Credit: Danny Karnik
Credit: Danny Karnik
The increasing academic success of Georgia Tech athletes was recognized again Thursday with an athletic-department announcement that its NCAA-measured graduation rate had reached a school-record 90%.
When the NCAA began publishing schools’ graduation success rates in 2004-05, Tech’s rate was 67%. In the latest report, nine of Tech’s 13 varsity programs had GSR scores above or matching the national average. That includes football, which was at 85%, compared with the national rate of 80%.
GSR scores measure schools’ proficiency at graduating scholarship athletes within a six-year window. It includes athletes who transfer into a school and does not penalize schools for athletes who leave in good academic standing. This year’s cohort covers athletes who arrived at a Division I school between 2011-14.
Tech’s hitting 90% continues a steady improvement by Tech athletes over time, aided by the athletic department’s academic support staff. Beginning at 67% with the 2004-05 report, Tech scored 75% in 2009-10, reached 81% in 2013-14 and hit its then-peak at 89% in 2017-18, matching it again in 2019-20.
Tech’s 90% score was tied for 11th in the ACC and tied for 36th of 65 power-conference schools, though the gap has significantly closed with Tech’s competitors. There are, for instance, 15 power-conference schools that had scores of 91 or 92%.
The school-record rate matches competitive progress made throughout the department. In the 2020-21 academic year, eight Tech teams advanced to NCAA Tournament competition, tying a school record. The athletic department also finished 44th in Division I in the Directors’ Cup standings, the most recognized all-sports rankings. It was Tech’s best finish since placing 31st in 2004-05 and a vast improvement on Tech finishing 131st in 2017-18.
Notably, two of the more competitive teams on campus – golf and volleyball – both had 100% GSR scores, along with the softball and men’s tennis teams.
The GSR score “just proves that Georgia Tech is home to some of the most accomplished student-athletes in the nation,” athletic director Todd Stansbury said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more proud and grateful of our student-athletes, as well as the coaches and staff that work so hard to develop the young people who will change the world.”
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About the Author
Ken Sugiura covers Georgia Tech sports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, looking for news and compelling stories wherever they are to be found.