UND Student-Athletes Shine in the Classroom During Fall 2021 Semester


Claire Weltz, Sports Editor


After a chaotic and unusual 2020-2021 season, the student-athletes of University of North Dakota responded with accomplishments both on and off the field during the Fall 2021 season. The COVID-19 pandemic forced multiple leagues to rearrange their schedules, but UND’s student-athletes faced the challenge with gusto.  

For the sixth consecutive season, every athletic program has achieved an average team GPA of 3.0 or higher. It also marks 27 seasons in a row that the Fighting Hawks combined for an average 3.0+ GPA across all athletic programs.  

The highest GPA out of the women’s teams was Women’s Track and Field at 3.815 – the highest of any athletic program at the University of North Dakota; Men’s Hockey led the male athletic programs with a 3.454. 73 student-athletes made the Dean’s List (top 15% within their college), and 53 made the President’s List (overall GPA of 3.80+). 

Assistant AD, Student-Athlete Support Services Andres Freeman – who oversees academic advising for several teams and tracks NCAA eligibility for all athletes at UND – said, “Every year, our athletes continue to impress our department with what they are capable of in the classroom. This semester is no different as they produced another stellar semester with teams and athletes reaching new heights in many areas.” He gave credit to the coaches and other staff members for their ability to “recruit these top-notch student-athletes that not only want to compete in their sport at a high level, but most importantly in the classroom.” 

Zachary Miller, who represents UND in Men’s Track and Field, echoed Freeman’s sentiment. “Our athletics department is very adamant when you enter that you are a student-athlete. Student comes first, athlete comes second.” Miller is a Mechanical Engineering major who is one of 53 student-athletes to make the Dean’s List. That means he was in the top 15% of UND’s College of Engineering & Mines for the Fall 2021 semester. His academic achievements contributed to his team’s term GPA of 3.449, second in all the men’s athletic programs only behind hockey.  

Miller summarizes the aim of all student-athletes succinctly: “Obviously, we all want to perform to the best of our abilities, but at the end of the day, we came to college to get an education and a degree which will help move us through the rest of our lives.” With applaudable results from both Fall 2021 and previous semesters, UND fosters an environment that prizes academic achievement over athletic pursuits to prepare student athletes for their lives beyond their time wearing the Green and White.  

Claire Weltz is a Dakota Student Sports Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].