The grade point average for the recently completed spring 2021 semester for 371 CU student-athletes was 3.139, the best spring semester GPA on record. That boosted the cumulative grade point average to a record 3.158, besting the previous mark of 3.128 from the fall 2019 term. (The numbers fluctuate because of fall attrition – graduates, transfers, etc. – and spring newcomers.) For the second straight semester, 14 of CU’s 15 programs (indoor and outdoor track count as one) owned cumulative GPA’s of 3.0 or higher, also an all-time high.
The academic staff started charting these numbers in the spring of 1996.
For the third straight semester, all CU students continued to face challenges due to the COVID pandemic, ranging from classes being held in-person or remotely, and in some cases, both. In the case of Colorado’s athletes, for much of the spring 14 programs were competing at once, adding to the workload of CU’s Herbst Academic Center staff which once again did an incredible job aiding the students in balancing their athletic and academic responsibilities.
“I couldn’t be more proud of what our student-athletes are accomplishing on and off the field,” athletic director Rick George said. “As I have often said, this has been an incredibly challenging 15 months that was not easy to navigate, and to achieve the way they have in the classroom and on the playing surfaces is nothing short of outstanding. I applaud all of our student-athletes efforts in their studies over the last academic year for their efforts to achieve some of the highest GPA’s in our history. I also want to recognize Kris Livingston, our Herbst Academic staff and our coaches for their outstanding efforts in this area as well.
“The student-athletes and Herbst Academic Center staff have really maintained their focus since the start of the pandemic,” said Livingston, CU’s executive senior associate athletic director for student success. “Even with 16 of our 17 sports travelling and competing this spring, they were able to stay true to their academic goals, and they continue to raise the bar. At some point in time, all successful athletes learn to stay flexible, analyze the current situation, draw from their toolkit, make adjustments and continue on their path. They certainly showed their competitive spirits this spring, in and out of the classroom.”
It marked the 14th straight semester for the grade point to exceed 2.9 (out of 15 total overall), with 13 teams posting GPA’s above 3.0 for the spring semester, matching the previous best attained last fall. Three programs recorded their best semester grade points ever: women’s basketball (3.349), football (2.851) and men’s track and field (3.110). Two others posted their best-ever GPA’s for a spring term, women’s golf (3.475) and women’s lacrosse (3.415).
For the spring term, 32 student-athletes owned 4.00 grade point averages, with 136 owning 3.5 or higher GPA’s (37 percent). Once again, two-thirds (244 athletes) came in at 3.0 or better and overall, 299 (or 81 percent) logged 2.5 or higher. Cumulatively speaking, the second-highest percentages were recorded for those with grade points of 3.5-plus (110, or 30 percent) and at the 3.0 level (231, 62 percent), while a high was created for those at 2.5 or better (326 or 88 percent).
The 3.582 term grade point recorded by the 15 members of the women’s ski team topped all programs in the spring, which was nearly matched by their counterparts, as 14 male skiers posted a 3.572 mark. The women’s cross country team continued its streak of four straight semesters with the best cumulative average at 3.575.
Other impressive numbers include:
Fourteen of 15 programs own cumulative GPA’s of 3.0 or better, with football recording both the aforementioned semester best and a cumulative figure of 2.794.
- The women’s ski team enjoyed its 40th semester in succession with a GPA of at least 3.0, 19 straight terms of 3.3 or higher, and in 49 of 50 semesters dating back to 1996);
- The women’s cross country team now has 34 straight semesters with a 3.0 or better (and in 47 of 50 semesters);
- Four programs have semester streaks of 3.0 or better in the twenties: women’s soccer (25), women’s track and field (25), women’s golf (22) and men’s skiing (22).
The Pac-12 Conference hasn’t compiled its Spring Honor Roll yet, but 50 Buffaloes made the Fall squad; that doesn’t include 15 skiers who were named to the Division I National All-Academic Ski Team.
A closer look, team-by-team:
Team Spring Term GPA Cumulative GPA
|Men’s Cross Country||3.321||3.116|
|Women’s Cross Country||3.467||3.575|
|Men’s Track & Field||3.110||3.023|
|Women’s Track & Field||3.235||3.387|
|All Varsity Sports||3.139||3.158|