Oct. 14, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS - The University of Dayton's 96% Graduation Success Rate leads the Atlantic 10 Conference and ties it for 10th in the nation NCAA in the latest breakdown of Division I graduation rate data released on Tuesday.
In addition, this year's GSR Report shows that UD graduated 100 percent of its student-athletes that participated in women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country/track & field, men's golf, women's golf, women's rowing, women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis and volleyball.
Overall, every Flyer athletics program earned a GSR of 85 or higher. In addition to the ten programs listed above, the football program had a GSR of 95 followed closely by men's soccer (93), baseball (92), softball (92) and men's basketball (89). The UD's men's basketball team's GSR was the best in the A-10.
"In 2007-08, our combined winning percentage was the best we've ever had at the University of Dayton," UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Ted Kissell said. "But we are just as proud, if not more, of the results reflected in these graduation numbers. It speaks to our commitment to success in the classroom as well in competition - a commitment shared by the University, our coaches, our staff and our student-athletes."
Success in the classroom is nothing new for UD student-athletes. The Flyers' combined cumulative grade point average is currently a school-record 3.209. In addition, UD has had 29 Academic All-Americans in the last seven years and at least one Academic All-American for 24 straight years.
Dayton is consistently among the league leaders in placing student-athletes on the Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll, even though the Flyers participate in fewer A-10 sports than all but one school. UD also had the most players on the PFL Academic Honor Roll for the seventh straight year in 2007.
The NCAA released both the Federal Graduation Rates for institutions and the Graduation Success Rates for each sport at those institutions on Tuesday. This year's report covers all NCAA Division I student-athletes who entered college in the 2001-02 academic year.
Nationally, three schools had 99% Graduation Success Rates for their student-athletes: Alcorn State, Colgate and San Francisco. Holy Cross, Notre Dame and the U.S. Naval Academy were next at 98%, followed by Davidson, Duke and Northwestern at 97%. Five schools were tied for tenth at 96%: Boston College, Dayton, Lafayette, Loyola of Maryland and New Hampshire.
In the Atlantic 10, 75 different programs had perfect GSR scores of 100.
Nationwide, the most recent GSR data shows that 79 percent of freshmen student-athletes who entered college in 2001 earned their four-year degrees. The average Graduation Success Rate for the last four graduating classes is 78 percent. Both rates are up one percentage point from last year.
NCAA President Myles Brand praised the latest figures, citing increased initial-eligibility standards and an overall emphasis on academics, including the development of the Academic Progress Rate for each Division I sports team, as key factors contributing to student-athlete success.
"Nearly eight out of 10 Division I student-athletes are finishing college and earning their degrees. This is extremely good news," Brand said. "We still have work to do and can't declare victory just yet, but the trend lines are moving in the right direction."
Other NCAA research has shown that nearly 90 percent of student-athletes had earned their college degree 10 years after starting college. The calculations for the GSR and federal rate both limit time to graduation to six years from initial collegiate enrollment.
The Graduation Success Rate was developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.
Under the GSR calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. These outgoing transfers are essentially passed to the receiving institution's GSR cohort.
By counting incoming transfer students and midyear enrollees, the GSR increases the total number of student-athletes tracked for graduation by more than 37 percent. The NCAA also calculates the federal graduation rate for student-athletes, because it is the only rate by which to compare student-athletes to the general student body.
The most recent Graduation Success Rates are based on the four entering freshmen classes in Division I from 1998-99 through 2001-02.
This year marks the seventh year that GSR data have been collected. The NCAA began collecting GSR data with the entering freshman class of 1995. The latest entering class for which data are available is 2001.