Demon Deacons Excel in the Classroom
Women's Basketball was one of eleven WFU teams that graduated 100% of its players.

Nov. 1, 2011

By Krista Brown,

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The NCAA recently released its annual Graduation Success Rates (GSR) and Wake Forest's student-athletes had some of the best graduation success rates in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Of the freshmen student-athletes that entered Wake Forest in 2004, 94% of them graduated within six years. That ranks the Demon Deacons third in overall GSR in the ACC behind Duke and Boston College, who have each graduated 97% of their students who entered in 2004. Wake Forest also ranks in the top five in GSR in all of the individual sports in the ACC, ranking first in men's basketball (tied with Duke), women's basketball (tied with three teams), men's soccer, women's soccer (tied with three teams), baseball (tied with Boston College), men's golf (tied with seven teams), women's golf (tied with seven teams), men's tennis (tied with three teams), women's tennis (tied with eight teams), volleyball (tied with six teams), and women's track (tied with Boston College, Duke).

The Deacons also ranked well when compared to the rest of the nation. Wake's overall GSR of 94% is well above the national overall average of 82%. The football and men's basketball teams, ranked with 81% and 100% GSR respectively were also above the national average, which has yet to reach 70% in either sport. The Deacs were also second in the nation in the percentage of sports that registered 100% GSR with 78.5%. Notre Dame led the nation with 81.8% percent of its teams posting a 100% GSR.

Wake Forest has remained fairly consistent in their graduation success ranking over the past seven years. The lowest GSR posted during that period was in the 2007-2008 rankings when the Deacons had a 92% GSR. The 94% GSR that was registered this year is tied for Wake's highest ranking along with the 2004-2005 rankings. The men's basketball, women's basketball, women's tennis, women's soccer, women's golf, women's basketball, and men's tennis teams have never had a ranking less than 100% over the past seven years.

The national overall average of 82% is the highest average since the NCAA started compiling GSR in 1995. The men's basketball national GSR of 68% and FBS football GSR of 69% is also at their highest points ever. The GSR for African American student-athletes also increased this year.

The Federal Graduation Rates (FGR), which is considered less accurate because it does not include transfers or mid-year enrollees, was also at it highest rates ever. The FGR national average is at 65%, which is two points higher than the general student body average.

According to NCAA news release, NCAA president, Mark Emmert, applauded the new highs in the GSR and FGR, but still noted that there is still progress to be made regarding the academic success of the nation's student-athletes.

"Academic reform is working. Students are better prepared when they enter college, and they are staying on track to earn their degrees," Emmert said, "We cannot become complacent. Our work is not done."

The Graduation Success Rate should not be confused with the Academic Progress Rate, a mandate recently instituted by NCAA. The Academic Progress Rate (APR) uses formulas related to student-athlete retention and eligibility in order to measure the academic performance of student-athletes on scholarship. A team that has posted an inadequate APR can be penalized with loss with scholarships and/or post-season bans.

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