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AB.02.01
April, 2002

UPDATE ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
OF STUDENT ATHLETES AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

A program of the Academic Progress and Eligibility Committee
And Division of Intercollegiate Athletics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History of the Academic Review System (ARS)

In April 1992, the Athletic Board adopted the Academic Review System (ARS) to evaluate the "academic health" of the intercollegiate teams at the University of Illinois. The Academic Review System was initiated in the 1992-1993 academic year. This system sets out specific guidelines for academic performance and evaluations. An important component of this system is continual oversight of the academic performance of student-athletes. The following report is a summary of the analyses done for spring and fall 2001 semesters.

Fall 2000, Spring 2001, Fall 2001 Academic Performance: A Comparison

Grade Point Averages

Before the implementation of the Academic Review System, the average grade point average for all student athletes was 2.79. In the spring semester of 2001, student-athletes had a combined GPA of 2.92 compared to a 3.12 for the general student body. In the fall 2001, student-athletes had a combined GPA of 2.92 compared to a 3.12 for the general student body. During the spring 2001 term, 10 of 19 teams achieved team GPAs of 3.0 or above. In the fall 2001 term, again 10 of 19 teams achieved team GPAs at or above a 3.0 mark.

During the fall 1991 semester the cumulative GPA for male student-athletes was 2.72. In the spring 2001 semester, male student-athletes' achieved a GPA of 2.83. In the fall 2001 semester, male student-athletes' achieved a GPA of 2.81. A GPA of 2.89 was reported for the female student-athletes for fall 1991, Female student-athletes performed at a 3.25 GPA level in the spring of 2001 and at a 3.21 GPA level for the fall 2001.

During the fall 1991 semester, 43.22% of all student-athletes achieved a 3.0 or better GPA. In the spring 2001 semester, 51.65% of student-athletes achieved a GPA of 3.0 or better and during the fall 2001 semester 49.9% of student-athletes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign earned a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. These athletes represented all 19 varsity sports on campus. In addition, nineteen student-athletes, in the spring, and fifteen student-athletes in the fall, achieved perfect grade point averages of 4.0.

Although many factors influence grade point averages, credit may be attributed to the Academic Review System for its role in positively impacting the academic performance of student-athletes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The value of the implementation of the Academic Review System is apparent in the increased academic performance of both men and women student-athletes in the period since its implementation in the fall 1992 semester.

Graduation Rates

In the "Official NCAA Graduation Rates Report" for the years 2000 and 2001, information is reported on all undergraduates at the University of Illinois, as well as all student-athletes who received athletics aid upon initial enrollment.

The 2000 report contains information on students entering the university in 1993. The information in the 2001 report pertains to students entering in 1994.

For comparison, two different measures of graduations rates will be presented in this report: (1) freshman-cohort graduation rate, and 2) exhausted eligibility rate. Within the freshman-cohort graduation rate data are two separate measures. One measure consists of a 4-year class average, the other measures graduation rates of the freshman who enter in a specific year and graduate within 6 years of initial enrollment.

To effectively study the graduation trends, the 4-year class average will be reported for 2000, and for 2001, the graduation rates of those students entering in 1993-1994 will be reported.

The freshman-cohort graduation rate for student-athletes is calculated only for those student-athletes who entered the University of Illinois on athletic aid and graduated from the University of Illinois within six years of enrollment. The freshman-cohort graduation rate does not take into account any student-athlete who was not on athletic aid upon enrollment, or student-athletes who have transferred to another institution and graduated.

2000 NCAA Graduation Rates Report (1993 Cohort)

All Students
Men Women Total
Freshman cohort 75% 79% 77%
(students entering in 1993-94)
Exhausted Eligibility NA NA NA
Student-Athletes
Men Women Total
56% 88% 65%
Exhausted Eligibility 87%


2001 NCAA Graduation Rates Report (1994 cohort)
All Students
Men Women Total
Freshman cohort 74% 79% 76%
(students entering in 1994-1995)
Exhausted Eligibility NA NA NA
Student-Athletes
Men Women Total
55% 79% 64%
Exhausted Eligibility 88%

For those student-athletes who completed their athletics eligibility at the University of Illinois, the graduation rate for 2000 and 2001 was 88%. Information regarding student-athletes who did not complete their eligibility at the University of Illinois, is not available in the NCAA Graduation Rate Report. If a student-athlete initially enrolls at the University of Illinois, and is on athletics aid, this student is included in the freshman cohort regardless of whether the student transfers to another institution.