October 24, 2013

Bucknell student-athletes' 93-percent graduation rate ties with Stanford for the highest in the country.

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By Jon Terry

LEWISBURG, Pa. — As competitive as the Bison are on the field, they're even tougher to beat in the classroom. The NCAA released its annual student-athlete graduate-rate survey on Thursday, and according to the U.S. Department of Education's standards, Bucknell increased its rate from last year, tying Stanford for first in the nation with a four-class average of 93 percent.

"To be ranked No. 1 in the nation in graduation rates is a tremendous achievement that reflects the hard work and dedication of each and every Bison student-athlete, coach and staff member," said John Hardt, director of athletics and recreation. "Ranking among the national leaders in student-athlete graduation rates has become an annual source of pride at Bucknell, and the academic performance of our student-athletes serves as validation that our priorities are well placed."  

Bucknell's student-athlete graduation rate of 93 percent exceeds the University's general student body graduation rate of 91 percent.  

Bucknell has 12 varsity programs with perfect graduation rates. Those programs are men's basketball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's water polo, wrestling, field hockey, women's golf, women's lacrosse, women's tennis, women's track and field and volleyball.  

Bucknell is one of only three Division I men's basketball programs with a perfect percentage, joining Belmont and Alcorn State.  

"We're proud of the way in which our student-athletes represent Bucknell," said Bucknell President John Bravman. "When you pair this recognition with their continued success in the Patriot League, you see what an example they set in their commitment to being true student-athletes." 

The NCAA also released its Graduation Success Rate formula Thursday; Bucknell tied for fourth in the nation at 98 percent. The GSR differs from the federal graduation-rate formula in that the GSR factors in transfer students who do graduate, and it does not penalize schools for losing transfers who leave in good academic standing.   

All but two Bison sports programs have perfect 100 percent GSR ratings. Every Bucknell women's program has a perfect GSR score, and the Bison men's basketball team is one of 42 out of 346 Division I programs to boast a GSR of 100. The Bucknell football team's GSR of 97 percent ranked fourth nationally, behind only Campbell, Brown and Davidson.  

Bucknell sponsors 27 intercollegiate sports at the Division I level. It is a charter member of the Patriot League and has won the league's all-sports championship in 18 of the 23 years it has been contested. Bucknell ranks fifth in Division I in producing Academic All-Americans.