DENTON, Texas (10/26/11) - The NCAA released its most recent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data Wednesday and University of North Texas athletics teams received their best collective score ever. The most recent GSR information is based on the four freshmen classes in that entered school from 2001 through 2004. It allows a six-year window in which student-athletes can go on to earn their degree.
Six of the 12 athletic programs at North Texas showed improvement from the previous year and the overall combined GSR score of the entire department improved from 68 to 70. It was the first time ever that North Texas' overall score reached a score of 70.
"This data reinforces that the emphasis we put on academic success is paying off," Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal said. "As we continue to add resources for the development of our student-athletes we are seeing the fruits of our labor. While we are pleased at our progress, we know that we have a lot of room for improvement."
The women's soccer program led the way for all North Texas teams with a GSR score of 92. Six programs had a score of 80 or higher and three had a score of 90 or higher, including soccer, women's tennis (90) and women's swimming and diving (90). The men's golf program made the largest one-year improvement, going from a score of 56 last year to 80 in the most recent figures.
The GSR was developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately measure the academic success of Division I student-athletes by better accounting for the many different academic paths followed by today's college students. The NCAA also released the most recent federal graduation rate data in conjunction with the GSR information. The GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students, whereas the federal graduation rate does not. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees. The NCAA calculates the federal graduation rate for student-athletes because it is the only rate by which to compare student-athletes to the general student body.
Of the 12 sports, 11 achieved a GSR score higher than their comparable federal graduation rate. The federal graduation rate, which is based on the same six-year period for graduation used in the GSR, had North Texas student-athletes graduating at a rate of 68 percent. The graduation rate of all students at North Texas during the same period was 48 percent.
This year marks the ninth year of GSR data that have been collected. The NCAA began collecting GSR data with the entering freshman class of 1995. The latest entering class for which data are available is 2003.