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University of Colorado student-athletes posted another record semester in the classroom, recording their best-ever semester and cumulative grade point averages in statistics compiled by CU’s Herbst Academic Center staff.

The grade point average for the recently completed fall 2020 semester for a record-high 379 CU student-athletes was 3.153; while the spring semester sported a higher average (3.491), campus allowed for more flexibility in taking classes pass/fail and late withdrawal options.  Thus, the fall semester sets the actual all-time best, eclipsing the 2019 spring term mark of 3.004 and doing so with about 40 more students.

The cumulative grade point average continued to rise, climbing to 3.128; besting the cumulative mark of 3.111 after the spring term, and the 3.024 number that had previously been the record high.  CU sponsors 17 varsity sports, with purposes for this research combining the indoor and outdoor track programs; thus of the 15, an all-time high of 14 possess cumulative GPA’s of 3.0 or higher.

The academic staff started charting these numbers in the spring of 1996.

Regardless, the student-athletes, as was the case with all CU students, facing challenges both semester, including remote learning and abrupt schedule changes.  After all sports activities were suspended on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only the football, basketball and ski teams have since resumed competition.  Other programs are preparing for the start of their 2020-21 seasons over the next few weeks.

“I want to commend all of our student-athletes on the incredible work they put in this last fall,” athletic director Rick George said.  “The fall semester was incredibly difficult and had challenging times, but it was even more difficult for our student-athletes who faced the harsh reality that their competitive seasons could possibly be taken away. Our student-athletes persevered through the uncertainty and to say they excelled would be an understatement.  I could not be more proud of them for posting the highest term and cumulative GPA in our history.

“We also know that it takes our entire team to accomplish such a feat,” George added.  “The staff in our Herbst Academic Center, led by Kris Livingston, along with our coaches have done a terrific job of creating a culture that stresses academic achievement.  I can’t thank them enough for the dedication they show to our student-athletes on a daily basis.”

It marked the 13th straight semester for the grade point to exceed 2.9 (14 total overall), with 13 teams posting GPA’s above 3.0 for the fall semester, of which nine set marks for their highest fall semesters on record.  Of those nine, five set their all-time semester bests: men’s basketball (3.097), women’s golf (3.621), women’s lacrosse (3.494), women’s tennis (3.544) and men’s track and field (3.074).  The four with their highest fall numbers were women’s cross country (3.603), football (2.689), women’s soccer (3.336), and women’s volleyball (3.407).

For the fall semester, 26 student-athletes owned 4.00 grade points, with 144 owning 3.5 or higher GPA’s (38 percent).  Two-thirds came in at 3.0 or better and overall, 311 (or 82 percent) logged 2.5 or higher.  Cumulatively speaking, percentage records were set for those with grade points of 3.5-plus (116, or 31 percent), at the 3.0 level (241, 64 percent) and at 2.5 or better (327, or 86 percent).

The 3.621 term grade point recorded by the 10 members of the women’s golf team topped all programs in the fall, while the women’s cross country team once again posted the best cumulative average at 3.595.

Other impressive numbers include:

  • The women’s ski team enjoyed its 38th semester in succession with a GPA of at least 3.0, 18 straight terms of 3.3 or higher, and in 48 of 49 semesters dating back to 1996);
  •  The women’s cross country team having 33 straight semesters with a 3.0 or better (and 46 of 49 semesters);
  •  Four programs have semester streaks of 3.0 or better in the twenties: women’s soccer (24), women’s track and field (24), women’s golf (21) and men’s skiing (21).