One-third of HBCU football programs miss NCAA APR mark

One HBCU football program reached the NCAA average. One third of them fell below the benchmark. Here’s the data.

The latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) numbers are out and only one HBCU football program — Howard University — is meeting the national average. 

Howard University received a score of 962, the highest amongst HBCUs, but just at the national average.

Grambling State led the SWAC with an APR of 948. 

What is APR?

APR is a metric used by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to track the academic performance of college athletes. It is designed to measure a team’s academic progress and performance by taking into account the retention and eligibility of student-athletes over time.

The APR is calculated each year by considering the academic eligibility and retention of each student-athlete on a team. Eligibility is determined by a student-athlete’s grades and progress towards their degree, while retention is determined by whether a student-athlete remains enrolled in school and on the team from semester to semester.

The APR calculates a score for each team based on the academic success of its student-athletes. The score ranges from 0 to 1000, with 1000 being a perfect score.  Typically, teams that scored below the 930 benchmark would have to face penalties that encourage an emphasis and prioritization on academics. However, due to the current penalty suspension in place, teams falling below the minimum 930 score will not be subjected to penalties this year. 

HBCU football: MEAC hitting marks, SWAC hit or miss

It is a good thing that APR penalties are suspended once again as several HBCUs fell below that mark in the most recent report. Seven of the 21 HBCUs that participated in the FCS fell below the 930 APR benchmark. That’s one out of every three, double the number that fell below it last year. Here are the scores: 

Howard — 962
Norfolk State — 957
Hampton — 955
NC Central — 948
Grambling State — 948
Alcorn State — 945
SC State — 944
Southern — 943
Jackson State — 943
Morgan State — 943
NC A&T — 938
Texas Southern — 935
Delaware State — 933
Prairie View A&M — 933
UAPB — 923
Tennessee State — 923
Alabama State — 913
Alabama A&M — 911
Mississippi Valley — 899 
Florida A&M — 898
Bethune-Cookman — 892

All six MEAC programs passed the 930 APR threshold. Half of the SWAC and Ohio Valley Conference member Tennessee State fell below that figure. Overall APR for college football dropped by two points from 2020-2021.

One-third of HBCU football programs miss NCAA APR mark
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