LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the 12th consecutive semester, the University of Kentucky Athletics Department has reached its goal of a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
Scholarship Wildcats combined for a 3.181 GPA for the spring semester, meaning UK has posted GPAs of 3.0 or better in each semester for the last six academic years. UK has also now had a cumulative GPA above 3.1 for six straight semesters.
“This level of achievement in the classroom is something we have come to expect, but we do not take it for granted,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Our students work incredibly hard for this kind of success and I commend them for their commitment to pursuing a world-class education at UK. With six years of GPAs better than 3.0, that means we have had three recruiting classes come through Kentucky and know nothing else. We are proud of that.”
Of UK’s 20 teams, 18 had spring GPAs of better than 3.0, which is the department goal established through Barnhart’s Elite 1-3-5 initiative. Nine teams earned GPAs of 3.4 or higher, led by the women’s cross country team at 3.702. The women’s cross country team was closely followed by women’s swimming and diving (3.566), men’s golf (3.508), softball (3.497), women’s soccer (3.482), women’s golf (3.440), men’s swimming and diving (3.430), rifle (3.421) and gymnastics (3.400).
Of those teams, women’s swimming and diving, rifle and gymnastics have all posted top-15 finishes in NCAA competition this semester, with men’s golf and softball still in contention to do the same. The rifle team, of course, claimed its second national championship in March.
“Seeing many of our teams match excellence in competition with success in the classroom is so rewarding for us,” Barnhart said. “I am thankful to our coaches and staff for living out our commitment to the academic advancement of our students and to our CATS (Center for Academic and Tutorial Services) counselors and tutors for the way they support our students and their academic enrichment.”
In addition to the high marks, a total of 61 current and former Wildcats graduated as part of May Commencement exercises at UK last weekend. UK also once again broke a school record in the Graduation Success Rate and tied another in the Federal Graduation Rate in numbers announced by the NCAA in November. In competition, UK has won a national championship in rifle, a Southeastern Conference championship in volleyball and an SEC Tournament title in men’s basketball, leading to a current ranking of 15th in the latest Learfield Directors’ Cup standings.
“When it comes to what truly matters – the success of our students in competition, in the classroom and in life – we are proud of what we are doing as a department,” Barnhart said. “That, along with serving our fans and strengthening the deep connection we share with our state, will always be our focus.”