Virginia Tech Athletics found itself at the forefront of academic successes once again, as the department’s sports combined to record an overall Graduation Success Rate of 91 percent in a report released by the NCAA on Wednesday afternoon.
The NCAA developed the formula for its Graduation Success Rate, or GSR, metric as part of its 2003 academic reform initiatives to better measure student-athlete academic success. It differs from the federal graduation rate in several ways, most notably by not penalizing schools that have transfers who depart in good academic standing and by counting transfers who enroll into a school in good academic standing. The GSR also takes into account the academic standing of mid-year enrollees, whereas the federal formula does not.
The NCAA’s GSR metric allows student-athletes six years to earn their degrees. This year’s rate is based on the average of student-athletes who enrolled in 2009, 2010, 2011 and the most recent data of 2012 and who also graduated within six years following their enrollment. Thus, those in the 2009 freshman class would have graduated by 2015, those in the 2010 class by 2016, those in the 2011 class by 2017 and those in the 2012 class by 2018.
Tech’s overall GSR of 91 percent ranked tied for eighth among the ACC’s 15 schools and tied for second among the nine public schools in the league. Tech’s GSR has been above 90 percent for four consecutive years and five of the past seven.
Six Virginia Tech sports programs had a perfect GSR of 100 percent: baseball, men’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s soccer, women’s tennis and softball. The Hokies’ women’s soccer and women’s tennis programs have recorded a 100 percent score ever since the NCAA went to the GSR formula, while the men’s golf team extended its streak of perfect 100 percent scores to 11 consecutive years. The men’s tennis program has been at 100 percent for four straight years.
In addition, five other sports finished at 90 percent or better, led by lacrosse (96), men’s soccer (95), women’s swimming (93), women’s track (90) and volleyball (90). Tech’s football program came in at 87 percent, while the men’s swimming program finished at 88 percent and men’s track and field came in at 86 percent. The wrestling program was at 83 percent and the women’s basketball program at 82 percent.
The football program’s score ranked tied for fourth in the ACC and tied for second among public schools in the league. The score for the Tech men’s soccer team ranked fourth in the ACC, tops among public institutions in the league.