Athletics News

Notre Dame Wins 11th Straight National Title in Graduation Based on 2017 NCAA Graduation Success Rate Numbers

Nov. 8, 2017

The University of Notre Dame has claimed the 2017 national championship for graduating student-athletes in all sports-in the process posting the top NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figure (98) for its student-athletes for the 11th 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 2017 NCAA figures are based on entering classes from 2007 through 2010.

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

-- Eighteen of 22 Irish athletic programs analyzed posted GSR figures of 100 percent, and 10 produced federal rate 100 scores.

-- For the 12th time in 13 years, Notre Dame ranks number one on a percentage basis in terms of number of GSR 100 scores, among all FBS schools.

-- Eighteen 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 10 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 five major categories among all major football-playing colleges and universities.

Notre Dame research shows Irish student-athletes in 2017 rank number one in four of 10 standings--ranking second in three others and third in two more. For the 11th year in a row Notre Dame leads the nation in GSR categories both for all student-athletes (at 98) and female student-athletes (99). Notre Dame's GSR figure for male student-athletes ranks number one for the eighth time in nine years (this year at 98).

In calculations including all student-athletes in all sports, Notre Dame ranks first (at 98) among the FBS schools in the GSR figures, which were initiated in 2005 by the NCAA. Using the federal formula, Notre Dame graduated a four-year average of 93 percent of its student-athletes, behind only Stanford at 94.

In addition to its number-one GSR ranking for all student-athletes (98), Notre Dame finished tied for first among female student-athletes at 99, first among male student-athletes at 98 percent and tied for ninth among black student-athletes at 90 percent. In football, Notre Dame ranked tied for third at 96.

Notre Dame graduated 92 percent of all men competing in varsity athletics to rank tied for first among its peer institutions based on the federal calculations. Among women, Notre Dame's 96 percent federal rate was second (behind Stanford at 97). Notre Dame graduated 85 percent of its black student-athletes, ranking tied for third based on the federal rate, and Irish football players graduated at a 90 percent rate to rank second behind Northwestern (92).

2017 NCAA Graduation Rates
All data for student-athletes who enrolled between 2007 and 2010 (numbers are percentages)

All Student-Athletes
GSR

  • 1. Notre Dame, 98
  • 2. (tie) Duke, Northwestern, Stanford, 97
  • 5. Vanderbilt, 96
  • 6. Boston College, 95
  • 7. (tie) Central Florida, Wake Forest, 94
  • 9. South Carolina, 93
  • 10. (tie) Bowling Green, Minnesota, Rice, 92

Federal Rate

  • 1. Stanford, 94
  • 2. Notre Dame, 93
  • 3. Northwestern, 91
  • 4. (tie) Duke, Vanderbilt, 86
  • 6. (tie) Michigan, Rice, 81
  • 8. (tie) Boston College, Virginia, 80
  • 10. (tie) Penn State, Wake Forest, 78

Male Student-Athletes
GSR

  • 1. Notre Dame, 98
  • 2. Northwestern, 97
  • 3. (tie) Duke, Stanford, 96
  • 5. (tie) Boston College, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, 92
  • 8. (tie) Central Florida, South Carolina, 90
  • 10. (tie) U.S. Naval Academy, Minnesota, Utah State, 89

Federal Rate

  • 1. (tie) Notre Dame, Stanford, 92
  • 3. Northwestern, 90
  • 4. Duke, 83
  • 5. Vanderbilt, 80
  • 6. (tie) Michigan, Wake Forest, 74
  • 8. (tie) Penn State, Rice, Virginia, 73

Female Student-Athletes
GSR

  • 1. (tie) Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, 99
  • 3. (tie) Boston College, Central Florida, Duke, Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Rice, Stanford, Tulane, Wake Forest, 98

Federal Rate

  • 1. Stanford, 97
  • 2. Notre Dame, 96
  • 3. Rice, 95
  • 4. (tie) Northwestern, Vanderbilt, 92
  • 6. (tie) Duke, Michigan, 91
  • 8. (tie) Boston College, Illinois, 88
  • 10. Virginia, 87

Black Student-Athletes
GSR

  • 1. Duke, 96
  • 2. Vanderbilt, 95
  • 3. (tie) Northwestern, South Carolina, 93
  • 5. Central Florida, 92
  • 6. (tie) Miami (Fla.), Rice, Stanford, 91
  • 9. Notre Dame, Wake Forest, 90

Federal Rate

  • 1. (tie) Northwestern, Stanford, 86
  • 3. (tie) Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, 85
  • 5. (tie), Duke, Rice, 81
  • 7. (tie) Charlotte, Wake Forest, 74
  • 9. (tie) Boise State, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Virginia, 71

Football Student-Athletes
GSR

  • 1. Northwestern, 99
  • 2. South Carolina, 98
  • 3. (tie) Duke, Notre Dame, Stanford, 96
  • 6. Wake Forest, 93
  • 7. Central Florida, 92
  • 8. Rice, 91
  • 9. (tie) Boston College, Vanderbilt, 90

Federal Rate

  • 1. Northwestern, 92
  • 2. Notre Dame, 90
  • 3. Stanford, 89
  • 4. Duke, 87
  • 5. (tie) Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, 84
  • 7. Boise State, 81
  • 8. (tie) Boston College, San Diego State, 76
  • 10. (tie) Clemson, Nebraska, 75

Since the NCAA first published GSR numbers in 2005, here are the trends for Notre Dame in all 10 categories over the 13 years of graduation rates (includes ranking and raw graduation percentage; SA stands for student-athletes):

Category2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
All SAs Fed. 1st at 902nd at 893rd at 89 2nd at 89 2nd at 90
GSR 2nd at 982nd at 98 1st at 98 1st at 98 1st at 99
Male SAs Fed. 1st at 87 1st at 87 3rd at 85 2nd at 87 1st at 88
GSR 2nd at 98 2nd at 97 2nd at 97 2nd at 97 1st at 98
Female SAs Fed. 1st at 96 2nd at 94 1st at 94 1st at 93 1st at 94
GSR 5th at 99 2nd at 99 1st at 100 1st at 100 1st at 100
Black SAs Fed. 6th at 78 6th at 84 8th at 75 1st at 84 1st at 85
GSR 6th at 93 3rd at 95 4th at 91 2nd at 96 1st at 97
Football SAs Fed. 4th at 85 6th at 84 6th at 79 4th at 85 3rd at 85
GSR 2nd at 96 3rd at 95 3rd at 93 2nd at 94 1st at 96

Category20102011201220132014
All SAs Fed. 1st at 91 1st at 91 2nd at 91 3rd at 88 2nd at 89
GSR 1st at 99 1st at 99 1st at 1st at 98 1st at 99
Male SAs Fed. 1st at 87 1st at 87 1st at 89 4th at 84 3rd at 86
GSR 1st at 98 1st at 98 1st at 98 1st at 98 1st at 98
Female SAs Fed. 1st at 97 1st at 96 2nd at 94 2nd at 93 2nd at 94
GSR 1st at 100 1st at 100 1st at 100 1st at 100 1st at 100
Black SAs Fed. 2nd at 86 2nd at 85 3rd at 82 5th at 79 5th at 82
GSR 1st at 98 1st at 98 2nd at 98 1st at 96 1st at 96
Football SAs Fed. 4th at 85 5th at 83 6th at 83 9th at 75 9th at 75
GSR 1st at 96 1st at 97 1st at 97 4th at 93 4th at 94

Category201520162017
All SAs Fed. 2nd at 90 3rd at 90 2nd at 92
GSR 1st at 98 1st at 98 1st at 98
Male SAs Fed. 3rd at 89 3rd at 87 1st at 92
GSR 2nd at 97 1st at 971st at 98
Female SAs Fed. 2nd at 92 2nd at 95 2nd at 96
GSR 1st at 99 1st at 99 1st at 99
Black SAs Fed. 4th at 85 4th at 78 3rd at 85
GSR 3rd at 92 4th at 90 9th at 90
Football SAs Fed. 6th at 82 7th at 79 2nd at 90
GSR 5th at 93 6th at 933rd at 96

Over the 13 years worth of numbers of both the federal rates and the GSR, Notre Dame has had 130 possible rankings in the five categories and 57 times ranked first, 30 times ranked second and 15 times ranked third.

The federally mandated NCAA Graduation-Rates Report covers students who enrolled between 2007 and 2010 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 approximately 60 percent of all new bachelor's degree recipients are attending more than one undergraduate institution during their collegiate careers.

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For the 12th time in 13 years, Notre Dame ranked number one on a percentage basis in terms of number of GSR 100 scores, among all NCAA FBS schools. Eighteen of 22 athletics programs at Notre Dame compiled graduation rates of 100 percent. None of the FBS programs in the country this year had a higher percentage of 100 GSR scores than did Notre Dame with its .818 number (18 of 22). Notre Dame's programs combined for highs of 20 perfect scores in 2013 and 2014.

In addition, Notre Dame ranked second among all FBS institutions with 10 perfect scores among 22 sports (.454) 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 .818 18/22
2. Vanderbilt .714 10/14
3. Stanford .629 17/27
4. Tulane .636 7/11
5. Duke .636 14/22
6. Bowling Green .625 10/16
7. Boston College .565 13/23
8. Northwestern .526 10/19
9. (tie) Central Florida
Rice
Wake Forest
Utah
.500
.500
.500
.500
7/14
6/12
7/14
8/16

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

Federal Graduation Rates

Institution Percentage 100 Scores/Sports Rated
1. Stanford .555 15/27
2. Notre Dame .454 10/22
3. Duke
Rice
.333
.333
7/21
4/12
5. Northwestern .210 4/19
6. North Carolina .173 4/23

NCAA figures released today show 10 of 11 Irish women's programs posted a GSR of 100 percent--cross country/track, fencing, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis and volleyball. Among Notre Dame's men's sports, basketball, cross country/track, fencing, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming/diving and tennis achieved 100 percent GSR scores. Football scored 96, while baseball and hockey finished at 95.

In the federal calculations, the 10 Notre Dame programs with 100 scores were men's fencing, men's golf, men's lacrosse, men's tennis, women's rowing, women's fencing, women's golf, women's lacrosse, softball and women's tennis. Other top Notre Dame numbers in the federal analysis included men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving, men's cross country/track and field and women's cross country/track and field at 95, volleyball at 92 and football at 90.

In the federal standings Notre Dame's football, baseball and hockey scores all ranked second, its men's swimming and diving and men's soccer scores stood fourth, its men's basketball and women's cross country/track and field figures rated fifth and its volleyball number stood ninth among FBS institutions.

The 2017 GSR numbers are based on entering classes from 2007 to 2010, the 2016 GSR numbers are based on entering classes from 2006 to 2009, the 2015 GSR numbers on entering classes from 2005 to 2008, the 2014 GSR numbers 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.


Eighteen of Notre Dame's men's and women's athletic programs posted GSR numbers that rank them best in the nation within their sports (all 18 with perfect 100 scores)--and 10 produced federal graduation rates that led all NCAA FBS institutions (all with perfect 100 scores).

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

-- Women's cross country/track and field at 100 tied for first with 11 other schools.

-- Women's rowing at 100 tied for first with nine other schools.

-- Women's fencing at 100 tied for first with Duke, North Carolina and Stanford.

-- Women's golf at 100 tied for first with 68 other schools.

-- Women's lacrosse at 100 tied for first with eight other schools.

-- Women's soccer at 100 tied for first with 31 other schools.

-- Women's softball at 100 tied for first with 25 other schools.

-- Women's swimming and diving at 100 tied for first with 30 other schools.

-- Women's tennis at 100 finished tied for first with 82 other schools.

-- Women's volleyball at 100 ranked tied for first with 68 other schools.

-- Men's basketball at 100 tied for first with 16 other schools.

-- Men's cross country/track and field at 100 tied for first with 10 other schools.

-- 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 48 other schools.

-- Men's lacrosse at 100 finished first (tied with Duke).

-- Men's soccer at 100 tied for first with Northwestern, Penn State and Wake Forest.

-- Men's swimming at 100 tied for first with Alabama, Arizona State, Miami (Fla.) and Tennessee.

-- Men's tennis at 100 tied for first with 49 other schools.

-- Football at 96 finished tied for third (with Duke) behind Northwestern at 99 and South Carolina at 98.

-- Men's hockey at 95 ranked fourth behind Bowling Green and Penn State at 100 and Air Force at 97.

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

-- Women's crew/rowing at 100 tied for first with West Virginia.

-- Women's fencing at 100 tied for first with Duke, Ohio State, Stanford.

-- Women's golf at 100 tied for first with 14 other schools.

-- Women's lacrosse at 100 tied for first with Duke and Stanford.

-- Women's tennis at 100 tied for first with 21 other schools.

-- Softball at 100 tied for first with Arizona State and Penn State.

-- Men's fencing at 100 tied for first with North Carolina and Stanford.

-- Men's golf at 100 ranked tied for first with 11 other schools.

-- Men's tennis at 100 tied for first with 14 other schools.

-- Men's lacrosse at 100 finished first–followed by Duke (95).

-- Football at 90 ranked second behind Northwestern at 92.

-- Men's hockey at 87 ranked second behind Connecticut (100).

-- Baseball at 86 ranked second behind Northwestern (88).

-- Men's swimming at 95 stood fourth behind Duke (100), Stanford (96) and Virginia (96).

-- Men's soccer at 88 ranked fourth behind Northwestern (100), Michigan State (94) and Stanford (90).

-- Men's basketball at 82 ranked fifth behind Stanford (91), Northwestern (90), Old Dominion and North Texas (both at 83).

-- Women's cross country/track and field at 95 ranked tied for fifth (with Temple and Vanderbilt) behind Boston College, Northwestern and Rutgers (all at 100) and Stanford (97).

-- Women's volleyball at 92 stood ninth (tied with five other schools) behind Duke, Iowa, North Carolina, Rice, SMU, Stanford, Wake Forest and Washington (all at 100).

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