LEWISBURG, Pa. – The NCAA released its annual survey of student-athlete graduation rates on Tuesday, and Bucknell Athletics is once again ranked among the nation’s best in student-athlete graduation rate. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s standards, Bucknell ranks second nationally with a four-class average of 91 percent for student-athletes entering between 2006-07 and 2009-10. Only Stanford at 95 percent came in above Bucknell, while Northwestern and Davidson are also at 91 percent.
For Bucknell Athletics, the graduation rate announcement has become an annual tradition of celebrating the program’s commitment to scholar-athlete excellence. Bucknell has led the nation in student-athlete graduation rate on several occasions, including as recently as 2013. This year, Bucknell finished second behind Stanford for the third year in a row (note that the Ivy League and military academies do not report federal graduation rates).
In addition to the federal graduation rate report, the NCAA also announced its own Graduation Success Rate (GSR) results, and Bucknell once again scored very well – 95 percent -- in that formula. The GSR differs from the federal graduation-rate formula in that the GSR factors in transfer students who do graduate, and does not penalize schools for losing transfers who leave in good academic standing.
Sixteen Bison sports programs have perfect 100 percent GSR ratings: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s water polo, wrestling, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, rowing, field hockey, women’s golf, softball and volleyball. All remaining sports were at 85 percent or better.
The Bison men’s basketball team is one of 48 out of 351 Division I programs to boast a GSR of 100. The wrestling team is one of only four programs with a perfect GSR, joining Columbia, Princeton and Davidson. Men’s lacrosse is one of 10 nationally with a perfect score.
By the federal guidelines, seven Bison varsity programs boast perfect 100-percent graduation rates. Those programs are baseball, men’s lacrosse, field hockey, women’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis and volleyball. Five other programs are at 90 percent or better.
Nationally, the Division I GSR of 86 percent for all student-athletes matched last year’s figure as the highest rate ever recorded.
Each spring, the NCAA releases a separate set of data, called the Academic Progress Rate (APR), which measures both academic performance and retention. Each program receives an APR score, with teams falling under a certain threshold subject to penalties such as loss of scholarships and postseason bans. The top 10 percent in each sport receive APR Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA, and last May, 17 of Bucknell's programs were so honored, the third-highest total in all of Division I. All of Bucknell's programs easily met the NCAA minimum standard, and 17 maintained perfect scores.
Bucknell sponsors 27 intercollegiate sports at the Division I level. It is a charter member of the Patriot League and has won the league's all-sports championship in 18 of the 26 years it has been contested.
FEDERAL GRADUATION RATE:
National Top 5:
1. Stanford 95
2. Bucknell 91
5. Notre Dame 90
Patriot League Programs:
Boston U. 81
Holy Cross 89
Note: The Ivy League and service academies do not report federal graduation rates.
NCAA GRADUATION SUCCESS RATE:
Patriot League Programs:
Boston U. 95
Holy Cross 97
Loyola (Md.) 99