graduation rate statistics seem very low for certain athletic teams
and there appear to be multiple statistics. Could you explain how
these rates are computed and why they are different?
There are two measures of graduation success, Graduation Success
Rate (GSR) and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems
Graduation Rate (FED Rate). Both of these measures essentially
compute a ratio of the number of student athletes who graduate
within a six year window of having been admitted to the university
versus the number that entered the university. Since there is a six
year window in which to measure this statistic the most recent
cohort group that could be measured would be the freshmen who first
entered UConn in 1999, i.e. the 1999 cohort. This class is then
averaged with the previous three years of data to become the 1996-1999
cohort. The measures are only applied to scholarship student
athletes and not all student athletes. At UConn there are
approximately 650 student athletes, of which 305 receive athletic
The FED Rate does not take into consideration transfers into or out
of the institution in calculating the rate. So, a student may have
entered the university as an athletics aided student athlete but
then transferred to another institution (for a variety of reasons
that may not be related to academic performance). This
student athlete would get counted in the FED Rate but in the GSR
metric there is some discounting of this individual if they would
have been academically eligible to participate had they returned to
the university. This means that the GSR measure is always equal to
or greater than the corresponding FED Rate.
Neither rate takes into consideration student athletes who return to
the institution after the six year window to complete their
degrees. This might apply to individuals who leave the university
to pursue a professional sports career but then return to complete
Some statistics appear very low. For instance in Men’s Basketball
in the 1996-1999 Cohort group (see link below) you would see a GSR
of 30%. During this time frame 10 student athletics were recruited
and received scholarships from the school. Three of those student
athletes graduated within the six year window. However, (as Paul
Harvey says) the rest of the story is that two more students in this
cohort graduated outside of the six year window and two have gone on
to pursue successful professional basketball careers, one
transferred (not in good standing) and two exhausted their eligibility
and left the University. It remains to be seen as to whether any of
those who left will ultimately complete their degrees. However, to
that end the Department of Athletics has a policy of continuing to
support student athletes who return to the university to complete
One downside of the both of these measures is that they reflect past
history and don’t tell you anything about the current student
athletes at the university. A new measure has been formulated by
the NCAA known as the Academic Progress Rate that attempts to
measure student athletes progress towards graduation. A more
complete discussion of this is captured in another FAQ.
One other caveat about the GSR report is that the GSR statistics are
reported in a four year average cohort. Because some sports have
very small numbers of student athletes with athletics aid (or
recruited, if that sport doesn’t grant athletics aid) in a given
year if graduation rates were to be disclosed for these small
numbers (less than 5) the NCAA would have a privacy issue with the
release of that data. Therefore some statistics are not report
strictly due to privacy issues.
One last point to mention is that the calculation of these rates and
the data supporting these rates are not under the control of the
Department of Athletics but are prepared by a University committee
comprised of: the Office of Institutional Research, the Registrar’s
Office, Counseling Program for Intercollegiate Athletics and the
Compliance Office at the university. This group is also under the
supervision of the Faculty Athletics Representative.
GSR Rate UCONN 2006
GSR Rate UCONN 2005
FED Rate UCONN 2006
is the Academic Progress Rate and what does it attempt to measure?
The following is a direct quote from the NCAA website as to the
purpose of the Academic Progress Rate or APR:
NCAA has developed an incentives-disincentives program that rewards
those sports teams that do well academically and penalizes those
that do not. College presidents have mandated the development of
this system of accountability, which will take into account the
various missions of our member institutions. The goal is to
encourage improved academic performance of all student athletes on
all sports teams.
Here’s how it works: incentives and disincentives are tied to
meaningful measures of academic performance that involve the
academic progress rate (APR), the NCAA graduation success rate (GSR),
and/or federal graduation rate data. The APR is an academic
measurement that includes primarily
enrolled student athletes. The federal methodology and the GSR do
not reflect current, actual conditions. The APR was developed to
provide a more accurate, real time “snapshot” of a team’s academic
success and to serve as a primary measurement on which incentives
and disincentives will be based. The APR is not intended to replace
the federal measure or GSR; rather, it is a fairer measure that will
help provide accurate, real-time data on academic progress on which
the NCAA will base its reform principles. The APR provides a much
clearer picture of the current academic “culture” in each sport, and
includes eligibility, retention, and graduation as factors in the
APR data collection began with the 2003-04 academic year, and the
first data report was issued in February 2005 for all Division I
member institutions, assessing the previous year of academic
performance. The latest report was issued on March 1, 2006.
Historical penalties begin in 2006-07 based on three years of data.
However, member institutions are subject to contemporaneous
penalties beginning with the current academic year (2005-06).
our own words, the Academic Progress Rate (APR) is an attempt by the NCAA
to produce statistical evidence that Universities are making a
commitment to graduating their student athletes. The APR process is
a ‘snapshot’ of the recent of academic success based on 2 criteria –
eligibility and retention. Student athletes earn an eligibility
point for each semester that they meet the NCAA standards for
continuing eligibility to compete in varsity athletics. They also
earn a retention point for each semester that the institution
records them as being full-time enrolled after the 10th day of class (census date). Each student athlete has a possible 4
points for the academic year and the APR results for every team are
derived from the total points earned out of the total possible
points for the team. This quotient is then averaged with the
previous 3 years of data.
APR UCONN 2005
is the ticket policy for faculty and staff and how do I get
The faculty/staff ticket policy for Women’s and Men’s basketball
tickets was formulated by PAAC in conjunction with athletics to
provide a fair and open process by which faculty and staff might be
able to participate in these athletic events. A certain number of
seat are reserved by athletics for faculty and staff at both Men’s
and Women’s basketball regular season games. The process to obtain
tickets is that during the Fall athletics puts out an announcement
and a form allowing faculty and staff to enter into a lottery for
tickets. The seasons for both men’s and women’s basketball are
divided up into various “packages” to provide more opportunities to
obtain tickets. Faculty and staff can enter into any and all
lotteries for these packages. Athletics then processes the lottery
in such a way that everyone receives at least one of their choices
before they receive a second choice. To date all faculty and staff
who have entered the lotteries have received at least one package
and frequently more than one. Obviously this depends on demand and
is not a guarantee.
In terms of seating faculty and staff are then assigned seats based
on the numbers of points that they have earned in the system.
Points are generally awarded for past purchases of athletic tickets
as well as financial contributions to athletics. See a subsequent
FAQ about how to earn points.
For other athletic events, including football, faculty and staff can
contact the athletics ticket office to obtain tickets. To date,
these other events have not been as constrained in terms of ticket
availability and so no separate process has been instituted for
faculty and staff.
have heard that faculty and staff who obtain tickets to Men’s and
Women’s basketball games are seated based on the number of “points”
that they have earned. What are points and how are they earned?
Where might I find more information?
Points are used at the university to allocate tickets that are in
high demand, particularly football and men’s and women’s basketball
tickets. The more points the more priority one has in both
obtaining tickets as well as in seat placement. Points are
generally awarded for donations to the University of Connecticut
Athletic Development Fund as well as the purchase of tickets.
Detailed information is available at
Financial Support for
5. What kind of financial support does athletics get from the
university? Is athletics self-supporting?
In FY 2010, approximately 26% of the $55.2 million revenue budget for athletics and recreation comes from the university. The remaining 74% comes from revenues generated by athletics (58%) and fund raising (15%). The university’s contribution comes in the form of the general university fee (16%), support for Title IX (7%) and scholarship support (3%). However, the scholarship cost for athletics, which is approximately (18%) of the overall expense budget, provides tuition and fee revenue to the university. Of the $14.6 million in university support in FY 2010, athletics will return approximately $9.8 million for tuition, room, board and fees for its student-athletes. Therefore, the net contribution from the university will be approximately $4.8 million. It should also be noted that approximately $2 million of the athletic budget is used to support UConn student recreational services. In addition, about $2.9 million from the athletics budget is used to support general student related services. In 1990, the university support for athletics and recreation expense budget was about 59% compared to the 26% in 2009-10.
Academic Support for
6. What is CPIA
and what is the relationship of this group to Athletics?
The Counseling Program for Intercollegiate Athletes (C.P.I.A.), the
academic support program for student athletes at the University of
Connecticut, was established in 1986 to provide counseling,
tutorial, and academic enhancement to the University of
Connecticut’s 650 intercollegiate student athletes. A unit within
Academic Affairs, reporting to the Provost, the Counseling Program
for Intercollegiate Athletes is charged with providing
student athletes with the appropriate counseling, advisement,
tutorial and academic enhancement in order for them to optimize
their educational experiences and promote retention, eligibility and
graduation. The Counseling Program provides students with the
necessary skills and information in order to make a successful
transition from high school to college and from college to their
post-graduate lives. The Counseling Program is the liaison between
the academic and athletic communities on campus and the staff serves
as student athlete advocates. Aside from its support of students,
the Counseling Program provides support to Faculty, Coaches and
other university offices in order to facilitate a positive
collegiate experience to student athletes. Student athletes must
comply with two sets of academic guidelines (University & NCAA) and
the Counseling Program staff advises and aids in the monitoring of
these regulations. Counselors help students balance their academic
and athletic demands without compromising their success in either
realm while encouraging their holistic development as people
prepared to meet the challenges of their collegiate experiences and
7. What is the policy for student athletes who have to miss class
for games and/or practices?
Athletics’ policy is that no student should miss a class or a
practice. For scheduled events/games it is the responsibility of
the student athlete to discuss such an event/game with the faculty
member well prior to the event. The offices of CPIA can also supply
an official letter to the faculty member confirming the event. As
with other non-athletic university sponsored events the provost
every fall sends a message to faculty members which asks them to give all students reasonable
accommodations when they must miss a class for university sanctioned
events. In cases where the student athlete may be missing an exam,
CPIA can also assist in ensuring that the student can complete the
exam (see the FAQ on missed exams).
8. If a
student athlete is going to miss an exam because of travel to an
athletic event, what mechanisms are in place to have the student
complete the exam?
First, it is the responsibility of the student athlete to discuss
such an event with the faculty member well prior to the event. The
offices of the Counseling Program for Intercollegiate Athletes (CPIA) can also supply an official letter to the faculty
member confirming the event. The student has at least three
potential options at the faculty member’s discretion. They are:
a) Take the exam early
b) Take the exam late
c) Arrange through CPIA to have the exam proctored by an academic
counselor of CPIA while the student is on the trip
Note that CPIA does not report to athletics but reports to the
Provost’s Office and therefore provides independent proctoring of
Certification and Compliance
9. I have heard
that Athletics has gone through something called Certification with
the NCAA. What is this and how does it affect our Athletics
NCAA Certification Program started in 1993 and in its first
certification cycle gave full certification to the UConn Program in
1997. UConn was again certified in 2007 and will be reviewed every ten years. The purpose of the certification
process is to:
a) Open up the affairs of athletics to the university community and
b) Set standards, called operating principles, for the operation of
Division I athletics programs
c) Establish tough sanctions for failure to conduct a comprehensive
self-study or correct problems.
is responsible for NCAA Compliance and what are the critical issues
associated with compliance?
The simple answer is that we all are responsible for NCAA Compliance
Athletics Compliance Office is responsible to ensure that the NCAA rules are
clearly explained to all student athletes, coaches and Athletics
staff, as well as the University community (including any
donors/alumni and season ticket holders). Through the use of
proactive educational programs and publications, the Compliance
Office provides these various constituencies critical information to
help them understand NCAA rules. The Athletics Compliance Office also has
access to the Big East Conference and NCAA resources for rules
education and interpretive issues to provide answers when they are not readily
What is the role of the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative?
The Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) is a full-time member of the faculty who represents faculty perspective on the institution’s conduct of its intercollegiate athletics program. The FAR reports directly to the President of the University of Connecticut, Dr. Michael Hogan. The FAR promotes the core value that the intellectual development of students based upon academic integrity is the primary mission of an institution of higher education, and that the value of extracurricular activities, such as athletics, shall be measured by its contribution to UConn.
One of the primary jobs of the FAR is to review the academic progress of all student-athletes to verify their academic eligibility. The FAR provides counsel to the Director of Athletics and President in NCAA and conference policy development, sits on athletics committees as appropriate, and, along with the Athletic Director and President, represents UConn at conference and NCAA meetings.
The current FAR is:
Scott Brown, Professor of Educational Psychology
Co-Director of the GlobalEd Project
249 Glenbrook Road
Department of Educational Psychology
Storrs, CT 06269-2064
Athlete Behavior and Disciplinary Actions
12. Do student athletes have to comply with a different set of
academic and disciplinary rules as others students?
Student athletes are subject to the same code of conduct as all
other students at the university and they are subject to the same
set of disciplinary procedures. However, in addition to the
standards set by the university there are often additional standards
that student athletes must comply with in terms of NCAA requirements
as well as team rules in order to remain eligible to compete in
For instance, the university sets minimum GPA standards that
students must meet each semester that they are enrolled in order to
not be placed on academic probation or to be dismissed by the
university. In addition to this requirement student athletes are
required to have met certain course credit requirements to ensure
that they are making progress toward completion of their degree.
For instance, the following are two requirements that student
athletes must meet to be eligible:
* Student athletes entering college are required to complete 40
percent of their degree requirements by the end of their second
year, 60 percent by the end of year three, and 80 percent by the end
of year four.
* Freshmen in college are required to complete 24 hours of course
work and have at least a 1.8 grade-point average.
This can sometimes present an issue for a student athlete who wants
to change majors. The student athlete may have been making adequate
progress towards their degree in the initial major but upon
switching may find that the courses taken to date do not meet the
standard of making progress in the new major.
In regard to disciplinary rules, significant disciplinary actions by coaches are generally taken in
consultation with the Director of Athletics. In cases where there
might be a safety issue to other athletes or students an immediate
removal of the student athlete from the situation is likely the
Myths & Realities
13. Aren’t most
student athletes here pretty much to further their chances for a
career in professional sports?
The demographics of the student athlete population at UConn are that
there are approximately 650 student athletes and only 305 receive
athletic financial aid. In any given year it is unlikely (based on
past experience) that more than 2% of these student athletes would ever try
out for a professional team.
14. Don’t student athletes have special dorms and food plans that are not available to
There are no special dorms for student athletes at UConn. They are
fully integrated into the array of dorms available at UConn. The
NCAA and UConn prohibit establishing an athletics residence hall, so
no more than 50% of the residents may be athletes. There are
special meal plans for student athletes called "training tables", in
which specific food has been prepared for the student athletes to
maximize their physical and mental development, while maintaining
strength, speed, flexibility and endurance. NCAA rules allow a
student athlete to have one training table meal a day in an
athletics sponsored eating facility during the academic year. All
other meals are either in a regular meal plan or the student’s