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The GW Hatchet

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Student-athlete graduation rate eclipses nationwide DI average, NCAA data shows

File Photo by Arielle Bader
As graduating seniors prepare to leave their collegiate athletics careers behind, they said their time as student-athletes gave them “Only at GW” moments and teammates they could rely on.

Student-athletes graduate at a 94 percent rate at GW, exceeding the Division I average, according to U.S. Department of Education data the NCAA released Tuesday.

GW Athletics’ graduation success rate – which the NCAA calculates to measure the number of students who enter and graduate college – topped the NCAA’s 90 percent recorded across DI institutions, according to an athletics department release issued Tuesday. The release states the data covers students who entered college between the 2012-13 and 2015-16 academic years as part of a six-year cohort that Education Department “prescribed.”

Seven programs achieved a perfect 100 score, including men’s and women’s cross country and track, volleyball, golf, gymnastics, women’s soccer and women’s tennis, according to the release.

The release states the NCAA developed the graduation rate to address college and university presidents who wanted a more accurate reflection of graduation data among all college students. The NCAA’s graduation success rate traces athletes who received aid to compete “for any period of time during their first year” and accounts for the academic outcomes of student-athletes who transfer from one institution to another, the release states.

“It is rewarding to see each and every student graduate and commence into their field of choice, and these sterling GSR numbers are a testament to the academic excellence that our student-athletes, coaches and support staff prioritize,” Director of Athletics Tanya Vogel said in the release.

Students-athletes have received national and regional recognition for academic success in previous years, not only for graduation rates but also for their grade point average in the classroom.

The Atlantic 10 named 274 GW student-athletes to the Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the 2020-21 academic year, with a combined 3.5 average GPA throughout the pandemic.

A total of 26 teams held at least a combined 3.0 GPA in spring 2021, with 257 student-athletes securing at least a 3.5 GPA. 49 student-athletes recorded a 4.0 GPA that semester, while 378 student-athletes maintained at least a 3.0 GPA, according to the release.

The A-10 has yet to publicize the student-athletes it has named to its honor role for the previous academic year.

Men’s tennis led all GW sports programs in the spring with a combined 3.91 team GPA, followed by gymnastics with a 3.82. Women’s soccer registered a 3.74 mark, followed by golf with a 3.71 and women’s cross country and track with a 3.67.

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