Zags Graduating at a 98 Percent Success Rate

Data released by NCAA Tuesday has GU student-athletes among nation’s elite


Complete NCAA Release

INDIANAPOLIS — Gonzaga student-athletes are graduating at a rate of 98 percent according to the latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) numbers released by the NCAA on Wednesday, including 10 GU teams that achieved a 100 percent graduation rate.

Overall, GU's 98 percent graduation rate is tied for the seventh-best in the nation. Harvard is at 100 percent overall and five others are tied at 99 percent, including Columbia, Evansville, Dartmouth, Loyola-Chicago and Yale. GU is tied with 10 others, including Notre Dame, Northwestern, Princeton, Holy Cross and others.

"We continue to be impressed by the effort and dedication our student-athletes put forth in earning their degrees," Director of Athletics Mike Roth said. "Their level of achievement both in competition and in the classroom, as well as the community, has remained at a nationally elite level. Our faculty, coaches and academic support staff have done a great job of supporting our student-athletes and helping them be successful."

For comparison, the Federal Graduation Rate is 77 percent and the NCAA GSR average is 89 percent, while the West Coast Conference average is at 91 percent. Gonzaga has the highest GSR in the league, followed by LMU and Portland at 94 percent.

Ten Gonzaga squads achieved perfect 100-percent GSR scores, including women's basketball for the fourth straight year and men's basketball for the third straight year. GU women's cross country and track and field and women's golf each had a perfect 100-percent GSR for the 15th straight year, while men's cross country and track and field (12 straight), men's tennis (11 straight), men's soccer (10 straight), women's soccer (nine straight, 11th time overall), and men's golf (eight straight) all extended their impressive streaks of 100-percent GSR scores. Women's rowing had a perfect 100-percent GSR for the eighth time in program history.

Eleven of GU's 13 countable programs finished above the national average in their respective sports. Seven of those teams finished at least five percentage points better. Men's Basketball achieved a 100 percent GSR score, 20 percentage points higher than the national average of 80 percent for the sport, men's golf was 14 points higher and women's golf was 11 points higher than their own respective averages for their sport.

According to the NCAA, the Division I Board of Directors created the GSR in 2002 in response to Division I college and university presidents who wanted data that more accurately reflected the mobility of college students beyond what the federal graduation rate measures. The federal rate counts as an academic failure any student who leaves a school, no matter whether he or she enrolls at another school. Also, the federal rate does not recognize students who enter 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 provides a more accurate appraisal of student-athlete success.

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