latest Division II graduation rate data, including the division's
Academic Success Rate (ASR) results, shows that graduation rates for
Division II student-athletes continue to significantly exceed those of
the general student body.
has certainly been the case at West Liberty University, where the
Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) was higher for Hilltopper student-athletes
than non-athletes for the eighth consecutive year.
to the NCAA's most recent survey, which targeted freshmen entering
college in 2006, WLU student-athletes had graduated at a 46 percent clip
compared to 40 percent for the general student population. That 6
percent edge mirrors the national trend which also showed
student-athletes entering in 2006 with a 6 percent graduation advantage
over the general student body, 54 percent to 48 percent.
been really dedicated to the ‘student' side of the student-athlete
equation at West Liberty over the years as these statistics show," WLU
athletic director Jim Watson said. "It's a credit to the focus our
coaches and administrators place on academics here at the university but
it also speaks well for the quality of our student-athletes and their
commitment to obtaining a outstanding education."
reporting cycle also marked the eighth year that Academic Success Rate
(ASR) data have been collected for Division II institutions. The ASR was
developed by the NCAA at the request of college and university
presidents who believed the federal graduation rate was flawed.
to the federal graduation rate, the ASR also takes transfer students
into account while removing students who left the institution in good
the partial-scholarship financial aid model of Division II, it goes a
step further by including student-athletes not receiving athletic
scholarships. As a result, the Division II Academic Success Rate (ASR)
counts more than twice the enrolled student-athletes as the federal
rate, including more than 36,000 who receive no athletics-related
Not surprisingly, West Liberty's student-athletes also fared well in this expanded metric.
the 14 Hilltopper sports teams tracked in the survey of
student-athletes who entered the university from 2003-06, 11 of them
were found to have ASRs of 50 percent or higher.
Liberty's female student-athletes were especially impressive with all
seven women's sports surveyed showing ASRs well above 50 percent and
five of them at 75 percent or higher for the period. Leading the way
were women's tennis and volleyball at 89 percent, followed by women's
basketball (80 percent), women's track and field (78 percent) and
women's golf (75 percent).
ASR has quickly become an important metric in our ability to monitor
the progress of our student-athlete population in the classroom," Watson
said. "We're very pleased to see the ASR numbers bear out our
commitment to help our student-athletes compete academically as well as
Division II philosophy promotes a balanced student-athlete experience,
as shown by the success student-athletes have continued to enjoy in
comparison to the general student body.
the 16 Division II men's sports, 11 saw four-year ASR numbers remain
steady or increase, including: baseball, basketball, fencing, golf, ice
hockey, rifle (mixed), skiing, soccer, swimming, tennis, and water polo.
total of 17 women's sports were surveyed and 12 of them saw their
four-year ASR data remain steady or increase, including: crew, field
hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, skiing, soccer,
softball, tennis, volleyball and water polo.
II institutions continue to study ways to increase the overall student
body graduation rates and are looking at a number of factors that impact
it, including the economic climate of the country and how it impacts
students' ability to enroll and remain in college.
the 2014 NCAA Convention, Division II membership will vote on the Path
to Graduation legislative package, which includes recommendations for
initial-eligibility standards and progress towards degree requirements.