University of Hartford Student Athletes Win Conference in Academic Performance

Reporting on the academic performance of its student athletes with a level of statistical precision normally reserved for sporting events, the University of Hartford announced that it has clinched its second-straight America East Academic Cup in 2012-13 after posting the highest grade point average of any school in the 18-year history of the award, according to data from by the America East conference.

Compiling a 3.24 GPA in 2012-13, the Hawks' winning GPA was six points higher than the next highest mark, which belonged to New Hampshire (3.18 GPA). Binghamton University and University of Vermont tied for third (3.12 GPA), followed by University of Maine (3.11), Stony Brook University (3.08), Boston University (3.07), University at Albany (3.01) and UMBC (2.83), the university reported.

“We are all so proud of our student-athletes who have proven once again that we do things the right way: we excel on the field or court and in the classroom,” said University of Hartford President Walter Harrison. “Here at Hartford, the term student-athlete has meaning.”  Harrison has served as Chair of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Committee on Academic PerforNCAA-mance.

The Academic Cup, established by the America East Board of Directors in 1995, is presented to the institution whose student-athletes post the highest grade point averages during that academic year.  Last year, Hartford student-athletes earned a 3.17 GPA, edging out the University of Vermont by one one-hundredth of a point to clinch UHart's first Academic Cup since 1996-97. In 2012-13, the Hawks surpassed last year's mark by seven one-hundredths to take home back-to-back Academic Cups for the first time in school history.

The Hawks set a record in the classroom in the Spring 2013 semester, posting a combined 3.23 GPA, edging the previous school mark of 3.22 set one year ago. This past spring, Hartford boasted 252 student-athletes with GPAs of 3.0 or better, with 150 of those student-athletes notching at least a 3.5 and 20 out of 358 student-athletes earning a perfect 4.0 GPA for the semester.

“Congratulations to the University of Hartford, most notably its student-athletes, on this historic achievement,” said America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. “It is indicative of the hard work put in and the value placed on academics not only by Hartford, but by all nine of our institutions and student-athletes, who consistently excel academically year in and year out, which is a core pillar of this conference and what sets us apart from so many others.” America East After a season in which its mens basketball team was ineligible for post-season play because of substandard academic performance a few years ago, UConn received the news earlier this year that they would again be eligible for post season play in 2014.

According to the NCAA's explanation of the Academic Progress Rate (APR) system which determines eligibility, each athlete earns one retention point for staying in school and one eligibility point for remaining academically eligible. The team's total points are divided by the number of possible points, then multiplied by 1,000 to reach the APR.

UConn's score for the 2011-12 academic year was 947 out of 1,000, giving the program two consecutive years with scores surpassing the NCAA benchmark. With a two-year average of 964, UConn surpassed the NCAA's two-year standard of 930 and will be eligible for postseason play in 2014, The Hartford Courant reported.

Five Quinnipiac University teams have received a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA for earning high scores in the most recent Academic Progress Rate (APR) compilation, according to the school.

The Quinnipiac squads recognized by the NCAA include: men’s indoor track & field, women’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s indoor track & field and women’s outdoor track & field. All five teams are rewarded for scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport with respect to their Academic Progress Rates (APRs).