Valparaiso University Athletics continues to produce champions in the classroom, reinforced this week as the NCAA released its most recent Academic Progress Rate (APR) data. Valpo led the Missouri Valley Conference with eight programs achieving perfect APR scores of 1000. The score measures eligibility and retention and provides a snapshot of academic success for each sport.
Men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s swimming, women’s swimming, tennis and men’s track & field all registered a perfect 1000 APR score. Eight programs with perfect APR scores is the most for Valpo Athletics since the 2007 APR release.
Women’s soccer (998), basketball (995) and volleyball (990) had scores of 990 or better as well. In total, 13 of 17 Valpo Athletics programs posted APR scores above the national average in their respective sport.
“This is a testament not only to the strength of our institution and our faculty, but also to the hard work of Mark LaBarbera, our retiring athletic director,” said Valparaiso University President José D. Padilla, J.D. “At Valpo, we have always worked to ensure that the ‘student’ remains the priority in the designation of ‘student-athlete’.”
Each of the undergraduate colleges at Valpo is home to nationally ranked academic programs, offering a wide breadth of opportunities for students to pursue their educational goals. Earlier this year, 128 student-athletes received Presidential Academic Honors, awarded to student-athletes who earned a term grade point average of 3.25 or higher for at least two consecutive semesters.
The public announcement of APRs returned after a one-year hiatus. This spring, the Division I Board of Directors voted to continue to suspend APR penalties for an additional year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, it supported the public release of the APR data.
Each academic year, each Division I sports team across the country calculates its APR using a simple and consistent formula. Each term, scholarship student-athletes can earn one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating. For schools that do not offer scholarships, recruited student-athletes are tracked.
All of Valpo’s athletic teams were well above the multi-year score of 930 that would normally be required to sustain postseason eligibility. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2017–2018, 2018–2019, 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 academic years.