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Student-Athletes Thrive in the Classroom with Record-Setting GPA

January 8, 2021  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Facing one of the most unique semesters of their collegiate careers, Liberty's student-athletes found a way to make it their best ever in the classroom.

Following the completion of the Fall 2020 academic semester, Liberty student-athletes are maintaining a 3.29 cumulative grade point average (GPA), the highest recorded GPA in athletics department history.

Over the last calendar year, Liberty Athletics has seen a dramatic 0.11 increase in its cumulative department-wide GPA. Following the conclusion of the Fall 2019 academic semester, Liberty's student-athletes cumulative GPA was at a then record-mark of 3.18.

Overall, the cumulative GPA for Liberty's 570-plus student-athletes has risen each of the last eight-consecutive semesters.

While their lives on the field of competition came to an abrupt stop last spring due to the COVID-19 virus, Liberty's student-athletes did not allow a life-changing pandemic prevent them from excelling in their efforts to pursue their academic passions.

Of Liberty's 20 athletics programs, 19 of those currently hold a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA following the conclusion of the 2020 fall semester.

Individually, a total of 117 student-athletes achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA in the fall, while 63 student-athletes carried a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA through the semester. At the conclusion of the fall, 420 student-athletes are maintaining a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA (72.5 percent).

Much of the success the Flames' student-athletes have consistently seen in the classroom is due to the tremendous effort from Liberty's Academic Affairs for Athletics office.

With the ever-changing times during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Liberty Academic Affairs for Athletics staff has continued to pivot and put its student-athletes into the best environment to flourish, whether in a physical classroom or a virtual academic bubble.

This group of dedicated individuals spends countless hours each week working alongside Liberty's 570-plus student-athletes, providing academic, athletic, social and spiritual development for each individual.

Liberty's women's swimming & diving team continues to maintain its hold on the top team GPA in the athletics department. The Lady Flames, who are the defending CCSA champions, lead all of Liberty's 20 NCAA Division I athletics program with a 3.73 cumulative GPA.

The men's soccer program holds the highest team GPA among Liberty's men's athletics programs with a 3.58 team GPA.

Liberty's football program success on the gridiron has followed the Flames into the classroom. Liberty finished the Fall 2020 semester with a 2.81 team GPA, as compared to a 2.58 team GPA during the Fall 2019 semester.

The football team was Liberty's only team to complete its season during the Fall 2020 semester. The Flames finished the season with a 10-1 record, tying the program's record for wins in a season (Liberty finished the 2008 season with a 10-2 record).

Liberty capped off the 2020 season with a thrilling 37-34 overtime win over No. 9/11 Coastal Carolina in the Cure Bowl on Dec. 26 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. The win marked Liberty's first-ever victory over a top-25 FBS ranked program.

Liberty's men's basketball program, the two-time defending ASUN Conference champions, saw a significant jump in its cumulative GPA this past fall. After a 30-win season that ended with a 3.17 cumulative GPA in Spring 2020, the men's basketball team's cumulative GPA is now up to a 3.31 mark.

The softball team did some of the hardest work in the classroom during the fall semester, dramatically increasing its cumulative team GPA. The Lady Flames finished the Spring 2020 semester with a 3.27 cumulative GPA and now enter the spring season with a 3.67 cumulative GPA (0.40 improvement).

In total, six of Liberty's athletics programs saw their team GPA increase by 10 or more points from last spring's GPA numbers: softball (40 points), men's soccer (17 points), women's basketball (17 points), men's basketball (14 points), women's soccer (14 points) and field hockey (13 points).

Below is a list of teams which currently have a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA:
• Women's Swimming & Diving | 3.73 GPA
• Women's Soccer | 3.72 GPA
• Softball | 3.67 GPA
• Volleyball | 3.66 GPA
• Men's Soccer | 3.58 GPA
• Women's Tennis | 3.56 GPA
• Field Hockey | 3.50 GPA
• Men's Tennis | 3.49 GPA
• Women's Track & Field/Cross Country | 3.47 GPA
• Women's Lacrosse | 3.46 GPA
• Women's Basketball | 3.42 GPA
• Men's Golf | 3.40 GPA
• Men's Basketball | 3.31 GPA
• Baseball | 3.10 GPA
• Men's Track & Field/Cross Country | 3.05 GPA

"For our student-athletes to set an all-time GPA record this semester, in light of the challenges and disruptions they experienced related to COVID-19, is truly extraordinary. It is also a credit to the outstanding work of the Academic Affairs for Athletics staff, the Liberty faculty and academic commitment of our coaches. This level of academic success reinforces our confidence in Liberty's whole person development model that is committed to the athletic, academic, spiritual and social development of our student-athletes."
Ian McCaw, Director of Athletics

"With so many unknowns and obstacles this past semester, I am so proud of the perseverance, grit, and determination displayed by our student-athletes academically earning the highest GPA in the history of the Liberty University Athletics Department. This would not have been possible without the unwavering support and dedication of our faculty, staff, tutors, and Academic Affairs for Athletics team."
Kristie Beitz, Senior Associate Athletics Director - Academic Affairs