NOVEMBER 19, 2020 — The NCAA has released its latest Division I Graduation Success Rate data, and UTSA Athletics reported a GSR of 83%, the highest in department history.
The report also saw UTSA establish two additional department standards with a four-class average of 62% and a single-year graduation rate for the 2013–2014 cohort of 65%.
UTSA’s record-setting 83% GSR comes on the heels of earning a GSR of 82% in each of the previous two reports. The department now has shown an increase in its GSR from 66% to 83% over the last eight reports, including logging a GSR of 80% or better in each of the last six.
Four sports—women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s tennis and volleyball—each posted perfect GSRs in the latest report to rank at the top of Conference USA, while baseball and football stood third and fourth, respectively, among league schools in those respective sports.
“We are extremely proud that UTSA student-athletes continue to set new standards for their academic work,” UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos said. “It is very encouraging to see our GSR continue to trend in an upward direction to what is now the best figure in our department’s history in this latest report. This accomplishment reflects the hard work put in by our student-athletes and our academic services staff to help develop champions in the classroom.”
The Division I board of directors created the GSR in 2002 in response to Division I college and university presidents who wanted data that more accurately reflected the mobility of college students beyond what the federal graduation rate measures. The federal rate counts as an academic failure any student who leaves a school, even if the student enrolls at another school. Also, the federal rate does not recognize students who enter school as transfer students.
The GSR formula removes from the rate student-athletes who leave school while academically eligible and includes student-athletes who transfer to a school after initially enrolling elsewhere. This calculation provides a more accurate appraisal of student-athlete success.
The rate also allows for a deeper understanding of graduation success in individual sports than the federal metric, which provides only broad groupings.
The federal graduation rate, however, remains the only measure to compare student-athletes with the general student body. Using this measure, student-athletes graduate at the same rate as the student body: 69%. Both college athletes and their peers in the student body increased by one point in the past year.
Division I members have adopted academic rule and policy changes intended to improve the academic performance of student-athletes. The success of those rule changes is clear: Over the past 19 years, 33,505 more college athletes graduated than would have had the GSR remained at 74%, the GSR the year it was introduced.
Just in 2020, the increase accounts for 3,872 more student-athlete graduates.
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