Academics/Athletics: Cajuns Continue To Impress In The Classroom
Cajuns lead Sun Belt, state of Louisiana in latest Federal Graduation Rates
LAFAYETTE – For the second consecutive year, Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns student-athletes posted the highest graduation rate in both the Sun Belt Conference and the state of Louisiana in the latest Federal Graduation Rate Report which was released by the NCAA on Tuesday.
Louisiana’s student-athletes posted a four-year Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) of 64 percent, a three-percent improvement from last year’s average and tops among the state’s 12 Division I universities. The Ragin’ Cajuns Student-Athlete Graduation Success Rate (GSR) also increased from the previous year, improving two points to 76 percent.
The statistics include student-athletes on aid entering school during the 2007-08 academic year, and it indicates the percentage of those who graduate within six years.
"For the second consecutive year, our student-athletes are graduating at a higher rate than any other university in the state of Louisiana and among our fellow Sun Belt Conference peers," Louisiana Associate Athletic Director Dr. Jessica Leger said. "This accomplishment is a testament to the academic commitment demonstrated daily by our student-athletes, coaches, and academic support staff."
The Ragin’ Cajuns softball (96 percent) and women’s soccer teams (93 percent) each led the state of Louisiana in the Graduation Success Rate (GSR). Women’s basketball (88 percent) led all Sun Belt Conference schools in GSR with football (69 percent), soccer and softball ranking second and volleyball (92 percent) third.
In the FGR ratings, the Ragin’ Cajuns led the Sun Belt Conference in softball (91 percent), women’s basketball (79 percent), soccer (77 percent) and football (65 percent). Among state schools, Louisiana posted the highest FGR rates in women’s basketball, soccer and softball with football tied for second behind Tulane.
In the latest Academic Progess Rate (APR) that was released in April, all of the Ragin’ Cajuns 16 varsity sports exceeded the required cutoff point of 930 with 10 sports scoring above a 960 on the four-year average.
"What makes our department unique is that we have a policy that each head coach is directly responsible for overseeing the academic progress of each student-athlete involved in the program,’ Leger said. "This philosophy is a primary contributor to the academic accomplishments of our student-athletes. Our coaches primarily focus on competition and practice, but they also understand the significance of academics and impress high expectations on their teams.
"In conjunction with support from the head coaches, our academic support staff works tirelessly to provide our student-athletes with quality academic support services that aid in accomplishing academic success."
Both the GSR and FGR are based on the number of student-athletes on athletics aid enrolling in school each year. A number of variables may impact these figures, such as student-athletes who opt for professional or educational opportunities outside of their original institution, coaching staff changes, and student-athletes in good academic standing who choose to leave school early.
The FGR is mandated by the U.S. Government and reflects the number of scholarship student-athletes who enter an institution in a specific academic year and graduate from that same institution within six academic years. It does not factor in transfer students leaving or entering an institution; the FGR counts transfers simply as non-graduates and therefore is typically lower than the GSR.
The GSR was developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately measure the academic success of Division I student-athletes by better accounting for the many different academic paths followed by today’s college students. It accounts for students who transfer into an institution, and does not penalize institutions that have student-athletes who choose to transfer out while still in good academic standing. The NCAA began collecting GSR data with the entering freshman class of 1995.