Behind the Blue Disk: Division I Academic Reform

Publish date: Oct 15, 2010

Division I Academic Reform

What is the goal of the NCAA’s academic reform efforts? The NCAA’s foremost academic goal is for student-athletes to graduate with meaningful degrees preparing them for life.

What are some of the Division I academic reform highlights? The reforms start with increased high school academic requirements for prospective student-athletes. After student-athletes are enrolled, they must meet standards that ensure they will graduate in a timely fashion.

What is the Academic Progress Rate and how does the NCAA administer it? The NCAA developed the Academic Progress Rate to measure how scholarship student-athletes are performing term by term. It is a composite team measurement based upon how individual team members do academically. Teams that don’t achieve a minimum APR are subject to sanctions. The NCAA works closely with APR-challenged schools to help them improve and minimize sanctions.

Does the NCAA track graduation rates? Yes. The Division I Graduation Success Rate was developed to more accurately reflect the mobility of today’s college students. The GSR measurement includes student-athletes who transfer between schools, unlike the federal government’s model that does not currently count student-athletes who transfer into a school and counts student-athletes who transfer out of a school as not having graduated.

Are student-athletes doing better? Yes. For the most recent GSR cohort, 82 percent of Division I student-athletes earned their degrees. For the rolling four-year aggregate, the rate is 80 percent.

Percentage of NCAA student-athletes who become professional athletes:

Baseball: 11.6%

Men’s ice hockey: 1.3%

Football: 1.7%

Men’s basketball: 1.2%

Women’s basketball: 0.9%

Men’s soccer: 1.0%