• Baylor student-athletes lead Big 12 in Graduation Success Rate for 8th straight year

    Jalen Pitre celebrates at Commencement

    On the field and in the classroom, Baylor is leading the Big 12 Conference — as the reigning conference champ in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball — and now (once again), graduation rate.

    For the eighth straight year, Baylor student-athletes have led the Big 12 Conference in Graduation Success Rate (GSR) — extending a run that has seen BU finish either first or second in GSR 13 out of the last 15 years.

    But it doesn’t stop there. Not content with simply extending their run of dominance, Baylor student-athletes in 2021 tied their own school record for GSR with a score of 94 — ranking BU second in the state of Texas (one point behind Rice) and No. 14 nationally among Power Five schools.

    What is GSR? It’s a measurement created to provide a more thorough and accurate assessment of student-athlete academic performance than the federal graduation rate. For instance, GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students, where the federal graduation rate does not. Outgoing students who transfer in good academic standing also do not penalize institutions in GSR. (Baylor has fared well in both statistics; this year, Baylor’s federal graduation rate was 73% — also No. 1 in the Big 12. Overall, the Bears have finished either first or second in the conference in federal graduation rate 15 times in the conference’s 26 years of existence.)

    En route to a school-record GSR, it’s no surprise that many individual programs excelled. Seven programs earned a perfect score of 100: baseball, men’s golf, women’s golf, soccer, softball, women’s tennis and volleyball. Men’s cross country/track and field also led the Big 12, giving the Bears eight programs that paced the conference.

    Since his arrival in 2016, Baylor athletics director Mack Rhoades has consistently urged his department to prepare student-athletes to be not just champions on the field, but champions for life. Academic achievement is, in fact, the first of four pillars that support that vision. Numbers like these show that Baylor student-athletes are making us just as proud in the classroom as they do on the field or court.

    Sic ’em, Baylor student-athletes!