July 16, 2012
APR: The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate measures eligibility and retention for Division I student-athletes and aims to serve as an early indicator of graduation rates.
Calculation: Each student-athlete on athletically related financial aid receives one point for staying in school and one point for remaining academically eligible. A team’s APR score is reached by dividing the number of points earned by the points possible, then multiplying by 1,000.
For example a 10-person team that keeps everyone in school but has one academically ineligible would score a 950 for that year. Scores are then calculated as a four-year average. Adjustments are made for players who transfer or leave for pro careers while in good academic standing.
Penalties: Schools receive escalating penalties for repeatedly falling below APR benchmarks, including public notices, practice reductions, scholarship losses, postseason bans and removing an athletics program from Division I. Currently, a school must maintain a four-year APR average of 900, or a two-year average of 930, to avoid penalties. For the 2015-16 season, that will change to a four-year average of 930, which is roughly equal to a 50 percent graduation rate. Low-resource institutions, such as Southern and other SWAC schools, have an extra year to comply.