FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas student-athletes that entered school in a four-year period from 2000-03 had a graduation success rate of 72 percent, the highest rate in school history, according to the most recent numbers released by the NCAA. 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 graduation success rate was developed as an improved measurement tool for tracking student-athletes’ academic progress leading toward graduation. The University of Arkansas has improved its graduation success rate each year since the measurement was implemented six years ago rising from an initial rate of 60 percent to 72 percent in the numbers released on Tuesday."The graduation success rate is a four-year snapshot of our program’s academic progress," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "While the GSR does not provide a real time measurement, it does help us identify the continued progress our program has made in graduating student-athletes. We must continue to improve the rate at which we graduate student-athletes. "In the past few years, we have implemented a broadly focused academic approach and have committed additional resources to our student-athlete academic support and student life programs. I am confident that when the GSR begins to reflect the results of those fundamental changes in our approach to academic support, our graduation rates will show marked improvement." The most recent federal graduation rate for the University of Arkansas, 58 percent, is based on scholarship student-athletes that enrolled full time in 2003. After lagging behind the general student population by as many as 10 percentage points only six years ago, the Razorbacks’ 58 percent federal graduation rate for student-athletes nearly matched the overall student rate of 59 percent at the University of Arkansas in the latest reporting period. Federal graduation rates do not account for transfers or other student-athletes that leave institutions in good academic standing."We are encouraged that our federal graduation rate continues to show improvement and is at its highest point in more than a decade," Long said. "Our goal is to meet and exceed the graduation rate of the general student population at the University of Arkansas. We were close to accomplishing that goal and we will continue to work to help lead our institution academically." 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 more real-time indicator of academic success. Last spring for the first time in school history, Arkansas exceeded the APR benchmark of 925 in single year rates for all 19 of its sports. For the second-consecutive year, Arkansas also exceeded the benchmark in multi-year rates in 18 sports.