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NIU Athletics’ Graduation Success Rate on the rise

October 21, 2019

Huskies’ 88 Percent Mark is Second-Highest All-Time


NIU’s 88 percent GSR – the academic assessment tool used by the NCAA to measure a school’s ability to graduate student-athletes – is the second highest in school history and reflects a two percent improvement from a year ago.  This year’s report is based on graduation information on the freshmen cohorts who entered school between 2009-10 and 2012-13.
“Every year, the release of the Graduation Success Rate report provides us with more validation that at NIU, we are living up to our commitment to graduate student-athletes,” said NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier. “Providing student-athletes with the resources and support needed to succeed academically as well as athletically is at the core of our mission. Seeing the success of our student-athletes in the classroom reflected in these numbers is a result of their hard work, along with the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services unit, the coaches and athletics staff.”
Seven Huskie programs posted perfect 100 percent Graduation Success Rates in the latest report, up from five a year ago as men’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s soccer and volleyball all saw every student-athlete who entered during that four-year period graduate. 
The Huskie gymnastics team achieved a 100 percent mark for the 12th consecutive season, the NIU women’s golf team had a 100 percent GSR for the 11th consecutive year while the Huskie women’s soccer and volleyball programs each both met the 100 percent mark for the sixth straight year. Women’s basketball earned its second straight perfect score, while men’s tennis and men’s golf saw their graduation success rates rise by 12 percent each to get to 100 percent.  
Overall six Huskie programs improved their GSR from a year ago. In addition to men’s golf and men’s tennis, baseball saw a seven percent jump to 93 percent, nine percent better than the national average and wrestling improved by eight percent.  The Huskie men’s basketball team’s GSR is at 82 percent, a two percent increase from a year ago and tied for the third highest mark in school history.  The combined GSR for NIU male student-athletes was up four percent from 2018, to 83 percent.
The Huskie football team’s most recent Graduation Success Rate of 88 percent is the second highest in program history and is a five percent increase from last year.  NIU’s 88 percent GSR is 10 percent above the national average for all Division I football programs and nine percent higher than the Football Bowl Subdivision average.  Only one football program in Illinois had a GSR higher than the Huskies and NIU football’s GSR ranks second in the MAC and tied for 21st in the country.    
The most accurate measure of a school’s ability to graduate student-athletes, the GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students and accounts for mid-year enrollees, unlike the federal graduation rate.


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.