WALTHAM, Mass. – For the third straight year, Bentley University is ranked number one nationally in the latest NCAA Division II Academic Success Rate report, which was announced this week. Bentley, which shared the top spot in 2017, was the only institution to record an ASR of 99 for the second straight year. This marks the sixth straight year that Bentley has achieved an ASR of 97 or better and the ninth straight it was been above 90.
"I am, and have always been, proud of our scholar-athletes. I am grateful to our coaches, our faculty and all members of the Bentley community who support our student athletes and ensure that holistic development is at the forefront of Bentley athletics" said Dr. J. Andrew Shepardson, Vice President for Student Affairs.
Of the 19 Bentley sports that were evaluated (indoor track, outdoor track and cross country are considered one sport), 14 had perfect 100 percent ASR scores. They are women's basketball, men's and women's cross country and track, men's golf, men's ice hockey, men's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, and volleyball.
"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 remained steady at 73 percent, and the entering class of 2012 increased one point to 75 percent, an all-time high.
This is the 14th year the NCAA has released the ASR, which is the percentage of student-athletes who graduate within six years of initial enrollment at a college. 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 approximately 34,000 non-scholarship student-athletes who enrolled from 2009 through 2012, 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 2012 entering class increased four points to 61 percent, while the general student body went up two points to 52 percent, a difference of nine points.
Bentley's federal graduation rate was 90 percent, second nationally among Division II institutions behind only the University of California, San Diego (91) and tied with Bucknell University and Georgetown University for ninth among all institutions. The top 12 are Rochester Institute of Technology, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Stanford, Davidson, Notre Dame, California-San Diego and Northwestern.
Bentley wasn't the only Northeast-10 Conference institution to rank high in ASR. The conference had four in the top 25, 11 in the top 75 and the conference ranked first among all Division II conferences with an ASR of 88 percent.
NCAA DIVISION II ACADEMIC SUCCESS RATE – TOP 10
1. Bentley University – 99
2. Thomas Jefferson University (Pa.) – 98
3. Saint Michael's College (Vt.) – 97
4. Hillsdale College (Mich.) – 96
5. Regis University (Colo.) – 96
5. Rollins College (Fla.) – 96
5. University of Puerto Rico – Bayamon – 96
5. Point Loma Nazarene (Cal.) – 96
5. Biola University (Cal.) – 96
10. Eckerd College (Fla.) – 95
10. Stonehill College – 95
10. University of the Sciences (Pa.) – 95
10. Dominican University of California – 95