TEMPE, Ariz. -- Statistics for the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) released Thursday by the NCAA indicated an 82-percent graduation success rate, surpassing the previous all-time high for Arizona State University by two percent. The GSR is based on student-athletes who entered college as freshmen in 2003-2006 and ultimately entered ASU on athletic aid as freshmen or transfers. The GSR allows for the removal of those individuals from the cohort who left ASU in good academic standing prior to completing their eligibility.
ASU's stated goal when the APR was introduced nine years ago was an 80-percent GSR, which was reached in 2012. At the time, ASU's GSR was at 69 percent and has seen a 13-percent increase since that point.
"Results measured by both graduation and competitive successes are keystones to defining the Sun Devil way," said Steve Patterson, Vice President of University of Athletics. "We are proud of the continued and record-setting improvement in our graduation rate. The student-athlete is the centerpiece of our department's efforts. Jean Boyd, his staff, and the coaches not only teach leadership, risk-taking, and teamwork, but also compliment the invaluable academic growth gained from the classroom."
In meeting that goal, ASU ranks fourth in the Pac-12 Conference (out of 12 institutions), just one percentage point behind Utah’s 83-percent. This marks the sixth-consecutive year that ASU’s GSR has increased.
ASU's women's GSR rate is 93-percent, second only to Pac-12 Conference leader Stanford (98 percent), while the men’s teams are over 70-percent (71 percent) for the first time since the reporting began nine years ago. The men’s GSR has improved from 56-percent in 2005.
Five ASU teams lead the Pac-12 Conference with a four-year GSR of 100-percent: men’s and women's golf, women's swimming and diving, women's tennis and women's volleyball.
Over the past five years, the baseball program has elevated its GSR from 30-percent to 76-percent, while the men’s basketball GSR has improved from 31-percent to 75-percent over the last six years.
ASU also ranked third in the conference for graduation rates of African American student-athletes, African American male student-athletes, and African American football student-athletes.
“Sun Devil Athletics is dedicated to developing student-athletes who graduate and go on to live championship lives,” said Jean Boyd, Senior Associate Athletic Director of Student-Athlete Development. “Elevating our graduation rate for the sixth consecutive year and hitting the 82-percent mark speaks to this commitment. We are especially proud of our work with our female student-athletes and African American student-athletes. We also highlight the improvements made in men’s basketball and baseball. We will remain relentless in these efforts and look forward to reaching a short term goal of 85-percent and ultimately have targeted 90-percent.”
The GSR is the NCAA's more comprehensive calculation of student-athlete academic success. The NCAA rate is more accurate than the federally mandated methodology because it includes incoming transfers and students enrolling in the spring semester who receive athletic aid and graduate and deletes from the calculation student-athletes who leave an institution and were academically eligible to compete. The federal rate does neither.
Conversely, the APR, or Academic Progress Rate, is a year-by-year gauge of eligibility and retention for Division I scholarship student-athletes that was established in 2004. It is a composite team measurement based upon how individual team members do academically, and the NCAA APR threshold is 925, which is the equivalent of a 50-percent graduation rate.
This is the 23rd release of institutional graduation rates since national "right-to-know" legislation was passed in 1990. In 2005, the NCAA Division I Committee on Academic Performance implemented the initial release of the team GSR data.