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Notre Dame Wins 8th Straight National Title in Graduation Based on 2014 NCAA Graduation Success Rate Numbers
Notre Dame claimed the 2014 national championship for graduating its student-athletes in all sports, posting the top NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figure for its student-athletes for the eighth consecutive year. FIGHTING IRISH

Oct. 29, 2014 The University of Notre Dame once again claims the 2014 national championship for graduating student-athletes in all sports--in the process posting the top NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figure (99) for its student-athletes for the eighth straight year.

The GSR number for all Notre Dame student-athletes rates the Irish first among the football-playing institutions in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A). The 2014 NCAA figures are based on entering classes from 2004 through 2007.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame's institutional research determined additional academic highlights based on the NCAA-issued GSR and federal figures released yesterday:

-- A record-tying 20 of 22 Irish athletic programs analyzed posted GSR figures of 100 percent, and eight produced federal rate 100 scores. It's the second straight year Notre Dame's programs have combined for 20 perfect GSR scores--after four previous years with 19.

-- For the ninth time in 10 years, Notre Dame ranks number one on a percentage basis in terms of number of GSR 100 scores, among all FBS schools.

-- Twenty-one of Notre Dame's 22 men's and women's programs posted GSR numbers that rank them best in the nation within their sports--and 11 produced federal graduation rates that led all FBS institutions.

Whether measured by the federal government in its Department of Education report or by the NCAA through its GSR numbers, graduation rates for Notre Dame student-athletes once again rank either number one or among the handful of national leaders in four major categories among all major football-playing colleges and universities.

Notre Dame research shows Irish student-athletes in 2014 rank number one in four of 10 major categories--ranking second in two others and third in one more.

For the sixth year in a row Notre Dame leads the nation in four GSR categories--for all student-athletes (at 99), male student-athletes (98), female student-athletes (100) and black student-athletes (96).

In calculations including all student-athletes in all sports, Notre Dame ranks first among the FBS schools in the GSR figures, which were initiated in 2005 by the NCAA. The University's 99 percent GSR for all its student-athletes ranks just ahead of the 98 figure for Stanford. Using the federal formula, Notre Dame graduated a four-year average of 89 percent of its student-athletes, behind only Stanford at 95.

In addition to its number-one GSR ranking for all student-athletes (99), Notre Dame finished first among female student-athletes at 100, first among male student-athletes at 98 percent (tied with Stanford) and first among black student-athletes at 96 percent (tied with Duke). In football, Notre Dame ranked fourth at 94.

Notre Dame graduated 94 percent of all women competing in varsity athletics to rank second among its peer institutions based on the federal calculations (behind Stanford at 97). Among men, Notre Dame's 86 percent federal rate was third (behind Stanford at 92 and Northwestern at 88). Notre Dame graduated 82 percent of its black student-athletes, ranking fifth based on the federal rate, and Irish football players graduated at a 75 percent rate to rank ninth.

2014 NCAA Graduation Rates
All data for student-athletes who enrolled between 2004 and 2007 (numbers are percentages)

All Student-Athletes
GSR
1. Notre Dame, 99
2. Stanford, 98
3. Duke, 97
4. Northwestern, 96
5. (tie) Boston College, Central Florida, 95
7. Wake Forest, 94
8. (tie) Miami (Fla.), Rice, 92
10. (tie) Alabama, Clemson , 91

Federal Rate
1. Stanford, 95
2. Notre Dame, 89
3. Northwestern, 88
4. Duke, 84
5. Rice, 82
6. Penn State, 79
7. Michigan, 78
8. Wake Forest, 77
9. (tie) Boston College, Illinois, Virginia, 76

Male Student-Athletes
GSR
1. (tie) Notre Dame, Stanford, 98
3. (tie) Duke, Northwestern, 95
5. Boston College, 93
6. (tie) Central Florida, Wake Forest, 92
8. (tie) Rice, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, 89

Federal Rate
1. Stanford, 92
2. Northwestern, 88
3. Notre Dame, 86
4. Duke, 82
5. (tie) Rice, Wake Forest, 76
7. Penn State, 74
8. (tie) Michigan, Virginia, 70
10. (tie) Boston College, Northern Illinois, TCU, 69

Female Student-Athletes
GSR
1. Notre Dame, 100
2. Duke, 99
3. (tie) Boston College, Central Florida, Northwestern, Rice, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, 98
9. (tie) Clemson, Stanford, Virginia Tech, 97

Federal Rate
1. Stanford, 97
2. Notre Dame, 94
3. Rice, 92
4. Michigan, 89
5. (tie) Duke, Northwestern, 88
7. Vanderbilt, 87
8. Illinois, Penn State, 86
10. (tie) Missouri, North Carolina, 85

Black Student-Athletes
GSR
1. (tie) Notre Dame, Duke, 96
3. Stanford, 95
4. (tie) Rice, U.S. Air Force Academy, 93
6. (tie) Central Florida, Northwestern, 90
8. (tie) Miami (Fla.), Penn State, Utah State, 89

Federal Rate
1. Stanford, 90
2. (tie) Northwestern, Rice, 88
4. Duke, 85
5. Notre Dame, 82
6. Wake Forest, 75
7. (tie) Penn State, Northern Illinois, Tulane, 72
10. (tie) UCLA, Utah State, 71

Football Student-Athletes
GSR
1. Stanford, 99
2. Northwestern, 97
3. Rice, 95
4. Notre Dame, 94
5. U.S. Air Force Academy, 93
6. (tie) Boston College, Duke, 92
8. Northern Illinois, 91
9. Wake Forest, 90
10. (tie) UCLA, U.S. Military Academy, 88

Federal Rate
1. (tie) Northwestern, Stanford, 93
3. Rice, 87
4. Wake Forest, 83
5. Northern Illinois, 82
6. Duke, 81
7. Boston College, 79
8. TCU, 77
9. (tie) Notre Dame, Penn State, 75

Since the NCAA first published GSR numbers in 2005, here are the trends for Notre Dame in all 10 categories over the 10 years of graduation rates (includes ranking and raw graduation percentage; SA stands for student-athletes):

Category 200520062007 20082009
All SAs Fed.
GSR
1st at 90
2nd at 98
2nd at 89
2nd at 98
3rd at 89
1st at 98
2nd at 89
1st at 98
2nd at 90
1st at 99
Male SAsFed.
GSR
1st at 87
2ns at 98
1st at 87
2nd at 97
3rd at 85
2nd at 97
2nd at 87
2nd at 97
1st at 88
1st at 98
Female SAs Fed.
GSR
1st at 96
5th at 99
2nd at 94
2nd at 99
1st at 94
1st at 100
1st at 93
1st at 100
1st at 94
1st at 100
Black SAs Fed.
GSR
6th at 78
6th at 93
6th at 84
3rd at 95
8th at 75
4th at 91
1st at 84
2nd at 96
1st at 85
1st at 97
Football SAs Fed.
GSR
4th at 85
2nd at 96
6th at 84
3rd at 95
6th at 79
3rd at 93
4th at 85
2nd at 94
3rd at 85
1st at 96
Category 201020112012 20132014
All SAs Fed.
GSR
1st at 91
1st at 99
1st at 91
1st at 99
2nd at 91
1st at 99
3rd at 88
1st at 98
2nd at 89
1st at 99
Male SAs Fed.
GSR
1st at 87
1st at 98
1st at 87
1st at 98
1st at 89
1st at 98
4th at 84
1st at 98
3rd at 86
1st at 98
Female SAs Fed.
GSR
1st at 97
1st at 100
1st at 96
1st at 100
2nd at 94
1st at 100
2nd at 93
1st at 100
2nd at 94
1st at 100
Black SAs Fed.
GSR
2nd at 86
1st at 98
2nd at 85
1st at 98
3rd at 82
2nd at 98
5th at 79
1st at 96
5th at 82
1st at 96
Football SAs Fed.
GSR
4th at 85
1st at 96
5th at 83
1st at 97
6th at 83
1st at 97
9th at 75
4th at 93
9th at 75
4th at 94

Over the 10 years worth of numbers of both the federal rates and the GSR, Notre Dame has had 100 possible rankings in the five categories (among the FBS institutions) and 48 times ranked first, 23 times ranked second and nine times ranked third.

The federally mandated NCAA Graduation-Rates Report covers students who enrolled between 2004 and 2007 at all Division I institutions. The federal graduation rates are based on the raw percentage of student-athletes who entered an institution and graduated within six years. Students who leave or transfer, regardless of academic standing, are considered non-graduates. All those receiving athletics aid are included in the statistics. All military academies are exempt from the federal survey because they do not offer grants-in-aid to student-athletes. The GSR was created to more accurately reflect actual graduation rates by including transfer data in the calculation. College and university presidents asked the NCAA to develop a new methodology that takes into account the mobility among students in today's higher education environment. Research indicates that approximately 60 percent of all new bachelor's degree recipients are attending more than one undergraduate institution during their collegiate careers.


For the ninth time in 10 years, Notre Dame ranks number one on a percentage basis in terms of number of GSR 100 scores, among all NCAA FBS schools. Twenty of 22 athletics programs at Notre Dame compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, and none were below 94 percent. It's the second straight year Notre Dame's programs have combined for 20 perfect scores--after four previous years with 19. None of the FBS programs in the country had a higher percentage of 100 GSR scores than did Notre Dame with its .909 number (20 of 22).

In addition, Notre Dame ranked second among all FBS institutions with eight perfect scores among 22 sports (.363) in the federal graduation rate analysis.

Here are the top institutions in the GSR category (these are the only FBS institutions with 50 or more percent of their sports registering 100 marks):

Graduation Success Rate

Institution Percentage 100 Scores/Sports Rated
1. Notre Dame .909 20/22
2. Vanderbilt .714 10/14
3. Stanford .704 19/27
4. Duke .681 15/22
5. Tulane .667 6/9
6. Wake Forest .571 8/14
7. Northwestern .526 10/19
8. Boston College .521 12/23
9. (tie) Miami (Fla.), Central Fla. .500 7/14

Here are the top institutions in the federal category (these are the only eight FBS institutions with four or more 100 scores):

Federal Graduation Rates

Institution Percentage 100 Scores/Sports Rated
1. Stanford .518 14/27
2. Notre Dame .363 8/22
3. (tie) Duke, Boston College .277 5/18
5. Michigan .217 5/23
6. (tie) Northwestern, UMass .210 4/19
8. Penn State .200 5/25

NCAA figures released yesterday showed all 11 Irish women's programs posted a GSR of 100 percent--basketball, cross country/track, fencing, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis and volleyball. Among Notre Dame's men's sports, baseball, basketball, cross country/track, fencing, golf, hockey, soccer, swimming/diving and tennis achieved 100 percent GSR scores. Men's lacrosse scored 96, and football came in at 94.

Overall, those 20 scores of 100 are equal to the 2013 total and one more than the number of perfect GSR scores from 2012, 2010, 2009 and 2008 (all four of those years with 19 of 22 sports at 100) for the Irish programs.

In the federal calculations, the eight Notre Dame programs with 100 scores were men's fencing, men's golf, men's tennis, women's rowing, women's golf, women's lacrosse, women's tennis and women's volleyball. Other top Notre Dame numbers in the federal analysis included men's lacrosse at 96; men's cross country/track and field at 95; hockey, women's cross country/track and field along with women's soccer at 94; women's swimming at 92, plus men's swimming at 91. In the federal standings Notre Dame's baseball score ranked third and its women's fencing score ranked sixth among FBS institutions.

Here are other previous finishes for Notre Dame in terms of the GSR numbers:

  • In 2011 and 2007, Notre Dame ranked number one with 18 of its 22 sports recording 100 scores (.818).
  • In 2005, Notre Dame had the highest percentage of its sports with 100 percent scores with a .800 figure (16 of 20).
  • The 2006 data put Notre Dame's percentage at .773 (17 of 22), to rank second behind the U.S. Naval Academy.

The GSR data show the percentage of student-athletes earning a degree within six years. The NCAA developed the GSR to account for transfer student-athletes, midyear enrollees and others not tracked by the federal graduation rate. The GSR captures about 37 percent more students than the federal rate, resulting in a more accurate assessment of the academic success of student-athletes. However, the federal rate provides the only method by which student-athletes can be compared with the general student body.

The 2014 GSR numbers are based on entering classes from 2004 to 2007, the 2013 GSR data on entering classes from 2003 to 2006, and the 2012 GSR numbers on entering classes from 2002 to 2005. The 2011 GSR numbers are based on entering classes from 2001 to 2004, the 2010 GSR numbers entering classes from 2000 to 2003 and the 2009 GSR data on entering classes from 1999 to 2002. The 2008 GSR numbers are based on entering classes from 1998 to 2001, the `07 data on classes from 1997 to 2000, the `06 data on classes from 1996 to 1999--and the `05 first-year GSR data was based upon the classes entering from 1995 to 1998.

The GSR should not be confused with another NCAA initiative, the Academic Progress Rate, which uses a series of formulas related to student-athlete retention and eligibility to measure the academic performance of all participants who receive a grant-in-aid on every team at every NCAA Division I college and university. In addition to the GSR, the NCAA continues to compile data and release results based upon the federally mandated methodology


Twenty-one of Notre Dame's men's and women's athletic programs posted GSR numbers that rank them best in the nation within their sports (including 20 perfect 100 scores)-- and 11 produced federal graduation rates that led all NCAA FBS institutions (including eight perfect 100 scores).

All 11 Irish women's programs had GSR rates ranking them first within their sports among the NCAA FBS subset of schools. Ten Irish men's programs had GSR rates ranking them first within their sports:

-- Women's basketball at 100 tied for first with 32 other schools.
-- Women's cross country/track and field at 100 tied for first with seven other schools.
-- Women's crew/rowing at 100 tied for first with 11 other schools.
-- Women's fencing at 100 tied for first with Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State and Stanford.
-- Women's golf at 100 tied for first with 50 other schools.
-- Women's lacrosse at 100 tied for first with 10 other schools.
-- Women's soccer at 100 tied for first with 25 other schools.
-- Women's softball at 100 tied for first with 26 other schools.
-- Women's swimming at 100 tied for first with 20 other schools.
-- Women's tennis at 100 finished tied for first with 61 other schools.
-- Women's volleyball at 100 ranked tied for first with 52 other schools.
-- Baseball at 100 tied for first with Duke, Miami (Fla.) and Stanford.
-- Men's basketball at 100 tied for first with 14 other schools.
-- Men's cross country/track and field at 100 tied for first - with Bowling Green, Duke, New Mexico State, Stanford, TCU, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
-- Men's fencing at 100 tied for first with Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State and Stanford.
-- Men's golf at 100 tied for first with 37 other schools.
-- Men's hockey at 100 ranked first (tied with Bowling Green and the U.S. Air Force Academy).
-- Men's soccer at 100 tied for first with Clemson, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Stanford.
-- Men's swimming at 100 tied for first with Alabama, Georgia Tech and Miami (Fla.).
-- Men's tennis at 100 tied for first with 36 other schools.
-- Men's lacrosse at 96 finished first (tied with the U.S. Naval Academy).
-- Football at 94 finished fourth (behind Stanford at 99, Northwestern at 97 and Rice at 95).

Five Irish women's programs had perfect 100 federal rates ranking them first within their sports among the NCAA FBS subset. Six Irish men's programs had federal rates ranking them first within their sports (three with perfect 100 scores) among the NCAA FBS subset.

-- Women's crew/rowing at 100 finished first.
-- Women's golf at 100 tied for first with 15 other schools.
-- Women's lacrosse at 100 tied for first with Penn State and Stanford.
-- Women's tennis at 100 tied for first with 19 other schools.
-- Women's volleyball at 100 tied for first with seven other schools.
-- Men's fencing at 100 tied for first with Stanford.
-- Men's golf at 100 ranked tied for first with 14 other schools.
-- Men's tennis at 100 tied for first with 13 other schools.
-- Men's lacrosse finished first at 96- followed by Duke (88) and Virginia (86).
-- Men's hockey at 94 ranked first--followed by Miami (Ohio) at 84.
-- Men's basketball at 85 ranked tied for first with Penn State.

-- Men's cross country/track and field at 95 ranked fourth, behind Duke, New Mexico State and Tulane (all at 100).
-- Women's cross country/track and field at 94 ranked fourth behind Northwestern (100), Rutgers and Temple (both at 95).
-- Women's soccer at 94 ranked tied for fifth (with Duke, Miami/Ohio and Purdue), behind Stanford, Massachusetts and Boston College (all at 100) and Rice (96).
-- Men's soccer at 83 ranked seventh, behind Northwestern (95), Stanford (94), Duke and Syracuse (90 each), Western Michigan (86) and Pittsburgh (85).
-- Men's swimming at 91 stood tied for seventh (with Connecticut) behind North Carolina (95), Stanford (94), Purdue (94), Georgia Tech (94), UNLV (92) and California (92).
-- Football at 75 ranked tied for ninth (with Penn State), behind Northwestern (93), Stanford (93), Rice (87), Wake Forest (83), Northern Illinois (82), Duke (81), Boston College (79) and TCU (77).

The federal graduation rate methodology used by the Department of Education counts all student-athletes who transfer from or leave an institution for any reason as non-graduates from their initial school, even if they leave in good academic standing.

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