Bucknell Ranks Fourth Nationally in Student-Athlete Graduation Rate
Oct. 25, 2011
LEWISBURG, Pa. -Not only does Bucknell Athletics once again rank among the nation's elite when it comes to the graduation rate of its student-athletes, but using both the Department of Education's and the NCAA's formulae, Bucknell's scores are going up. The NCAA released its annual graduation rates survey on Tuesday, and Bucknell's four-class average for student-athletes entering between 2001-02 and 2004-05 ranks fourth nationally among Division I programs.
With a four-class average of 90 percent, Bucknell trails only Holy Cross (92), Davidson (91) and Notre Dame (91) among all Division I institutions reporting federal graduation rates (the Ivy League and military academies do not report federal graduation rates). Stanford joins Bucknell at 90 percent.
In the 2010 survey, Bucknell ranked No. 7 nationally with a student-athlete graduation rate of 87 percent.
Bucknell's four-class graduation rate of 90 percent for student-athletes is identical to that of its entire student body, and Bucknell's single-year graduation rate of 97 percent exceeds the university-wide rate of 92 percent.
Also on Tuesday, the NCAA released its own Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data, which 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.
Those findings revealed that 18 Bucknell varsity programs boast perfect 100 percent GSRs, counting student-athletes who entered school between the 2001-02 and 2004-05 academic years. Of Bucknell's 22 varsity sports considered in the study (cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field are combined, for GSR purposes), all 22 have a GSR of 88 percent or better, and 20 came in at 90 or better.
The programs with GSR ratings of 100 percent are baseball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's water polo, women's basketball, women's rowing, women's track and field, field hockey and volleyball. Football (95) and men's basketball (89) both have GSRs that are among the highest in the nation.
Bucknell's overall GSR of 97 percent ranks 10th-best nationally. Bucknell trails only Brown (100), Columbia (100), American (99), Colgate (99), Dartmouth (99), Notre Dame (99), Holy Cross (98), Harvard (98) and Siena (98). Also at 97 percent along with Bucknell are Boston College, Davidson, Duke, Lafayette and Yale.
A year ago, Bison teams ranked 12th nationally in GSR at 95 percent. The national average is 82 percent, an all-time high according to the NCAA.
Bucknell has topped the nation in graduation rates on numerous occasions, including in 2003, when it received a USA Today-NCAA Academic Achievement Award with a perfect 100 percent figure.
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. The top 10 percent in each sport receive APR Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA, and last May, 16 of Bucknell's programs were so honored, the sixth-highest total in all of Division I. All of Bucknell's programs easily met the NCAA minimum standard, and 13 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 17 of the 21 years it has been contested, including 2010-11. Bucknell ranks fifth in Division I in producing Academic All-Americans.