(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – The 2019-20 academic year was a record-breaking one for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and Montana State University Billings’ athletic department enjoyed similar academic success among its recent graduates and current student-athletes.
The academic performance numbers released are based on freshmen who entered college between 2010-2013 and are based on a six-year cohort, as prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education.
For the 2010-2013 four-year average, which is the 2013-14 cohort year, MSUB’s athletic department posted an academic success rate of 63 percent, and a student-athlete retention rate of 67.2 percent. A total of 21 Yellowjacket student-athletes whose senior seasons in the spring of 2020 were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as five former student-athletes, all graduated during MSUB’s fall commencement at the end of November.
“We are proud of our above-average retention rate and academic success rate numbers as an athletic department, and we believe that this type of success is representative of the quality of student-athletes we have competing as Yellowjackets,” said MSUB director of athletics Krista Montague. “We also believe it is important to recognize all of those seniors whose seasons were compromised by the pandemic, and we commend them for completing their studies and graduating this fall.”
MSUB also announced a department-wide grade point average of 3.14 during the fall 2020 semester. The department’s top performing women’s program was golf with a team GPA of 3.66, while on the men’s side the soccer team had a mark of 3.33.
The GNAC announced earlier this fall record numbers in both the federal graduation rate and academic success rate metrics used by the NCAA as a measure of an athletic department’s overall success. The conference announced all time highs of 65 percent in the federal graduation rate category and 79 percent in the academic success rate category. Both figures were well above the national averages and were the highest ever achieved by the conference as a whole.