Bulls Post Record 86% Graduation Success Rate

November 15, 2016


Athletics posts record GSR score for third straight year

Football Among Seven Programs To Log A Record GSR Score

Seven Women’s Programs Post Record Average GSR Of 97 Percent

TAMPA, NOV. 15, 2016– University of South Florida Athletics continues to excel in the classroom, as the Bulls posted a record 86 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for all student-athletes when the NCAA announced GSR numbers for all Division I institutions Tuesday.

USF matched or equaled a record overall GSR score for the third straight year, boosted by a record seven programs, including football, that matched or exceeded program record scores and seven women’s programs that posted an average GSR of 97 percent.

USF improved on its previous GSR record score of 83 percent, posted in 2014 and 2015, by three percent. The 2016 numbers represent scholarship student-athletes over a six-year period starting with freshmen that entered college in 2009. The record GSR comes on the heels of all 18 evaluated USF programs posting an Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 955 or better for the first time in program history last May.

“I am so proud of our student-athletes, coaches and Academic Services staff who continue to pursue success in the classroom with as much pride and passion as we do on the fields and courts of athletic competition,“ USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said. “The total student-athlete experience and the pursuit of excellence continues to be at the heart of our mission and cannot be achieved without a complete team effort.”

USF has seen its overall program GSR score rise by 14 percent over the last seven years and now exceed the national average of 75 percent for Football Bowl Subdivision schools by more than 10 percent. USF’s Graduation Success Rates for African-American student-athletes of 79 percent and Hispanic student-athletes of 83 percent were both well above the national averages.

The football program improved its GSR score for the fourth-straight year, logging a program-record 82 percent Graduation Success Rate. It marked the third straight year the football program set a Graduation Success Rate record and its first-ever report above 80 percent. The Bulls 82 percent mark was well above the 74 percent national average for FBS football programs.

Four USF women’s programs posted perfect GSR scores of 100 percent led by Ken Eriksen’s softball program, the 2016 American Athletic Conference champion, which posted a perfect score for a USF program record fifth straight year. Women’s tennis posted a 100 percent GSR mark for the third straight year, women’s golf for the eighth time in program history, and women’s volleyball increased its GSR for the fourth straight year to post a program record 100 percent mark. All of USF’s seven women’s programs posted a 90 percent or higher GSR score for the first time in program history. USF’s seven evaluated women’s programs posted an average Graduation Success Rate of 97 percent, a program record.  

The men’s tennis program, which is coming off three straight conference championships, posted a record 83 percent graduation rate, matching or exceeding a program record for the third straight year. Five of seven men’s programs saw year-over-year improvement of GSR, including track and field, golf and basketball.

“The graduation of our student-athletes is our number one goal,” said Tim Anderson, associate director of athletics for academics. ““With the tremendous support of our administration, coaches, campus partners and AD Mark Harlan, we are proud to provide high-level support services, resources and an amazing Academic Services staff to our student-athletes as they balance their academic and athletic pursuits and strive to achieve their goals.”

USF graduated 81 student-athletes in 2015-16 and posted a record overall department grade-point average of 3.085 among nearly 500 student-athletes, including a record 2.907 for football in the spring. USF has posted better than a 2.90 overall GPA for 17-consecutive semesters. The Bulls’ academic success was led by 249 student-athletes that recorded a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the 206 spring semester, a number that represents over 60 percent of student-athletes enrolled in the spring.

The Bulls had 214 student-athletes earn Academic All-conference honors during the 2015-16 season, bringing USF’s three-year total to 580, including record numbers for the football program in three straight seasons culminating with 38 honorees last year.

The Graduation Success Rate data is based on a six-year cohort prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to show the proportion of student-athletes on any given team who earn a college degree.

The most recent data is based on percentage of student-athletes who entered college in 2009 who earned a degree. The NCAA developed the Division I Graduation Success Rate in response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflect the mobility among all college students today. Both the Graduation Success Rate and the Academic Progress Rate account for the academic outcomes of student-athletes who transfer from one institution to another.

About USF Athletics

USF Athletics sponsors 19 varsity men’s and women’s teams that compete in 11 different sports, 18 competing at the NCAA Division I level in the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls’ athletic program celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, having started with a men’s soccer contest in 1965. Nearly 500 student-athletes train and compete in the athletic district located on the east end of the Tampa campus. The Bulls have claimed nine conference titles, so far, in four seasons in The American. Nine USF programs reached NCAA post-season competition in the 2015-16 season. USF posted an 86 percent Graduation Success Rate among student-athletes in 2016, with 214 earning conference all-academic recognition.

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