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High Academic Success Continues for USciences Student-Athletes
Posted: Monday, December 16, 2013
Contact:  Bob Heller
Contact Email:  r.heller@usciences.edu
Contact Phone:  215-895-3133
The NCAA has released the latest Division II graduation rate data, including the division’s Academic Success Rate (ASR), and University of the Sciences ranked sixth highest among all active member NCAA Division II schools in the nation.

The USciences athletic programs recorded an overall academic success rate of 96% for the four-year cohort of 2003-2006. Only Simon Fraser University (100); Davis and Elkins College (99); William Jewell College (99); Saint Michael’s College (98); and Stonehill College (97) recorded a higher rate. Three of the five schools were ranked ahead of USciences last year with Stonehill College having the same rate as USciences, while Davis and Elkins moved into the top five with an 11-point jump in their rate from last year.

The USciences athletic program has been submitting ASR data to the NCAA since 2006-07. In the seven-year span from 2006-2013, the Devils have ranked no lower than seventh nationally in any given year among all active NCAA Division II institutions (2007-08 with an ASR of 94). USciences has had an ASR of 96 or better in each of the last five cohort years.

USciences' 96% ASR is, for the seventh-consecutive year, the best rate among all 14 institutions within the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). USciences had six of its 11 athletic programs (mixed and women’s rifle is counted as one sport by the NCAA for ASR purposes) produce an ASR of 100% for the cohort years 2003- 2006. 

  • Among the conference sport programs, the men’s basketball program was one of only two basketball programs within the CACC, and one of just 19 nationally to record a 100% rate.  
  • The University’s women’s basketball program fared equally as well with a 100% rate and was one of only four programs within the CACC and 11 within the East region to have a perfect mark. 
  • Four of the five women’s program included within the report had a success rate of 100% with the cross country, softball, and volleyball teams joining the women’s basketball program with a perfect mark. 
  • The women’s volleyball and women’s softball teams were one of only five programs in their respective sport within the CACC to record 100% rate. The women’s cross country team was one of seven in the league to have a perfect mark.
  • Joining the men’s basketball program with 100% success rate was the men’s tennis team. The men’s tennis team was one of only three men’s tennis programs within the conference to have a perfect mark.  
  • The USciences baseball team was the second highest among all the CACC baseball teams with a 89 ASR rate, while the men’s golf team was the third highest amongst CACC institutions with a 95% rate.
In the seven years that USciences has been reporting ASR data, only three of its teams have recorded a 100% rate in each of the seven reporting years: women’s cross country and softball and men’s tennis. The Devils seven-year overall average ASR is 96.86.

The national four-year ASR average decreased one point overall to 71 percent, while the entering class of 2006 dropped three points to 69 percent from 2005.

This is the eighth year the NCAA has released the ASR. The NCAA developed the Division II ASR at the request of college and university presidents who believed the federal graduation rate was flawed. Division II’s ASR data takes transfer students into account and removes students who left the institution in good academic standing. In addition, given the partial-scholarship financial aid model of Division II, the ASR data includes student-athletes not on athletically related financial aid. The result is that ASR captures more than 35,000 non-scholarship student-athletes.

Even when utilizing the less-inclusive federal rate, Division II student-athletes perform significantly better than the general student body. The federal rate for Division II student-athletes in the 2006 entering class decreased by one point to 54 percent, while the general student body held steady at 48 percent.

At the NCAA Convention in January 2014, the Division II membership will vote on a five-part legislative package intended to increase student-athlete success and graduation rates. The five proposals in the package address a variety of academic standards, and include adjustments to eligibility standards and progress toward degree requirements.

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