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Northwestern a National Leader in Academic Progress Rate

March 1, 2005

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released its preliminary Academic Progress Rate (APR) data-scores that will measure an institution's academic performance and whether or not a school or specific sport program is meeting a minimum APR standard, known as a "cut score."

Northwestern's preliminary APR, which is derived from 2003-04 academic data, is an "impressive" 980.  The 980 score leads all Big Ten Conference institutions and falls well above the NCAA established "cut score."

All 19 Northwestern varsity sports programs recorded a figure above 950, with 10 of the programs achieving a perfect 1,000 (men's basketball, men's golf, men's swimming and diving, men's tennis, women's fencing, women's golf, women's lacrosse, women's soccer, women's tennis and women's volleyball).

"Success in intercollegiate athletics at Northwestern University has long been linked to the educational mission of the institution," said Mark Murphy, Northwestern University's director of athletics. "We take a great deal of pride in graduating our student-athletes while fielding competitive teams, many of whom are ranked among their sport's best. The APR data for Northwestern is impressive and enlightening, but not surprising."

The overall NCAA Division I-A average APR was 944, while the overall Division I average was 948. The Big Ten Conference average was 963.

The APR "cut score" of 925 equates to a 50-percent graduation rate. Teams that fall below the 925 mark would be subject to contemporaneous penalties if they have a student-athlete that leaves the institution and would not have been eligible had he or she returned for the next term. In this case, the institution would be precluded from awarding that student-athlete's scholarship to an incoming student-athlete for a one-year period. No penalties will be imposed until after a two-year APR score (2003-04 and 2004-05) is determined.

When calculating the APR, each student-athlete can earn two points per academic per term, one for maintaining academic eligibility and one for returning to school for the next term or graduating.

NOTE: Please be aware that colleges/universities may make corrections to APR data during the month of March. APR reports will be updated in early April to reflect any such changes.

Topics: University News