NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College Athletic Department saw another stellar showing in the NCAA's Division II Academic Success Rate (ASR) report, which was released on Wednesday afternoon.
Merrimack student-athletes graduated at an 89-percent clip in the latest publishing of the ASR, a mark that was among the top-five in the Northeast-10 Conference for the same cycle. The Warriors joined fellow Northeast-10 Conference institutions Assumption, Bentley, Le Moyne, Saint Michael's and Stonehill as programs that boasted 89-percent success rates or higher.
The 89-percent figure is the fifth-best since the inception of the ASR over a decade ago; Merrimack had surpassed the 90-percent threshold in the four previous reports, with the Department's all-time best success rate of 92-percent coming in the 2011-12 and 2014-15 reports. Those reports measured the 2005 and 2008 graduating classes, respectively.
The ASR, which this year took into account the last four cohorts combined (2006-09), or the classes entering between 2006 and 2009, is in its 11th year of existence. Since 2005-06, Merrimack has posted an ASR no lower than 81 percent, and in five of those years, Warrior student-athletes' academic success rate had increased from the previous cycle.
Of the 17 sports that were measured for the 2006-09 cycle, all had posted percentages of 80 or better, including 10 with percentages of 90 and higher. Finally, women's cross country, women's rowing, softball and women's volleyball teams all posted perfect academic success rates.
A searchable database for ASR information and federal reports for all NCAA Division II institutions is available by visiting here.
ABOUT THE ACADEMIC SUCCESS RATE (ASR)
In the 11th year for the Division II Academic Success Rate, the data demonstrate student-athletes continue to graduate at a high rate. Division II's ASR data takes transfer students into account and removes students who left the institution in good academic standing. Given the partial-scholarship financial aid model of Division II, ASR also includes student-athletes not receiving athletic scholarships. Because of this, ASR captures about 50 percent more student-athletes than the federal rate, largely due to more than 36,000 non-scholarship student-athletes being included in the NCAA calculation.
The national four-year ASR average remained steady at 71 percent overall, while the entering class of 2009 held steady at 72 percent. Division II female student-athletes for the entering class of 2009 had an 86 percent ASR, an increase of one point from 2008. The ASR for male student-athletes increased decreased one point to 63 percent.
Even when compared to the much-less-inclusive federal graduation rates for Division II, student-athletes are still graduating at much higher rates than the general student body. The federal rate for the 2009 entering class of college athletes increased one point to 56 percent, while the general student body remained at 49 percent, an overall difference of seven points. The Division II philosophy promotes a balanced experience for college athletes, as proven by the continued success athletes have compared to the overall student body.