​“When it comes to stereotypes about student athletes, DePaul is a myth buster,” says Joe Filkins, associate director, Institutional Research & Market Analytics.

These numbers from 2011 prove his point: 

  • Five (5) DePaul teams had the top GPA in the Big East: women’s basketball, golf, men’s soccer, softball, and women’s tennis. In fact, even though DePaul participated in the fewest number of sports, we had the greatest number of teams with the top GPAs.
  • 148 of 214 (69 percent) DePaul student-athletes were named to the Big East All-Academic Team.
  • Two students — Charles Boucher (golf) and Alex Morocco (softball) — received Big East Scholar-Athlete of the Year recognition for their athletic performance, academic success, and community service.  
  • 167 of 214 (78 percent) of DePaul student-athletes made the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll by earning a GPA of 3.0 (or greater).
  • 130 of 214 (61 percent) made the Dean’s List by earning a GPA of 3.5 (or greater).
    Golf claimed its second straight Division I Academic National Champion Honor for having the top team GPA in the country.
  • The current graduation rate for DePaul’s freshmen is 63 percent; for student athletes, it’s 88 percent.

Jean Lenti Ponsetto, athletics director, says DePaul has all the right component parts in place to achieve this remarkable record:

“First, our student-athletes deserve the vast majority of the credit — they do the heavy lifting —their seriousness about academics is backed up with an incredibly strong work ethic.

“Then I’d say our coaches do an outstanding job of identifying and recruiting exceptional student athletes — young people who can do well both academically in DePaul’s competitive arena and athletically in the Big East Conference. In our recruiting, we ‘sell’ DePaul — we talk about our exceptional faculty, their commitment to excellence in teaching, and DePaul’s outstanding academic quality across all colleges and majors. Our coaches make very clear our expectations that the student-athletes will perform well, in and out of the classroom — there’s is no ambiguity in that message.

“Next, our faculty do an amazing job. In their exit interviews, student-athletes across all majors consistently report the high quality of experience they received in the classroom. I continue to be impressed with how they appreciate and share our faculty’s commitment toward helping them maximize their potential academically and in how they value the community service work they participate in.  As a former DePaul student-athlete, I know firsthand and benefitted from our faculty’s willingness to ‘go the distance’ in helping students succeed; they understand the demands put on our student-athletes and work with them to get their work done within very real time constraints.

“Finally, we have a wonderful support system in place:  both our Athletics Academic Advising staff and all the college office advisors assist our student-athletes by coordinating efforts and regularly communicating among college offices, faculty, and the athletics programs.

“A lot of people invest in our student athletes, and collectively we’ve got the successes to show for it.”