Academic Progress Rate (APR)
The Association holds Division I institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through the Academic Progress Rate, a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete, each term.
The Committee on Academic Performance oversees the Academic Performance Program, which sets policies and recommends legislative changes to the Board of Directors, which has the final say on rules changes in Division I.
Beginning with 2012-13 championships, teams must earn a minimum 900 four-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible to participate. For 2014-15 championships, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in championships.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the APR calculated?
While eligibility requirements make the individual student-athlete accountable, the Academic Progress Rate creates a level of institutional responsibility. The Academic Progress Rate is a Division I metric developed to track the academic achievement of teams each academic term.
Each student-athlete receiving athletically related financial aid earns one retention point for staying in school and one eligibility point for being academically eligible. A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by one thousand to equal the team’s Academic Progress Rate score.
What are the APR penalties?
The APR penalty structure was significantly revamped in 2011, effective with the 2012-13 academic year. The first level of the new structure limits teams to 16 hours of practice a week over five days, with the lost four hours to be replaced with academic activities. This represents a reduction of four hours and one day per week of practice time.
The second level adds competition reductions, either in the traditional or nontraditional season, to the first-level penalties.
The third level, where teams could remain until their rate improves, provides for a menu of penalty options, including coaching suspensions, financial aid reductions and restricted NCAA membership. The Committee on Academic Performance has the discretion to apply appropriate penalties once teams have fallen below the benchmark for three consecutive years.
Why doesn’t the NCAA include the postseason ban in the penalty structure?
The postseason ban is not considered a penalty for poor academic performance. Instead, the requirement that teams achieve a minimum APR, increasing steadily to 930 by 2014-15, is simply a benchmark for participation in championships. Just as teams must win in competition to be eligible for championships, they now must also achieve in the classroom.