Lees-McRae shines in NCAA Academic Success Rate report

INDIANAPOLI S --- The National Collegiate Athletic Association released this year's edition of its Division II graduation rate data, including the division's Academic Success Rate (ASR) on October 25, and the Lees-McRae College athletic department passed with flying colors.

ASR is defined as a Division II metric that credits institutional graduation rates for all student-athletes, including transfers - both incoming and outgoing, as long as they are academically eligible. The ASR is similar to the Graduation Success Rate in Division I except that it accounts for recruited participants who do not receive athletically-related financial aid.

Lees-McRae had an ASR of 88 percent for all student-athletes, which is 16 points higher than the national average of 72. The Bobcats posted a perfect ASR of 100 percent in seven of its 14 sponsored sports on the report, as each team had an ASR significantly higher than the national average in that particular sport.

"The efforts we have put together in making a well rounded Lees-McRae College student-athlete are shown without a doubt in this Academic Success Rate Report," said Lees-McRae Director of Athletics, Craig McPhail. "We are well above the national average in all of the sports we sponsor, and I am proud of the efforts of our coaches, compliance office, admissions and faculty and staff."

The Bobcat men's soccer, men's tennis, men's volleyball, women's basketball, women's cross country/track & field, women's lacrosse, and softball programs each posted a perfect ASR of 100 percent, as 10 of LMC's 14 sports had an ASR of 80 percent or better.

"We are certainly a good investment, as we have shown the ability to have success both in and out of the classroom, and this data further proves it," said McPhail. "With the newly implemented CATS (Challenging Athletes to Success), I feel our numbers will remain strong and continue to grow."

The national four-year ASR average increased one percentage point to 72 percent overall, while the entering class of 2004 remained steady at 73 percent.

This is the sixth year the NCAA has released the Division II ASR. The NCAA developed the Division II ASR at the request of the college and university presidents who believed the federal graduation rate was flawed. However, given the partial-scholarship financial aid model of Division II, ASR also includes student-athletes not on athletically-related financial aid. The result is that ASR captures more than 36,000 non-scholarship student-athletes.

- LMC -