University of Vermont women's basketball (pictured above) is one of four America East basketball programs who received perfect GSR scores of 100 in the latest available data.
University of Vermont women's basketball (pictured above) is one of four America East basketball programs who received perfect GSR scores of 100 in the latest available data.
Courtesy: America East Communications

League's GSR Ranks Higher Than National Rate

Release: 10/25/2011
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — America East student-athletes receive degrees within six years of enrollment at a higher rate than the overall rate of Division I student-athletes according to the latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data announced by the NCAA this afternoon. The rates reported today are based on the classes which enrolled between 2001-04.

The conference’s nine member institutions averaged a GSR score of 85 while Division I student-athletes overall graduated with 80-percent success, a mark that is at an all-time high and two points higher than the general student body. Eight of nine America East institutions exceeded the national rate of graduation.

America East men’s and women’s basketball programs specifically averaged scores above those sports’ national Division I averages. The league’s men’s basketball teams averaged a score of 77, 11 points higher than the success of all Division I men’s basketball student-athletes, while the women’s basketball average of 92 points was an eight-point improvement on the Division I standard in that sport.

Thirty America East programs achieved perfect scores of 100, led by seven Boston University squads, six University of Vermont teams and five teams from University of Maine. Four basketball teams were part of that group, including women’s basketball teams from Boston U., University of Hartford, and Vermont as well as Binghamton University’s men’s basketball program.

The GSR data indicates the number of student-athletes earning a degree within six years. The NCAA developed the GSR to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The GSR, unlike the federal graduation rate, holds the institution accountable for transfer students. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.

The Graduation Success Rate was developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately measure the academic success of Division I student-athletes by better accounting for the many different academic paths followed by today’s college students.

“Academic reform is working. Students are better prepared when they enter college, and they are staying on track to earn their degrees,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “Some doubted our efforts, but the resolve of our presidents is strong, and we are reaping the fruit of several years of hard work.”

University of Hartford President Walter Harrison, chair of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance, 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. 

“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 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. The NCAA also calculates the federal graduation rate for student-athletes, because it is the only rate 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 2001-02 through 2004-05. Nearly 105,000 student-athletes are included in the most recent four classes using the GSR methodology, as compared to about 76,500 in the federal rate. This year marks the tenth year of GSR data that 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 2004.