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AB.08.01

UPDATE ON THE ACADEMICS OF STUDENT ATHLETES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
A program of the Academic Progress and Eligibility Committee
A Faculty Senate 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.  These criteria are: 1) All team members must earn an average 2.25 GPA for the semester.  2) All scholarship student-athletes must earn at least an average 2.25 GPA for the semester.  3) 80% of the team must earn at least a 2.0 GPA for the semester.  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 the spring 2007 and fall 2007 semesters.

 

Spring 2007 and Fall 2007 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 2007, student-athletes had a combined GPA of 3.09 compared to a 3.08 for the general student body.  In the fall semester of 2007, student-athletes had a combined GPA of 3.048compared to a 3.08 for the general student body.  In the spring 2007 term, 15 out of 19 teams achieved GPA’s at or above the 3.0 mark.  During the fall 2007 term, 13 out of 19 teams achieved team GPA’s of 3.0 or above. 

During the fall 1991 semester the cumulative GPA for male student-athletes’ was 2.72.  In the spring 2007 semester, male student-athletes’ achieved a GPA of 2.97.  In the fall 2007 semester, male student-athletes’ achieved a GPA of 2.870.  A GPA of 2.89 was reported for the female student-athletes for the fall 1991, while female student-athletes’ performed at a 3.20 GPA level in the spring 2007 term and a 3.191 GPA level for the fall 2007 term.

During the fall 1991 semester, 43.22% of all student-athletes achieved a 3.0 or better GPA.  In the spring 2007 semester, 54% of student-athletes achieved a GPA of 3.0 or better and during the fall 2007 semester, 48% 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, seventeen student-athletes, in the spring, and twenty-one student-athletes in the fall, achieved a perfect grade point average 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 a the University of Illinois.  The value of the implementation of the ARS is apparent in the increased academic performance of both men and women student-athletes in the period since the beginning of the ARS in the fall 1992 semester.

 

Graduation Rates

In the “Official NCAA Graduation Rates Report” for the years 2006 and 2007, 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 2006 report contains information on students entering the university in 1999.  The information in the 2007 report pertains to students entering in 2000.

For comparison, two different measures of graduation 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.

The freshman-cohort graduation rate is calculated only for those student-athletes who entered the University of Illinois on athletic aid and graduated from the University of Illinois within the 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.

 

2006 NCAA Graduation Rates Report (1999 Cohort)

                                   All Students (4-Class Avg.)               Student-Athletes (4-Class Avg.)
                                    Men     Women       Total                     Men     Women       Total
Freshman cohort           79%     83%             81%                     66%     77%             71%

                        Entering students 1999-00
                                               All Students                                       Student-Athletes
                                    Men     Women        Total                    Men     Women        Total
Freshman cohort           81%     85%              83%                    60%     82%              70%

Exhausted Eligibility      NA      NA              NA                                                        90%
2007 NCAA Graduation Rates Report (2000 Cohort)

                                   All Students (4-Class Avg.)               Student-Athletes (4-Class Avg.)
                                    Men     Women       Total                     Men     Women       Total
Freshman cohort           79%     84%             81%                     65%     78%             70%

                        Entering students 2000-01
                                               All Students                                       Student-Athletes
                                    Men     Women        Total                    Men     Women        Total
Freshman cohort           78%     86%              82%                    57%     74%              64%

Exhausted Eligibility      NA      NA              NA                                                        90%

 

NCAA Graduation Success Rate

The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) was developed in response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflected the mobility among college students today.  The GSR improves on the federally mandated graduation rate by including students who were omitted from the federal calculation.

The GSR measures graduation rates at Division I institutions and includes students transferring into the institutions.  The GSR also allows institutions to subtract student-athletes who leave their institutions prior to graduation as long as they would have been academically eligible to compete had they remained.

2006 NCAA Student-Athletes Graduation Success Rate (1999 Cohort)
                                    Men     Women        Total
                                    81%     98%               88%

2007 NCAA Student-Athlete Graduation Success Rate (2000 Cohort)
                                    Men     Women        Total
                                    81%     98%              88%
For those student-athletes who completed their athletic eligibility at the University of Illinois, the graduation rate for 2006 and 2007 was 90% respectively.  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 an athletics aid, this student is included in the freshman cohort regardless of whether the student transfers to another institution.