Northwestern State sets program record with eight perfect Academic Progress Rate scores

A record eight of Northwestern State’s 14 sports posted a perfect single-year Academic Progress Rate score as nearly every athletics team improved their multi-year score in metrics that measure student-athletes academic eligibility and retention.

Baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s track, softball and tennis all logged marks of 1,000 during the 2019-20 academic year.

The eight perfect scores is an NSU best since the NCAA started collecting APR data in 2004-05. NSU has recorded six perfect scores twice and has had at least three teams with perfect scores in eight of the last nine years.

“Winning in the classroom continues to be a high priority for NSU Athletics as evidenced by the most recent NCAA APR report,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke. “Congratulations are in order to all NSU teams for continuing to score well on the annual APR report and especially to the eight programs which registered perfect scores.

“The collaborative effort of student-athletes, coaches, the academic and compliance staffs and our outstanding faculty contributed to another academic success story.”

All eight teams would have received public recognition from the NCAA, which typically recognizes teams in the top 10 percent of their respective sports, but the organization isn’t publishing nationwide APR data because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The banner APR year pushes NSU’s multi-year scores (four-year rolling averages) to impressive levels.

Eight programs have a multi-year score of at least 975, including men’s cross country (1,000), softball (992), women’s track (991), baseball (988), women’s cross country (988), women’s basketball (986), volleyball (979) and men’s basketball (976).

Men’s cross country accumulated its 10th perfect score in program history and has a streak of six consecutive perfect marks.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility and retention and provides a measure of each Division I team’s performance compared to peers.

Since the APR’s creation in 2003, NSU is among a relatively small group of institutions that have never received public warnings or penalties for any sport falling below the benchmark score, initially 925, now 930.

PHOTO: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

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