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Academic Progress Rate Timeline

Significant dates in the development and implementation of the Academic Progress Rate:

August 2001: The Division I Board of Directors appoints an eight-member task force, chaired by Rutgers President Francis Lawrence, to focus on reform efforts related to academic and fiscal integrity in the division.

April 2002: The task force develops a resolution promising, among other things, (1) development of ways in addition to (or better than) the current graduation-rate calculation to provide a more accurate and more current “snapshot” of academic progress of student-athletes on individual teams; and (2) possible incentives to reward institutions that demonstrate a commitment toward student-athlete academic success, including loss of scholarships and postseason opportunities for institutions that under-perform.

August 2002:  The Division I Board of Directors supports development of a new graduation rate that is more reflective of student-athlete academic success than the federally mandated methodology that does not take transfers into account. The Board also supports development of what is being called an “academic progress rate.”

November 2002: The Board approves legislation that eliminates the test score cut in the initial-eligibility sliding scale and increases the percentages of progress toward degree a student-athlete must achieve from 25/50/75 to 40/60/80.

January 2003: The Board endorses an “Annual Academic Progress Rate” (AAPR) to provide a more real-time snapshot of a team’s academic success. The Board approves a pilot study that focuses on eligibility, retention and graduation.

Spring 2003: Officials review various models illustrating how the AAPR would work. Icons depicting eligibility, retention and academic standing are introduced, along with terminology such as “0-for-2” and “good academic standing.”

August 2003: The Board agrees that the 2003-04 academic year serve as the first year in which AAPR data will be gathered and compiled, though no penalties will be assessed. The presidents also agree on the first type of penalty in the new system, which is to prohibit an institution from re-awarding a scholarship from a student-athlete who fails to meet eligibility standards and withdraws from the school to an incoming prospect. The penalty is referred to as a “contemporaneous penalty” because of its immediate effect, and will begin being assessed in fall 2005 based on 2003-04 and 2004-05 data.

October 2003: The AAPR loses an “A” and becomes simply the APR for Academic Progress Rate. The Board agrees that two years of academic data will be collected before deciding points in the metric at which teams would be rewarded or penalized.

October 2003: The Division I Committee on Academic Performance is established. The CAP, to be chaired by University of Hartford President Walter Harrison, will oversee the APR.

January 2004: Delegates at the NCAA Convention officially adopt legislation establishing the APR as a more immediate measure of a team’s academic performance.

April 2004: In addition to the “contemporaneous penalty,” the Board approves a more rigorous set of penalties based on a team’s four-year rolling average APR. The four-year APR will be complete in fall 2007, and penalties will be assessed in 2007-08.

April 2004: Legislation is adopted allowing schools to earn an APR “bonus point” for student-athletes who return to complete their degrees.

January 2005: The Board adopts 925 as the cut score in the APR under which teams will be subject to contemporaneous penalties. The action means that once a team falls below a 925 APR, it is subject to contemporaneous penalties and cannot replace a scholarship from a student-athlete who leaves the school academically ineligible and does not return (referred to as an “0-for-2” since the student-athlete did not earn either the eligibility or retention point in the APR calculation).

February 2005: APR data from 2003-04 are collected and sent to all Division I institutions for review. The data indicate that about 7 percent of all Division I teams would be subject to contemporaneous penalties if the penalties were in fact being applied (they won’t be until 2004-05, however). About 51 percent of Division I institutions would have at least one team subject to penalty, and most of those teams are concentrated in football, baseball and men’s basketball.

April 2005: The Board changes a key component in the APR regarding retention when it agrees to count student-athletes who leave for pro sports but earn the eligibility point in their last term as being “1-for-1” in the APR calculation rather than “1-for-2.”

January 2006: A program is approved to publicly recognize the top 10 percent of teams in the APR for each sport. More than 1,000 teams are recognized in the first year.

April 2006: The Committee on Academic Performance recommends 900 as the cut score in the APR under which teams would be subject to “historically based” penalties based on the team’s four-year APR. The Board approves the 900 standard at its August meeting.

May 2007: The third year of APR data shows an improvement in most every sport, including football and baseball, which had been a concern after the first two years.

April 2007: The Board establishes an APP Supplemental Support Fund as recommended by the Committee on Academic Performance in an effort to support campus-based initiatives designed to foster student-athlete academic success at limited resource institutions.

January 2008: The Committee on Academic Performance recommends that the retention point in the APR calculation be forgiven for student-athletes who leave an institution while academically eligible and have at least a 2.6 grade-point average.

January 2008: A “conditional waiver process” is adopted that gives teams that would otherwise be subject to penalty a pass as long as they submit and implement improvement plans to address their issues.

August 2011: The APR cut score is moved from 900 to 930 for teams to participate in any NCAA-sponsored championship or football bowl game. A new penalty structure also is approved for implementation in 2014-15 that will require teams to earn at least a 930 four-year, rolling APR in order to participate in postseason competition. (For access to postseason competition in 2012-13 and 2013-14, teams must achieve a 900 multiyear APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible.)

April 2012: An adjusted progression of APR benchmarks is adopted for teams from limited-resource institutions (defined as teams in the bottom 15 percent of all Division I member institutions for resources). For access to postseason competition in 2012-13 and 2013-14, limited-resource teams must achieve a 900 multiyear APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible. For access in 2014-15, teams must achieve 910 multiyear APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to be eligible. In 2015-16, teams must meet a 920 benchmark or a 940 average over the most recent two years, followed by the 930 standard in 2016-17.

October 2014: The Committee on Academics approves Cycle Two of APP Data Reviews to commence in 2015-16.  APP data reviews were established to ensure the accuracy of the data on which APP penalties and public recognition awards are based. At the completion of the 2014-15 academic year every institution that sponsors a Division I sport will have participated in the first cycle of APP data reviews.

APR Terminology

Eligibility: Term-by-term academic standards every student-athlete must meet in order to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Teams earn one APR point for each term a student-athlete is eligible.

Retention: Teams are awarded one APR point for each term in which an eligible student-athlete stays in school.

0-for-2: A student-athlete who does not achieve the required academic eligibility standards and leaves the institution (thus, he or she does not earn either the APR eligibility point or the retention point).

Multiyear APR: Typically, the four-year rolling average used to determine whether a team is awarded public recognition for academic success or is subject to penalty.

Good Academic Standing: The status of a student-athlete who has achieved the required academic eligibility standards as determined by each individual school.

Limited-Resource Schools: Schools in the bottom 15 percent of all Division I member institutions for resources.

930: The cutoff in the APR scale under which teams are subject to penalty or loss of access to post season beginning in 2014-15 (2016-17 for limited-resource schools). The 930 benchmark predicts roughly a 50 percent Graduation Success Rate.

Delayed Graduation Point: A point earned when a student-athlete who left prior to graduation and returns to school and completes his or her degree.