Six of 16 UA athletic programs post graduation rates of 100 percent, 11 posted a percentage higher than 80.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. Six athletics programs at the University of Alabama compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, and 11 were above 80 percent, according to the NCAA’s latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) survey released Wednesday, October 3. The survey is based upon the entering classes from 1997-2000 was created by the NCAA to more accurately reflect actual graduation rates by including transfer data in the calculation.
“We continue to show improved GSRs by every scholarship sport at Alabama,” said Jon Dever, Assistant Athletic Director for Student Services at UA. “Overall, we expect that trend to continue.”
The methodology used for the GSR is a more accurate representation of true graduation rates than methods used in the past, as it excludes student-athletes who chose to leave school early for reasons such as being drafted by a professional team or transferring out of the program.
NCAA figures showed that, among Alabama’s sports, six programs (men’s tennis, women’s golf, gymnastics, women’s soccer, softball and volleyball) achieved 100 percent GSR scores. Women’s track/cross country scored 91 percent, men’s golf scored 83 percent, women’s swimming & diving scored 81 percent, women’s tennis scored 80 percent, and men’s basketball scored 80 percent.
The latest GSR figures show that 77 percent of student-athletes who began college from 1997-2000 graduated within six years. Only team rates were released; an aggregate rate for each institution will be announced in late January.
The NCAA developed the GSR three years ago to more accurately assess long-term student-athlete academic success. The GSR differs from the federally mandated graduation-rate methodology in that it counts transfers into and out of an institution. Data show the GSR includes 36 percent more student-athletes than the federal graduation rate. The NCAA continues to provide the federal rate, though, since there is no comparable rate to the GSR for the general student body.
Recently, college and university presidents asked the NCAA to develop a new system accounting for the mobility among students in today’s higher education environment. Research indicates that approximately 60 percent of all new bachelor’s degree recipients are attending more than one undergraduate institution during their collegiate careers.
The GSR is an analysis of more than 91,000 student-athletes, while the most recent federal measurement - which did not count transfer students was for 67,000 students. The GSR should not be confused with another NCAA initiative, the Academic Progress Rate, which uses a series of formulas related to student-athlete retention and eligibility to measure the academic performance of all participants who receive a grant-in-aid on every team at every NCAA Division I college and university. In addition to the GSR, the NCAA will continue to compile data and release results based upon the federally mandated methodology.