WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University is tied for number one nationally in the latest NCAA Division II Academic Success Rate report. Of the three institutions who shared the top spot with a 98 percent ASR, Bentley is the only one that has a football program.
In recognition of having a four-year ASR of 90 or better, Bentley received a "Presidents' Award for Academic Excellence" from the NCAA. The program is seven years old and Bentley has earned the honor every year of its existence.
Of the more than 300 NCAA Division II institutions, Bentley is one of only 11 to earn the "Presidents' Award for Academic Excellence" all seven years.
This was the fourth straight year that Bentley has achieved an ASR of 97 or better and the third consecutive year the Falcons have posted an Academic Success Rate of 98.
Of the 19 Bentley sports that were evaluated (indoor track, outdoor track and cross country are considered one sport), 17 had perfect 100 percent ASR scores, including every women's sport.
"Bentley's high ranking in the ASR Report is a direct reflection of the commitment our student-athletes have in the classroom," said Assistant Athletics Director Cindy Scott. "Our student-athletes are just that – students first and athletes second. All of our student-athletes take as much pride in their academic successes as they do in their athletic achievements."
Bentley's rate is significantly above the national standard. The national four-year ASR average increased one point to 72 percent, and the entering class of 2010 held steady at 72 percent.
This is the 12th year the NCAA has released the ASR. The NCAA developed the Division II ASR at the request of college and university presidents who believed the federal graduation rate was flawed. Division II's ASR data takes transfer students into account and removes students who left the institution in good academic standing. In addition, given the partial-scholarship financial aid model of Division II, the ASR data includes
student-athletes not on athletically related financial aid. The result is that ASR captures more than 36,000 non-scholarship student-athletes who enrolled from 2007 through 2010, the four years covered in the most recent data.
Even when utilizing the less-inclusive federal rate, Division II student-athletes perform significantly better than the general student body. The federal rate for Division II student-athletes in the 2010 entering class held steady at 56 percent, while the general student body increased one point to 50 percent, a difference of six points.
NCAA DIVISION II ACADEMIC SUCCESS RATE – TOP 10
1. Bentley University 98
1. St. Michael's College (Vt.) 98
1. Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.) 98
4. Seattle Pacific University (Wash.) 97
4. Stonehill College (Mass.) 97
4. University of the Sciences (Pa.) 97
7. University of Indianapolis (Ind.) 96
7. Hillsdale College (Mich.) 96
9. Thomas Jefferson University (Pa.) 95
9. Oakland City University (Ind.) 95
NCAA DIVISION II PRESIDENTS' AWARD RECIPIENTS ALL SEVEN YEARS
University of California-San Diego
Saint Michael's College
University of the Sciences
(Northeast-10 members in italics)