Based on data released by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), UCF has posted the highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for student-athletes in school history. The NCAA released its GSR data for student-athletes who first enrolled in 2005 on Thursday.

UCF’s GSR was 85 percent, up two points from last year’s report. The Knights rank No. 1 among public institutions in the State of Florida and second overall in the state. UCF’s GSR also ranks highest among public institutions in Conference USA and is tied for second overall in the league, behind Rice (95 percent).

UCF also compared well with institutions in the BIG EAST Conference, which the Knights will join on July 1, 2013. UCF would currently rank No. 2 in the BIG EAST among public institutions, behind only Rutgers (88 percent). Among all football-playing members of the BIG EAST, the Knights would tie for third, behind Rutgers and Syracuse (87 percent).

“Results like this come from the hard work of our student-athletes, combined with the culture of academic success that our coaches and academic support staff promote on a daily basis,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury. “We’re all very proud of what our student-athletes are accomplishing.”

The football program finished 13 points above the national average, with an 81-percent mark, compared to 68 percent nationally. It was the sixth consecutive year the football program improved its GSR. Football’s 81 percent was a program-best score. In football, UCF ranks No. 2 in C-USA and would rank No. 2 among BIG EAST public institutions.

Eleven of UCF’s 16 teams improved their GSR from the previous year’s report, while 11 of them were also above the national average for their sport. Three Knight squads – women’s tennis, softball and men’s golf – were at a perfect 100 percent. It was the seventh consecutive season for women’s tennis to record a 100-percent score. Men’s tennis recorded the biggest improvement among Knights programs, jumping 14 percentage points.

“Graduation is obviously the ultimate goal and this report shows that our student-athletes, coaches and academic advisors are doing a great job promoting academic achievement,” said Kimya Massey, Director of Academic Services for Student-Athletes. “I’m very proud to work with a group that is so dedicated to success in competition and in the classroom.”