"I'm so pleased with the high academic success of our student-athletes," said Point Loma Nazarene University President Dr. Bob Brower. "Their commitment to excellence in the classroom and in competition reflect PLNU's purpose and mission."
In their four seasons of eligibility, the Sea Lions have now finished third (2014), second (2015) and first (2016 and 2017).
"We are extremely proud of our student-athletes' successes inside and outside the classroom," said Point Loma athletic director Ethan Hamilton. "They are high achievers who deserve credit for these accomplishments. I am also so thankful to the individuals around campus who play a part and deeply care about our students."
Point Loma tied with Bentley University and Saint Michael's College of the Northeast-10 Conference for the top spot among more than 300 NCAA Division II schools with a 98 percent ASR. PLNU was one of just 35 schools to achieve four-year Academic Success Rates of 90 percent or higher, and it will be honored as part of the program.
"Student-athletes in Division II continue to excel in the classroom, on the field of play and in their communities," said Terri Steeb Gronau, vice president of Division II. "These increased graduation rates reflect the efforts of Division II student-athletes and schools to prepare students for success in life, and we are proud of their achievements."
For Point Loma, this award symbolizes the continued success of its student-athletes during its first four years in NCAA Division II. Sea Lions student-athletes had a school-record high 3.375 grade point average last year. Outside the classroom, the department was recognized with the PacWest Community Engagement Award. Also, during this time, eight of the Sea Lions' 11 teams have qualified for NCAA postseason play and nine PLNU student-athletes have been named All-Americans.
The Academic Success Rate is the percentage of student-athletes who graduate within six years of initial collegiate enrollment and includes virtually all Division II student-athletes, including transfers and those not receiving athletics scholarships.
The Division II ASR captures about 48 percent more student-athletes than the federal graduation rate. Unlike the federal rate, the ASR counts nonscholarship student-athletes and those who transfer to a school after initial enrollment elsewhere, while removing student-athletes who leave school while academically eligible. Nationally, the ASR is 72 percent for Division II student-athletes who entered college from 2007 through 2010, an increase of 1 percentage point from the 2006-09 groups.
Division II student-athletes continue to graduate at a higher rate than the general student body. The federal rate for the 2010 entering class of student-athletes held steady at 56 percent, compared with 50 percent for the general student body.
The NCAA GSR (Division I) and ASR (Division II and Division III) were formed when presidents and chancellors in all three NCAA divisions called for the Association to develop a measure of graduation success that better reflects transfer patterns and the population of student-athletes in higher education. The GSR and ASR count transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate, and the ASR includes nonscholarship student-athletes.