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MIT’s athletic program was recently ranked number four overall in the nation — its highest ever ranking — by the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA). The NCSA Power Rankings, a system first implemented by the NCAA in 2004, report on both the academic and athletic performance of each college’s athletic program.

The achievement “[gives] recognition to our student athletes' success in the classroom and on the field,” says Tom Gearty, Director of Communications of the Office of the Dean for Student Life.

MIT were ranked eleventh in athletic performance, and tied for fourth in academic performance, for a total score of 9.0 (lower scores indicate stronger performance) – an improvement over last year, when they scored 13.3 and ranked sixth nationally.

In the poll, which also sorts schools by division, MIT trailed Amherst College, Williams College, and Middlebury College. Division III schools took five of the top six spots.

The scores are an average of the U.S. News & World Report ranking (the academic component), the U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup ranking (the athletic component) and the NCAA student-athlete graduation rate of each school.

The NCSA rankings can be a strong selling point for schools towards potential student-athletes. Chris Krause, CEO and Founder of NCSA Athletic Recruiting, says, "The Power Rankings are an objective tool to empower student athletes to find the right fit in a college or university, not only for its athletics, but academics as well. Our hope is to educate these student athletes and their parents on the importance of evaluating schools that will provide the education for an enriched, successful career after college, in addition to athletic success."