UNH Athletics Ranked Second in the Nation Among Public Institutions in Graduation Success Rate
Media Contact:  Scott Stapin
(603) 862-3906
UNH Athletic Media Relations
Nov. 24, 2009

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire ranks highest in the America East Conference, the Colonial Athletic Conference and second nationally among all public institutions, trailing only the U.S. Naval Academy, for the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of its student athletes, according to numbers recently released by the NCAA.

 “Our number one priority is to recruit, retain and graduate high caliber student athletes,” said President Mark W. Huddleston. “Success in the classroom is as vital as success on the playing fields, courts and rinks at UNH.  Achieving the highest Graduation Success Rate among all of the land-grant institutions in the nation is a wonderful achievement, and a tribute to all who work with our student athletes, as well as to the student athletes themselves.”

Posting 100 percent GSRs for New Hampshire were men’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, men’s skiing, men’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s cross country and track, women’s crew, field hockey, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, women’s skiing, women’s soccer, women’s swimming, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball. Also performing well among their peers was football with a 95 percent mark.

“Of all of our accomplishments athletically, this may be the most significant,” said Athletic Director Marty Scarano. “For a land-grant institution to achieve this distinction there has to be a deep commitment to do all of the right things. It reflects well on the entire university and its dedication to student welfare, the hard work of our student athletes, coaches, and staff, and their daily approach to their endeavors.”

The “Chronicle of Higher Education” Top 10 Overall:
1. Notre Dame                   99 %
1. Colgate                         99
3. U.S. Naval Academy       98
4. New Hampshire            97
4. Wofford College              97
4. Northwestern University  97
4. Lafayette College           97
4. Furman University          97
4. Duke University              97
4. Davidson College            97

America East GSR numbers school-by-school:
1. New Hampshire            97 %
2. Boston University           94
3. Vermont                        91
4. Binghamton                   86
5. Hartford                        85
6. UMBC                            85
7. Albany                          76
8. Maine                            76
9. Stony Brook                   68

Colonial Athletic Association numbers school-by-school:
1. New Hampshire            97 %
2. William & Mary               95
3. UNC-Wilmington            90
4. James Madison               84
5. Towson                         82
6. Delaware                       80
7. Hofstra                          80
8. Northeastern                  78
9. George Mason                75
10. VCU                            73
11. Old Dominion               71
12. Georgia State               69

UNH also had the highest GSR rate (97 percent) among 54 different land-grant universities. The average GSR for America East was 84 percent, the average for the CAA was 80 percent and the average for land-grant universities was 74 percent.

The news was good in general throughout the country, as the NCAA reported that 79 percent of Division I freshman student athletes who entered college in 2002 earned their degrees, matching last year’s rate, and that the average GSR for the last four graduating classes is 79 percent, one percentage point higher than last year.

The NCAA developed the Graduation Success Rate as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately assess the academic success of student athletes. The rate holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The Graduation Success Rate also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.

Under the calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. The outgoing transfers are essentially passed to the receiving institution’s Graduation Success Rate cohort.

By counting incoming transfer students and midyear enrollees, the Graduation Success Rate increases the total number of student athletes tracked for graduation by more than 37 percent. The NCAA also calculates the federal graduation rate for student athletes. It is the only rate by which to compare student-athletes to the general student body.

The most recent Division I Graduation Success Rates are based on the four entering freshmen classes from 1999-2000 through 2002-03. More than 102,000 student athletes are included in the most recent four classes using the GSR methodology, as compared to slightly fewer than 75,000 counted in the federal rate.

This year marks the eighth year that Graduation Success Rate data have been collected. The NCAA began collecting GSR data with the entering freshman class of 1995. The latest entering class for which data are available is 2002.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.