HBCUs Struggle With APR Standards

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By Isabelle Khurshudyan | (Washington Post) When the NCAA announced scores in late May for its annual measurement of whether college athletes are adhering to minimum academic benchmarks, virtually all high-profile schools were spared. Across all institutions, Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores have improved since the measurement was first released in 2004. But another trend has persisted: the disproportionate penalization of historically black colleges and universities for failing to meet the standard.

Of the 21 athletic teams that will face a postseason ban next season for failing to meet the NCAA’s academic standard during the 2013-14 season, upon which the most recent scores are based, 15 are at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Twenty-five percent of HBCU teams had a single-year APR score below the minimum of 930 during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, compared to 6 percent of teams from non-HBCU institutions in 2012-13 and 4 percent in 2013-14, according to the NCAA’s most recent national and sport-group APR averages and trends.

Some critics of the APR see the gap as more of reflection of the disparity of resources between NCAA member schools than a measure of academic achievement. Many HBCUs face the challenge of serving their core mission of educating poor and academically underserved communities while having less funding than more powerful programs to provide academic oversight geared at keeping athletes eligible. Read Full Washington Post