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The Role of the Academic Performance Program

Academic Performance Program

The phrase “student-athlete” has two words. The fact that “student” comes before “athlete” speaks for itself. Student-athletes hear it all the time, “Take care of your work in the classroom first!” It sounds cliche, but the NCAA is strict with their athletes staying on track academically. Collegiate student-athletes need to complete their work off the field/court because, without success in the classroom, the opportunity to perform on the field/court disappears. The NCAA oversees all the athletes through a program they created, called the Academic Performance Program (APP). Through this program, the NCAA helps Division I athletes stay on track and earn a four-year degree. The APP also serves as a point of reference to the student-athletes academically.


Data is collected through the Academic Performance Program from the APR and GSR.

The Academic Progress Rate (APR) is a rate that includes all players on a team. Players are each rewarded with points, called “E,” or “R.” E stands for eligibility, and it means that the student-athlete met the standards at the end of the term. R stands for retention, and it means that the student-athlete is enrolled full-time. For example, each student-athlete can receive four points per year, two per semester. Each semester, if you met the standards, you will receive one point and if you are enrolled full-time, you will receive another for a total of two points for that semester. In the end, the total points earned from a team will be divided by the total points possible, then multiplied by 1000 to find the APR score. APR is used to see who is eligible to play and award top academic teams with recognition.

The Graduation Success Rate (GSR) is the graduation rate per NCAA Division I team, including transfers. It tracks the graduation rate over six years. Not only do they include transfers, but they also include non-scholarship athletes. This is important because the Federal Graduation Rate does not take transfers into account. The Graduation Success Rate is important because the NCAA will remove student-athletes who withdraw from a class.

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