What is the APR? The Academic Progress Rate measures the academic achievement of Division I teams during each academic term. Each student-athlete earns one point for staying in school and one point for being academically eligible. A team’s total points are divided by points possible and multiplied by 1,000 to produce the team’s APR. A 930 APR predicts about a 50 percent graduation rate. Teams falling below an APR of 930 face sanctions ranging from scholarship reductions to more severe penalties.
Why was the APR established? Leaders within college athletics recognized a need to track student-athletes’ academic performance throughout their college experience. Because the APR provides a snapshot every academic term, schools can intercede and help academically challenged student-athletes before they fall too far behind.
Do student-athletes who leave school early to go pro hurt their teams’ APR? If a student-athlete is in good academic standing and leaves school early to pursue a professional career, the team is not penalized with a loss of APR points. But if a student-athlete in poor academic standing leaves early, his or her team loses two points, making it harder for the team’s APR to recover.
How does the NCAA assist teams with APR challenges? When a school has APR challenges, it may be encouraged or even required to present an academic improvement plan to the NCAA. In reviewing these plans, the national office staff encourages schools to partner academically challenged teams with other campus departments to raise their APR. The staff also works with schools to create reasonable timelines for improvement for academically challenged teams.
Doesn’t the APR favor big schools that can afford extensive academic support programs? The NCAA provides special consideration for teams showing improvement in meeting their school’s academic mission. It also takes into account school resource levels when determining APR penalties. This model keeps the APR fair for a diverse membership and holds all schools accountable for the academic achievement of their student-athletes.
Why is the NCAA raising academic standards? Academic standards are increasing to ensure all Division I teams in NCAA championships have at least a 930 APR. For most schools, new standards will be phased in during a four-year period: the 2013 and 2014 postseasons will require either a 900 four-year APR or a 930 average. The 2015 postseason will require either a 930 four-year APR or a 940 two-year average. Most teams must earn a 930 four-year APR to participate in postseason competition after 2015.