FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas student-athletes that entered school in a four-year period from 2002-05 had a graduation success rate of 72 percent in the most recent numbers released by the NCAA. The latest graduation success rate marked the fourth-consecutive rate of more than 70 percent by Razorback student-athletes. The graduation success rates for all NCAA institutions were released on Thursday 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 graduation success rate is a four-year snapshot of a program’s academic progress. The University of Arkansas has steadily improved its graduation success rate since the measurement was implemented eight years ago rising from an initial rate of 60 percent to 72 percent in the numbers released on Thursday. "We are pleased that our program continues to show sustained improvement in graduation success rate including exceeding 70 percent for the fourth-consecutive year," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "While our progress remains steady, we must continue our efforts to encourage all of our student-athletes to focus on earning their diplomas and not just achieving the academic standards that maintain athletic eligibility. Graduation is the goal we have for every Razorback student-athlete and we remain dedicated to providing the support and resources needed for our more than 460 student-athletes to achieve that goal."
The most recent federal graduation rate for the University of Arkansas, 53 percent, is based on scholarship student-athletes that enrolled full time in 2005. The percentage marks the fourth time in eight reports, including the third-consecutive year, the federal graduation rate has exceeded 50 percent. The overall student rate at the University of Arkansas was 59 percent in the latest reporting period. Federal graduation rates do not account for transfers or other student-athletes that leave institutions in good academic standing. “While the current GSR and Federal graduation rate data does not yet provide a true reflection of our progress, there are many other real time measurements that indicate the dramatic improvement that has been made since the unification of our athletic programs. Last year, 18 of our 19 sports exceeded the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) benchmark and 80 student-athletes graduated from the University of Arkansas. We will continue to work to improve all aspects of our student-athletes’ academic progress and work toward our goal of meeting the rates of the overall student population in an effort to help lead our institution academically.” In 2011-12, a total of 80 current or former Razorback student-athletes earned their college degrees from the University of Arkansas. 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 summer, Arkansas exceeded the APR benchmark of 925 by more than 10 points in 18 of 19 sports.