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Local briefs: IPFW ranks high in graduation rates

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 6:55 pm

The IPFW Department of Athletics and Recreation has posted one of the top Graduation Success Rate (GSR) scores among all schools in the Summit League and in the state of Indiana, and among the top third of all NCAA Division I institutions in terms of completing their degrees.

IPFW's most recent GSR score, released Thursday by the NCAA, was an overall 85, which put them behind only Summit League newcomer Denver, while higher than in-state schools Indiana, Purdue, IUPUI, Ball State, and Indiana State.

In the most recent report, five IPFW teams earned a perfect 100 score, including men's cross country/track & field, men's volleyball, women's golf, women's tennis, and women's volleyball, as 11-of-14 IPFW Athletic programs equaled or exceeded the national average for GSR.

IPFW student-athletes had a stellar year in the classroom, posting a department-record 3.18 cumulative grade point average and the 10th straight season with a 3.0 or greater grade point average. Amanda Hyde was named the Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association Scholar Athlete of the Year while also being named a Capital One Second Team Academic All-American. The Women's Golf team's combined grade point average of 3.675 was the ninth-highest in all of college athletics, and four players - Allison Curtis, Alyssa Turney, Brenna Sherwood, and Taylor Lamphier - earned Women's Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar honors.

Measured as a four-year metric, the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) is for the most recent four graduating classes of all Division I student-athletes. The NCAA's Graduation Success Rate includes transfer students and student-athletes who leave in good academic standing, unlike the federal graduation rate, which does not account for transfers. The GSR and federal rate calculations measure graduation over six years from first-time college enrollment. There are more than 91,000 student-athletes included in the most recent four classes using the GSR methodology, compared with more than 82,000 counted in the federal rate.

The federal graduation rate, while less inclusive than the GSR, provides the only measure of historic academic comparison between student-athletes and the general student body. By this standard, student-athletes consistently outperform nearly all their peers in the student body. Since 1990, the NCAA has annually released graduation rate information on its member institutions from data collected by the U.S. Department of Education. In 2005, the NCAA Division I Committee on Academic Performance implemented the initial release of the GSR data.

Neither the federal graduation rate nor the graduation success rate should be confused with the academic progress rate (APR), which is a real-time calculation of academic progress for all student-athletes receiving financial aid, and will be released by the NCAA later this academic year.