Oct. 25, 2012
NEWPORT NEWS, Va.—The Atlantic 10 Conference ranks second among 31 Division I conferences in the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) the NCAA announced Tuesday. The league improved one spot over its 2011 ranking of third. Measured in a six-year window, 90 percent of freshmen enrolling in an A-10 institution in 2005 graduated.
The A-10’s 90 percent rate is well above the GSR for the last four graduating classes of all NCAA Division I student-athletes (2002-05), which remained at 80 percent, an all-time high for the NCAA.
The league had 77 of its 196 teams post a perfect graduation rate for freshmen entering in the 2005-06 academic year. This represents nearly 40 percent of the league’s teams graduating each of its enrolled freshmen, the fourth-highest number of perfect scores among all 31 conferences. An additional 48 teams graduated 90 percent or better of the 2005-06 freshman class.
The A-10 GSR has increased each year in the past four NCAA annual reports, jumping from 84 percent in the 2009 report (for freshmen entering in 2002) to this year’s rate of 90 percent.
“Ranking second in the country in graduation rates is indicative of the commitment our student-athletes have to their academic success and the importance our member institutions place on academics and graduation,” Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade said. “Our success athletically is a source of pride for the Atlantic 10, but it is our academic prowess that we hold in the highest regard. Academics are the foundation of this league and contribute to its successes in all other areas.”
Atlantic 10 teams also rank higher than the national average in each sport. Overall, 77 percent of the conference’s teams rank above the national average in each respective sport. This includes eight sports (men’s and women’s cross country/track & field, women’s rowing, field hockey, men’s golf, women’s soccer, women’s swimming and diving and volleyball) where all but one or two teams are above the national average.
Atlantic 10 baseball has the best GSR of any Division I conference at a 92 percent rate, which is up from third in 2011. Women’s basketball also ranks in the top 10, graduating 91 percent of the 2005 freshman class to rate 10th nationally among 31 conferences. A-10 men’s basketball ranks 11th nationally among all Division I leagues, graduating at a 79 percent clip, well above the national average of 68 percent.
The NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate includes transfer students and student-athletes who leave in good academic standing, unlike the federal graduation rate, which does not count transfers. The GSR and federal rate calculations measure graduation over six years from first-time college enrollment. The A-10 ranked third among 31 conferences in the Federal Graduation Rate at 74 percent.
The NCAA used 2011-12 conference affiliation to compile the 2012 GSR report, meaning neither Butler nor VCU, the league’s two new member institutions were included in the A-10 totals. Butler had three teams with perfect GSR scores and an additional five teams that ranked in the 90th percentile. VCU has three teams at 90 percent or above, including two perfect scores.
The GSR ranks the percentage of freshmen that graduate within six years and along with the Academic Progress Rate (APR) is one of the primary tools the NCAA uses to measure academic success among its student-athletes. As a conference, the Atlantic 10 rated third in the most recent APR report, which is released by the NCAA in late spring.