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W&M Athletics remains No. 1 for publics in Federal Graduation Rate

  • W&M Athletics number one public graduation rate text graphic
    Still on top  For the 15th year, William & Mary posted the highest Federal Graduation Rate of any public university, according to NCAA data.  
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For the 15th year in a row, William & Mary Athletics bested all public schools in the Federal Graduation Rate, released this week.

The annual rate, 86% for William & Mary, was included in the latest NCAA graduation rate data. The ranking not only reflected William & Mary Athletics’ priority commitment to academic excellence, but aligned with Athletics’ strategic plan, “Tribe 2025,” released last week.

In “Tribe 2025,” William & Mary recognized the integral part Athletics plays in developing leaders who will graduate to lead lives of positive impact. One of the six main goals highlighted in the plan is maintaining the long-standing high academic standards of the department.

“We are dedicated to delivering a holistic student-athlete experience,” said Athletics Director Samantha K. Huge. “It is a tribute to our staff, coaches and most especially our students when they perform in the classroom and earn their degrees. We will continue to challenge our student-athletes to set and achieve ambitious goals and maintain the highest standards of excellence throughout our department."

In each of the 15 years that the NCAA has been releasing graduation data, W&M has ranked first of all public colleges and universities in the Federal Graduation Rate, or FGR. The rate, which is based on federal data, reflects students graduating within six years of entering, but does not account for transfer students.

Five teams at W&M earned a FGR of 100%, including women's golf, men's basketball, men's gymnastics, men's swimming and men's tennis.

William & Mary’s 86% FGR is well ahead of the national average of 68% for all student-athletes. Including private institutions, the Tribe's FGR tied for 11th, holding steady with 2018.

The NCAA also issues ranking information for the Graduation Success Rate, or GSR, which does account for transfer students (both into and out from the institution) as well as mid-year enrollees.

W&M was also exceptional in its GSR standings, tying for second among public universities and tied for 38th overall, an increase of five spots over last year. W&M ranks first among all Virginia universities.

The Tribe had a department GSR of 95%, its highest mark since 2009-10 and tied for the third-highest ever, just a single percentage point off its all-time high. Among public schools, only New Hampshire at 96% ranked higher. The national average for the four-year GSR this year was 87%.

W&M had 11 teams report a 100% GSR, its highest number since also reporting 11 in 2011-12.  This is the fourth year in a row at W&M that the number of teams with a perfect graduation rate has increased. That list includes five teams that report a perfect GSR every year, including men's and women's gymnastics, men's tennis, women's golf and volleyball.

The men's basketball and women's lacrosse teams were both perfect for the second year in a row, while women's soccer earned a 100% rating for the third year in a row and men's golf for the fourth year in a row. Women's swimming earned a perfect GSR for the first time since 2006-07 and the third year overall, and women's tennis earned its 11th overall perfect score and the first since 2013-14.

This year's data will be the first used by the NCAA for rewarding universities revenue based on academic achievements. Departments can earn the academic unit by satisfying one of three criteria; including an overall department-wide GSR of 90% or higher, a department-wide APR of 985 or higher or a student-athlete FGR at least 13 points higher than the schools' overall student-body FGR.

The award pool is funded from the NCAA's broadcast contract for the Men's Basketball Championship Tournament, and the size of each individual award is dependent on the number of qualifying universities. In its initial announcement of the award, the NCAA projected the academic distribution per school would be approximately $55,000 in the first year, growing to more than $550,000 by 2030-31.  Based on this week's data, 140 schools have satisfied the GSR criteria, including six of the 10 schools in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The NCAA data was derived from students who enrolled in the fall of 2012 and the four-year average of students who enrolled between the fall of 2009 and the fall of 2012.

More information can be found at W&M Tribe Athletics’ site.