FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas student-athletes that entered school in a four-year period from 2005-08 matched the school record graduation success rate (GSR) of 76 percent according to a report released on Wednesday by the NCAA. The latest GSR marked the seventh-consecutive rate of more than 70 percent by Razorback student-athletes and equaled the highest rate since the GSR was introduced in 2005. Last year, Arkansas also posted a GSR of 76 percent for students who entered school from 2004-07.
The GSR was developed as an improved measurement tool for tracking student-athletes’ academic progress leading toward graduation. The GSR is a four-year snapshot of a program’s academic progress. The University of Arkansas has steadily improved its GSR rate since the measurement was implemented 11 years ago rising from an initial rate of 60 percent to 76 percent in the numbers released on Wednesday.
“The GSR continues to reflect the progress our program has made in equipping student-athletes to achieve graduation,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “For the second-consecutive year, we have posted the highest GSR in our program’s history. That is a credit to our student-athletes for their work as well as to our coaches and those on our student-athlete support staff who work with our more than 460 young men and women every day. We still have work to do, and, in the coming years, I anticipate we will be setting new benchmarks as we begin to see the results of our combined athletic program.”
The GSR for all NCAA institutions was released on Wednesday. The GSR was established to more accurately gauge academic progress among student-athletes. Traditional federal graduation rates, which do not account for transfers or other student-athletes that leave institutions in good academic standing, were also released. That rate, based on student-athletes who enrolled full-time in fall 2008, is 49 percent.
In addition to the GSR, 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 in all 19 sports for the third consecutive year, including each sport exceeding the benchmark by at least eight points.
In 2014-15, Razorback student-athletes posted a program record 3.24 cumulative GPA. In the fall semester, 14 Razorback teams earned a GPA of 3.0 or better while in the spring, 16 teams exceeded that mark. In the spring 2015 semester, more than 60 percent of Razorback student-athletes achieved a GPA of 3.0, marking the 11th consecutive semester the GPA exceeded 3.0.
More than 90 student-athletes earned their degree in 2014-15, helping the program average more than 100 graduates in the past two years.