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The NCAA has released official federal graduation rate data, and Lobo student-athletes have once again achieved a passing grade. New Mexico athletics graduated 55 percent of all student-athletes who enrolled as freshmen during the 2007-08 academic year, an increase from the 50 percent rate of a year ago. The school also scored a 76 percent in the Graduation Success Rate, which tied the programs’ all-time high, which was first set in 2010.

The 55 percent rate tied for the third-highest mark for the school, and the rate was seven points higher than the university as a whole, which was 48 percent. That 48 percent mark for the university was also the highest mark in school history. 

The NCAA also released the graduation success rate scores (GSR) for all Division I schools, and UNM had several programs achieve their highest scores. Women’s basketball had a 100 percent GSR for a fifth straight season, football and men’s basketball each scored at 64 percent, and those were the highest marks for either program in the history of GSR scores. Overall, female student-athletes had an 89 percent GSR, and male student-athletes had a 69 percent GSR, with both of those numbers being program highs.

The federal graduation rate differs slightly from the NCAAs graduation success rate. The federal rate is the percentage of first-time, full-time freshmen that graduate from the institution within six years. The NCAA graduation success rate factors in transfer students, whether transferring into the institution, or out in good academic standing.

The Graduation Success Rate, along with the Academic Progress Rate, or APR, was a part of former NCAA President Myles Brand’s initiative to raise the academic standards and profiles for Division I institutions.

The 76 percent GSR factors in transfer students (those transferring in to UNM as well as those transferring out). The 76 percent is the fifth straight year that the university has scored a 74 percent or better, as the school scored a 76 percent in 2010, 74 percent in 2011, a 75 percent in 2012 and a 74 percent last year.

The department has seen a solid rise in the GSR since it was instituted in 2006, as UNM scored a 58 percent in that first year.

“We are proud of not just our successes on the field, but in the classroom, particularly in graduating our student-athletes,” said Paul Krebs. “We have a solid commitment to the academic success of our student-athletes. We always have a high expectation academically of our coaches and our student-athletes, and while we are proud of the numbers released today, we will always strive to improve them.

“As I have said before, Henry Villegas and his staff at the Lobo Center for Student-Athlete Success, which is one of the finest in the country, have made tremendous differences in the successes of our student-athletes.”