UA student-athlete graduation rate rise to 74%

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 103 views 

University of Arkansas student-athletes that entered school in a four-year period from 2003-06 earned a school record graduation success rate (GSR) of 74% according to a report released on Thursday by the NCAA.

The latest graduation success rate marked the fifth-consecutive rate of more than 70% by Razorback student-athletes and the highest since the GSR was introduced in 1998.

The graduation success rate was developed as an improved measurement tool for tracking student-athletes’ academic progress leading toward graduation. The University of Arkansas has steadily improved its graduation success rate since the measurement was implemented nine years ago rising from an initial rate of 60% to 74% in the numbers released on Thursday. The previous best GSR recorded by the University of Arkansas was 73%, recorded by freshmen student-athletes initially enrolled in 2004.

“We are pleased that this year’s GSR reflects the sustained progress our program is making in the graduation of student-athletes,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said in a statement. “For the fifth-consecutive year, we have earned a GSR exceeding 70 percent including this year’s record mark of 74 percent. While we have made substantial progress, we must continue to effectively equip our more than 460 Razorback student-athletes with the support and resources they need to earn their degree."

The GSR for all NCAA institutions was released on Thursday as well as the six-year Federal Graduation rate for each institution. The GSR was established to more accurately gauge academic progress among student-athletes. Traditional federal graduation rates do not account for transfers or other student-athletes that leave institutions in good academic standing.

The most recent federal graduation rate for the University of Arkansas, 49%, is based on scholarship student-athletes that enrolled full time in 2006. That marks a six percentage point improvement from the institution’s initial federal graduation rate. The overall student rate at the University of Arkansas was 60% in the latest reporting period, the highest rate in the past eight years.

“While we are seeing progress in both the GSR and Federal graduation rate data, it does not yet provide a true reflection of the progress we have made as a combined department,” Long said. “We are confident that in the coming years we will see the long-term positive results that other real time measurements have already indicated. Last year, for the first time, all 19 of our sports exceeded the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) benchmark. In addition, Razorback student-athletes posted a record grade point average of 3.09."