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Five athletics programs earn perfect mark in 2018 NIU Graduation Success Report

November 26, 2018

11 of 15 teams rank at or above the national average

Five Northern Illinois University athletic programs achieved perfect 100 percent Graduation Success Rates (GSR) in the recently released GSR report by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

NIU recorded an overall GSR of 86 percent in the 2017-18 cohort, matching last year’s rate and continuing the recent success in GSR by Huskie student-athletes. Each of the five highest GSR marks in school history have occurred in the last five years.

“At NIU, we have high expectations when it comes to graduating student-athletes and this latest GSR report is another indication that we are on the right track when it comes to meeting those expectations,” said NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier. “We’re never satisfied, but certainly pleased with the continued success by our student-athletes in the classroom.”

The GSR has been used by the NCAA as an academic assessment tool for the last 17 years and is seen as the most accurate measure of a school’s ability to graduate student-athletes. This year’s report gives graduation information about the most recent six-year graduating class of student-athletes who entered as freshmen in 2011-12.

Perfect 100 percent GSR marks were achieved by the NIU women’s basketball, women’s golf, gymnastics, women’s soccer and volleyball teams as NIU’s female student-athletes achieved a combined GSR of 96 percent, three points higher than the Division I national average. The Huskie gymnastics team achieved a 100 percent mark for the 11th consecutive season, the NIU women’s golf team had a 100 percent GSR for the 10th consecutive year while the Huskie women’s soccer and volleyball programs each both met the 100 percent mark for the fifth-straight year.

The NIU women’s basketball team’s mark of 100 percent was a nine-point improvement over last season, and the baseball, men’s soccer and women’s tennis teams all saw their rates improve by three percentage points or more from a year ago.

Along with the five 100 percent marks, 11 of NIU’s 15 programs (indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country are combined) met or exceeded the national average in their respective sports. At 83 percent, the NIU football program was six points higher than the national Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) national average and ranked second-best in the Mid-American Conference behind Miami (87 percent).

Unlike the federal graduation rate, the GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students and accounts for mid-year enrollees. Universities are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing, while incoming transfer students and midyear enrollees are included in the calculation.

The complete Graduation Success Rate report for all Division I schools, including a searchable historical database and the Federal Graduation Rate data, is available online at