December 15, 2021

Jeff Evans
Western Washington University Athletic Department
(360) 650-6800

Western Washington University Athletics Earns Prestigious NCAA Presidents' Award For Academic Excellence

The academic accolades of Western Washington University student-athletes continue to pile up as WWU Department of Athletics was recognized as one of 43 NCAA Division II programs to earn the prestigious NCAA Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence.

WWU’s 15 varsity intercollegiate sports programs recorded a school-record 92% Academic Success Rate to earn the award for the fourth time in the last five years. Western was one of 43 NCAA Division II schools across the nation to earn the award for recording an ASR of 90% or higher, and one of only four public institutions. WWU also earned the award in 2017, 2018 and 2020, and fell one percent short in 2019.

“This is an elite list to be on and an amazing award for our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and University to celebrate for being recognized four of the last five years,” said WWU Director of Athletics Steve Card. “As proud as we are of all the success the Vikings have had in competition, these are the awards we are most proud of as it shows the dedication and hard work our student-athletes put into every facet of their experience at Western.”

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. This year’s ASR and FGR tracks student-athletes who entered college in the 2014-15 academic year. The FGR tracks the six-year graduation rate of freshmen who received athletic aid in a four-year cohort from 2011 to 2014, as prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education.  Standing alone, the freshman class of 2013-14 had an 87 percent FGR.

Using the federal rate criteria, the four-year cohort of Viking student-athletes entering from 2011 to 2014 graduated at an 85 percent rate, compared to 68 percent for the full set of freshmen entering WWU in that period. Across NCAA Division II, student-athletes are also performing better than the general student body, with that same four-year cohort of student-athletes graduating at 60 percent, compared to 53 percent for all students who entered NCAA II institutions as freshmen in 2014-15.

“It is an honor recognizing 43 schools for this prestigious award,” said Steven Shirley, president of Minot State and chair of the Division II Presidents Council. “I applaud these schools and student-athletes for their hard work, commitment and dedication to achieving academic excellence.”

WWU was joined by Great Northwest Athletic Conference member schools Seattle Pacific University and Saint Martin’s University as 2021 NCAA Presidents’ Award Winners for Academic Excellence.

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