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Dartmouth Athletics Tops D-I Schools in Graduation Success Rate

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By Beverly Schaefer
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HANOVER, N.H. — The NCAA has released its annual student-athlete graduation rate survey, and Dartmouth College once again has been shown to lead the nation in Graduation Success Rate (GSR). With a GSR of 99 percent for student-athletes who began college in 2006, Dartmouth led Division I institutions for a second straight year. Tying for the top spot this year were Brown University and the University of Notre Dame.

“Our student-athletes’ academic efforts are nothing short of amazing,” said Dartmouth Director of Athletics and Recreation Harry Sheehy. “Their ability to balance the rigors of a Dartmouth undergraduate education and a championship-driven Division I athletic experience is outstanding. Dartmouth students benefit from high engagement from our faculty, deans and campus colleagues. This approach to student success defines comprehensive excellence.”
The Ivy League also topped the survey for a third-straight year, with the Ancient Eight combining for an average rating of 96%. After Dartmouth and Brown, Harvard and Yale came in a 98 percent, followed by Coumbia at 97, Penn and Princeton at 96, and Cornell at 95.
This marks the third consecutive year that the Ivy League has been included in the GSR data, as the NCAA did not collect graduation rate data for student-athletes who were not receiving athletically-related aid until 2004.
The average GSR for the last four graduating classes of all Division I student-athletes (2003-2006) climbed to 81 percent, still at an all-time high for the NCAA, according to NCAA President Mark Emmert. The most recent one-year GSR for the 2006 class is 82 percent, the highest rate ever. Since the NCAA first began tracking the GSR with student-athletes who entered college in 1995, the rate has increased 8 percentage points.
The NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate includes transfer students and student-athletes who leave in good academic standing. The GSR measures graduation over six years from first-time college enrollment.
Each spring, the NCAA also releases a separate set of data, the Academic Progress Rate (APR), which measures both academic performance and retention. Each athletic 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. Last June, Dartmouth had more programs honored than any other school in Division I, with 25 teams recognized. All of Dartmouth’s programs easily met the NCAA minimum standard as well.