LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Last week Bucknell Athletics established a program record by receiving 21 NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) National Recognition Awards, the third-highest total among all Division I institutions. On Wednesday the NCAA followed up with the release of team-by-team APR data, and once again this year all 27 Bison squads surpassed the NCAA's standards with flying colors.
The APR is a formula created 11 years ago that is used to track student-athlete eligibility and retention. As it has every year, Bucknell graded very well in the APR report, with all 27 programs easily meeting the 925-point cutoff. Scores under 930 could result in certain NCAA-imposed penalties, including loss of scholarships and ineligibility for postseason play.
Under the APR system, a student-athlete can be awarded two points per semester -- one for remaining academically eligible throughout the semester and another for being retained for the next term. Team percentages are then calculated to determine its APR.
The latest APR data represents a four-year average for the 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years. The NCAA evaluates programs based on a four-year rolling average.
According to the latest round of data, 19 Bison teams have perfect 1,000 scores in the four-year average. Those programs are baseball, men's basketball, field hockey, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, women’s swimming and diving, women's tennis, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's outdoor track and field, volleyball and men's and women’s water polo. Every Bison program received a score of at least 943 and all but one posted a 970 or better.
The national average for all sports is 976, up two points from last year's report.
Bucknell annually ranks among the national leaders in graduation rates -- it led the nation in that metric in the most recent report last fall -- and it ranks fifth among all Division I programs in total number of Academic All-Americans with 125.
Bucknell is a highly-selective, privately endowed liberal arts institution with an enrollment of approximately 3,500 undergraduate students. Bucknell competes in NCAA Division I as a member of the Patriot League and has full membership along with American, Army, Boston University, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola University Maryland and Navy. Bucknell has won the Presidents' Cup, signifying the Patriot League's all-sports champion, in 18 of 23 years, including 14 of the last 16.