LSU's Graduation Success Rate Reaches All-Time High

by Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette)
LSU's Graduation Success Rate Reaches All-Time High

BATON ROUGE – The success of LSU student-athletes in the classroom reached a new milestone Wednesday as the University scored an all-time high of 90 percent in the most recent Graduation Success Rate released by the NCAA.

LSU’s 90 percent rating was up two points from last year’s mark of 88 and it marked the eighth time in nine years the school’s performance improved from the previous year. The 90 percent GSR rating is up a staggering 21 points since vice chancellor and director of athletics Joe Alleva took over at LSU.

“This is a championship-caliber achievement,” Alleva said. “When we talk about excellence in all things, this is what we mean.

“Since the day I got here nearly 10 years ago, we have placed heavy emphasis on not just improving our performance in the classroom but leading the way. We don’t want to follow or be average, we want to lead the pack and we are well on our way to doing that in relatively short period of time.

“It’s our goal to raise the standard here at LSU every single year.”

And that’s just what LSU has done. When Alleva joined LSU in 2008, the school reported a GSR score of 69 percent. Since then, LSU’s steady climb to its current score of 90 ranks as the best improvement in the Southeastern Conference over that span.

“The graduation rate wasn’t acceptable,” Alleva said of LSU’s rate when he joined the Tiger staff. “We challenged each other, we poured resources into the program and we put great people in place to lead, mentor and educate our student-athletes who have since worked hard to make this happen. It’s come together now and we’re seeing the results and those results will change lives for generations to come.”

“This honor goes to our student-athletes who don’t always get the credit they deserve for not only working long hours to represent our university on the field of play, but spending even more hours pursuing success in the classroom. This is their achievement

Five sports led LSU with perfect score of 100 – men’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s golf, women’s tennis and volleyball.

In addition to LSU’s five perfect scores, football, men’s basketball and baseball all recorded all-time high GSR scores for the school. LSU’s nationally-ranked football team registered a 78, significantly higher than the national average of 44 percent.

LSU’s baseball team scored a 95, while the men’s basketball program recorded a score of 82 percent, both well above the federal average of 29 and 38 percent respectively for each of those sports.

Additionally, seven other sports scored 92 percent or higher led by men’s swimming and diving and women’s track at 96 percent followed by baseball, women’s soccer and women’s swimming and diving at 95 percent. Women’s basketball and the NCAA runner-up gymnastics team round out the LSU teams above 90 at 93 percent.

“Scoring a 90 percent in the GSR is no small feat,” LSU Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Executive Director Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes Kenneth Miles said. “Success like this happens by design, not by accident. We understand that it takes a village to graduate one student-athlete.

“We have unwavering support from Academic Affairs, the LSU Athletic Department and the Tiger Athletic Foundation, and we certainly appreciate their efforts towards reaching our goals. Our student-athletes are to be applauded for their dedication to academics and their commitment to earning a degree.”

These scores provide proof that LSU is putting its student-athletes on the right track for success after their college careers have been completed.

“The vast majority of student-athletes will not compete professionally in sports,” Alleva said. “Our job is to prepare them as best we can for that next step. A degree and the knowledge and skills associated with earning that degree are invaluable.”

The NCAA developed the Graduation Success Rate to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The rate holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.

Under the calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. The outgoing transfers are included in the receiving institution’s GSR cohort.

The most recent Division I Graduation Success Rates are based on the four entering classes from 2007-2008 through 2010-11. The NCAA began compiling these figures with the entering freshmen class of 1995.