WINTER PARK, Fla. (January 18, 2011) - For the fourth consecutive year, the Sunshine State Conference leads all NCAA Division II conferences with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 86 percent.

Florida Tech and Rollins were particularly impressive in their accomplishments. Of 14 teams reporting ASR data, Florida Tech posted a perfect 100 percent in eight sports. Tech's overall ASR for all student-athletes was 91 percent.

Of 16 teams submitting data, Rollins achieved a 100 percent ASR in 10 sports. Rollins' overall ASR was 94 percent.

All nine SSC institutions had at least one sport tally a perfect 100 percent ASR.

The ASR for all 22 DII conferences was released at the NCAA Convention, which was held in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 12-15. The Sunshine State Conference edged out the Northeast-10 Conference, which posted an ASR of 85 percent. The two leagues have claimed the top two spots in the conference-by-conference comparison since the ASR performance rankings were first released in January 2008.

SSC student-athletes performed well above the average for all DII student-athletes, as the division-wide ASR was 71 percent.

Academic Success Rates for all Division II institutions had been released by the NCAA in October, though the conference rates are not released each year until the annual Convention.

The figures released in October measured data submitted by 292 Division II institutions regarding their federal graduation rate data for the entering classes of 2000 to 2003. ASRs are calculated using a four-year rolling average, as is done with the federal rate. The overall Division II academic success rate for the entering class of 2003 was 73 percent. That number marks a two percent increase over the 2002 cohort and continues a five-year trend of increased success. Women student-athletes posted an 84 percent academic success rate, while their male counterparts achieved a 66 percent rate.

In comparing each of the 14 sports sponsored by the SSC in 2003 to the Division II average for each sport, conference teams consistently performed above the national average for their DII counterparts. Eighty-five percent of the SSC's teams posted ASRs above their sport's national average. Specifically, out of 112 league teams for which ASR data was measured, 95 achieved at or above the division-wide ASR for their sport.

"Each year, it is easy to have a lot of pride within our institutions when the ASR data is released," SSC Commissioner Jay Jones said. "It's a real tribute to the hard work of the administrators and staffs on our campuses. I feel the student-athletes within our conference fully embrace and exhibit a great balance between being both a student and an athlete. While we are known as the conference of national champions and do wonderful things athletically, we also continually excel in the classrooms as the data shows year after year. This is something that we can be very proud of, and I congratulate our student-athletes and administrators on this yearly achievement."

Men's soccer and women's cross country were the most impressive league sports, with all of the SSC's teams exceeding the DII ASR in their respective sports. In men's soccer, all nine league schools surpassed the national rate of 70 percent. In women's cross country, all six teams posted an ASR greater than the 82 percent average.

Women's tennis was also outstanding in its success, as seven of the eight SSC teams that exceeded the DII rate (86 percent) posted perfect 100 percent rates. Men's tennis also fared exceptionally well in the report, with four of the six league teams topping the national average (79 percent) recording perfect 100 percent ASRs.

Along with the Division I Graduation Success Rate (GSR), the ASR is a tool used by the NCAA to measure the academic progress of student-athletes competing within the Association. The NCAA developed the Division II ASR at the request of college and university presidents who believed the federal graduation rate was flawed. Both the Division I GSR and the DII ASR take into account transfer students. However, given the partial-scholarship model of Division II, the ASR also includes student-athletes not receiving athletically-related financial aid. The ASR also removes from students from the cohort who left the institution while academically eligible to compete.

Top Ten Division II ASR Conferences

1. Sunshine State Conference - 86 percent

2. Northeast-10 Conference - 85 percent

3. East Coast Conference - 81 percent

4. Great Lakes Valley Conference - 78 percent

5. Great Northwest Athletic Conference - 77 percent

6. Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference - 76 percent

7. Conference Carolinas - 74 percent

T8. California Collegiate Athletic Association - 73 percent

T8. Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association - 73 percent

T8. Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference - 73 percent