The NCAA released the most recent multi-year APR scores this week, which ranked America East third overall out of 31 Division I conferences.
America East Ranks Third Overall In NCAA APR
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- America East Conference teams on average rank high in Division I according to the latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) data released by the NCAA Wednesday afternoon. The conference APR average improved five points from last year's data to 984, the third-best conference average in the nation.
The America East APR average continues to trend upward, staying even or improving in every year since 2004-05.
Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year, based on the eligibility and retention of each scholarship student-athlete. Teams scoring below certain thresholds can face sanctions, such as scholarship losses and restrictions on practice. Rates are based on the past four years' performance. No America East team received penalties for low APRs.
The two most high-profile America East sports, men's and women's basketball, performed very strong compared to their peers. Both sport APR averages ranked third when compared to the other 30 Division I conferences.
men's basketball America East Conference APR
average is 978, an all-time high for the sport. This average, which has
seen an increase in each of the last three years, improved 26 points
from last year's data. Three America East men's basketball teams, including 2012 America East Champion University of Vermont, received public recognition awards last week from the NCAA for ranking in the top 10 percent in their sport.
The women's basketball America East Conference APR average is 987, which also marks a conference all-time high for the sport. It is a 10-point jump from the data released last year and the third-straight year the average has risen from the previous year's mark.
"We're extremely pleased to see that our overall conference APR places third among all other Division I conferences. The academic profile of our institutions are among the best in the country and the academic success of our student-athletes is a tribute to the commitment of our institutions and athletics programs to ensure a quality educational experience," said Commissioner Amy Huchthausen.
"As our conference aims to enhance its brand and identity, it's important to more effectively tell our story in regard to our academic profiles and achievements, of which we have many. The fact that our conference has the third highest overall APR, third highest in men's basketball and third highest in women's basketball shows that our schools are incredibly good at recruiting great students who value academics as their first priority."
In addition, two America East institutions which sponsor football, Stony Brook University and University of New Hampshire, also received APR Awards from the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA). The APR Award recognizes one institution at each of the 14 FCS conferences that has the highest APR score. The Seawolves captured the award out of the Big South, while the Wildcats represented the Colonial Athletic Association as the team with the highest mark.
The most recent APR scores are multi-year rates based on the scores from the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years.
The Division I Board of Directors last fall approved tougher academic standards, including setting a new standard that teams must meet to compete in the postseason.
The standard for postseason access starts at 900 APR but over the next few years climbs to 930, which equates to a 50 percent Graduation Success Rate.
Support from NCAA member colleges and universities has been critical in developing the higher standards, said Walter Harrison, chair of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance and president of America East-member University of Hartford.
"These changes will lead to higher academic expectations and better-prepared students coming to our colleges and universities," Harrison said.
scores per institution, along with penalties per school and teams receiving
public recognition, are available online through the NCAA's searchable