-accurate federal graduation rate, Division I student-athletes who began college in 2004 graduated at a 65 percent rate, also the highest ever and two points higher than the general student body.

    The federal rate for student-athletes has climbed five points in the past 10 years and 13 points since 1984, when it was first calculated. Although not as precise as the NCAA's rate, it is the only measure to compare student-athlete graduation with the general student body.

    The NCAA's Graduation Success Rate includes transfer students and student-athletes who leave in good academic standing, unlike the federal rate, which does not count transfers. The GSR and federal rate calculations measure graduation over six years from initial college enrollment.

    "Success for student-athletes is ultimately measured by how well they do in the classroom," said Emmert. "There is room for greater progress, and we continue to work hard to that end, but today we celebrate this important milestone."

    Walter Harrison, chair of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance and president of the University of Hartford, stressed that the latest classroom success is a result of the groundbreaking academic reform movement of the past decade.

    Moving forward, academic success will be defined by sustained and increased expectations for all student-athletes, he emphasized.

    He said that proposed increased standards for initial eligibility, potential changes in transfer regulations for two-year college students and overall greater standards for students and teams will not only signal but also strengthen the expectation that student-athletes are students first.

    "I am excited about the progress so far, and I look forward to continuing to watching more and more student-athletes earn their college degrees each year," Harrison said.

    Under the calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing.  The outgoing transfers are included in the receiving institution's GSR cohort.

    The NCAA began compiling these figures with the entering freshmen class of 1995.

    Click here to access the Division I Graduation Success Rates and Division II Academic Success Rates in the NCAA's searchable academic database.

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