"I'm very pleased with the academic success of our student-athletes and their success in timely graduation," said Point Loma president Dr. Bob Brower. "Our faculty and coaches work together to serve PLNU students in their academic pursuits while continuing full participation in intercollegiate competition."
The Sea Lions were honored previously for finishing third (2014), second (2015) and now first in their three years as members of NCAA Division II. This is the sixth year of the program.
"I am extremely proud and again am deeply impressed by both our current and former student-athletes," added Point Loma Athletic Director Ethan Hamilton. "In addition, I am very thankful to our coaches, staff and the rest of our campus who take great pride in graduating our students. This is a very special honor."
Point Loma led 26 Division II member schools that will be honored as part of the program for achieving four-year Academic Success Rates of 90 percent or higher. PLNU was followed in the Academic Success Rates by Bentley University, Saint Michael's College and Hillsdale College. All three achieved a 98 percent ASR.
"Division II's philosophy is built on a commitment to supporting the whole student, including academic success as a primary emphasis," said Steve Scott, president of Pittsburg State University and chair of the Division II Presidents Council. "The number of schools that consistently hit the 90 percent mark illustrates how Division II members continually uphold that commitment."
For Point Loma, this award symbolized the mark of a great first three years in NCAA Division II, both in the classroom and on the playing field. During that time, seven of the Sea Lions' 11 teams have qualified for NCAA postseason play and seven 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 athletic scholarships.
The Division II ASR also captures about 51 percent more student-athletes than the federal graduation rate. Unlike the federal rate, the ASR counts non-scholarship student-athletes and those who transfer to a school after initial enrollment elsewhere, while removing student-athletes who leave school while academically eligible. The national ASR is 71 percent for Division II student-athletes who entered college from 2006 through 2009.
Division II student-athletes continue to graduate at a higher rate than the general student body. The federal rate for the 2009 entering class of student-athletes was 56 percent, compared with 49 percent for the general student body.