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Focus is graduation

Focus is graduation

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas student-athletes that entered school in a four-year period from 1999-2002 had a graduation success rate of 70 percent according to the most recent numbers released by the NCAA on Wednesday. The graduation success rates for all NCAA institutions were released on Wednesday as well as the six-year Federal Graduation rate for each institution. The most recent federal graduation rate for the University of Arkansas, 49 percent, is based on scholarship student-athletes that enrolled full time in 2002.

The graduation success rate was developed as an improved measurement tool for tracking student-athletes’ academic progress leading toward graduation. Federal graduation rates do not account for transfers or other student-athletes that leave institutions in good academic standing. NCAA research indicates the general student bodies around the nation graduate at a GSR comparable rate of 60 percent.

"The graduation success rate is intended to provide us with a four-year snapshot of our programs and their academic progress," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. While we see improvement in our GSR rate we are not satisfied with the rate at which we graduate our student-athletes.

"We are in the process of fundamentally changing our approach to academic support which we believe will positively impact the graduation rates of our young men and women. We are transitioning from maintaining eligibility to an approach more broadly focused on academic achievement. Our student-athletes and coaches are responding to this new approach and with the additional resources we have committed to the student-athlete academic support program, I am confident we will improve our graduation rates in the future."

In addition to graduation success rate and federal six-year graduation rates, the NCAA established the Academic Progress Rate (APR) that provides institutions with a current indicator of academic success. Last spring, Arkansas exceeded the APR benchmark of 925 in 18 of its 19 sports.

"I am encouraged by some of our academic data that suggest we are making significant progress across the board academically," Long said. "I am optimistic that our APR numbers will continue to show improvement when released this spring. I appreciate the commitment of our student-athletes, coaches and staff as we continue to change the academic culture of our department with a focus on graduation."

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