IOWA CITY – Student-athletes at the University of Iowa set a school record and outperformed their peers nationally in the classroom for the fifth consecutive year, according to data released today by the NCAA.
According to the NCAA’s annual report on the academic successes across the country, student-athletes who entered the University of Iowa in the fall of 2009 graduated at a rate of 90 percent, when the rate was calculated using the criteria for the NCAA’s “Graduation Success Rate,” or “GSR.”
That mark bested the UI’s previous all-time high score of 89 in the GSR posted last year. This year’s mark also ranks second-highest in the Big Ten for the past two years and is the highest in the state of Iowa among the four regent schools (Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Drake).
Seven UI teams scored a perfect GSR: field hockey, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and volleyball. Sixteen of Iowa’s 24 teams posted GSR’s that were at or above the rate they posted year, and were better than their peers nationally.
Six Hawkeye teams earned a perfect GSR for the third consecutive year, while the women’s golf and field hockey teams scored a perfect score for the seventh straight season.
“Our simplified mission statement is win, graduate, do it right. I am proud that our students, coaches, and staff fully embrace that holistic approach. It started long before I arrived and has been part of our culture,” said UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta.
Student-athletes who entered the University of Iowa in the fall of 2009 graduated at a rate of 76 percent when the rate was calculated under the criteria of the federal government’s benchmark for graduation success. The UI’s FGR score of 76 ranks fourth in the Big Ten, and marks the sixth consecutive year that the federal graduation rate for student-athletes at the UI has exceeded 70 percent.
The NCAA introduced the GSR in 2005 to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. Unlike the federal graduation rate, the GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees.
“Culturally and historically, our student-athletes have done well in the classroom,” said Barta. “The rates our students achieved this year are among the top of the Big Ten and the best in the country. We’re proud when we win, graduate, and how our student-athletes represent this university. This is one more example of the Hawkeyes being the best; and when you come to Iowa, you’re going to leave prepared to take on the world.”