Northwestern State breaks its Graduation Success Rate record with 87 percent

For the seventh straight year, Northwestern State athletics has broken its department record in the Graduation Success Rate, which measures the percentage of NSU student-athletes who graduate within a six-year window.

NSU graduated 87 percent of its 2014 freshman cohort, which is the latest data available.

The 2014 cohort accounts for all student-athletes who started and finished their academic careers at NSU and any student-athletes who transferred into NSU from other institutions.

The Demons 2013 freshman cohort set the previous record at 84 percent.

“The continued academic success of NSU Athletics, and in record-setting fashion, has been accomplished in the same way as competitive wins – with a team effort,” said NSU athletics director Greg Burke. “From our coaches to the academic/compliance staffs to our faculty, and of course through the due diligence of our student-athletes, making the grade is a staple of our athletic department and is one of which I am very proud.”

One major factor in the three percent uptick is the men’s and women’s track/cross country programs, both of which graduated 81 percent from the 2014 class.

The men posted a 62 percent in the 2013 class after scores in the 50s for the previous three reports.

The women scored a 73 for the 2013 class.

Tennis and volleyball posted perfect 100 scores.

Four other programs graduated 90 percent or better from the 2014 group, including softball (95), soccer (92) and men’s and women’s basketball (92).

Football earned its second straight score above 80, checking in with an 82 in the 2014 cohort.

The Division I Board of Directors created the GSR in response to Division I college and university presidents who wanted data that more accurately reflected the mobility of college students than the federal graduation rate. The federal rate counts any student who leaves a school as an academic failure, no matter whether he or she enrolls at another school and graduates.

Also, the federal rate does not recognize students who enter their graduating school as transfer students.

The GSR formula removes from the rate student-athletes who leave school while academically eligible and includes student-athletes who transfer to a school after initially enrolling elsewhere.

This calculation makes it a more complete and accurate look at student-athlete success.

PHOTO:  Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

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