Athletics News

Fighting Irish Athletes Top Latest NCAA Student-Athlete Graduation Ratings

Nov. 14, 2007

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame ranks number one in the country in terms of graduating its student-athletes, according to statistics released recently by the NCAA.

Whether measured by the federal government in its Department of Education report or by the NCAA through its newer Graduation Success Rate (GSR) numbers, graduation rates for Notre Dame student-athletes also rank among the national leaders in all major categories among all major football-playing colleges and universities.

Notre Dame led the nation in the GSR ratings for all student-athletes (at 98, tied with Northwestern and the United States Naval Academy), while also ranking first in both the GSR and federal standings for female student-athletes (100 GSR, 94 federal).

Both the federal graduation-rate figures and the GSR numbers for Notre Dame student-athletes found the Irish ranked eighth or better nationally in five major categories among the 119 football-playing institutions in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A).

The federally-mandated NCAA Graduation-Rates Report, the 17th such survey issued by the association, covers students who enrolled between 1997 and 2000 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.

In calculations listing all student-athletes in all sports, Notre Dame tied for first among the Bowl Subdivision football schools in the GSR figures, which were initiated three years ago by the NCAA. The University's 98 percent GSR for all its student-athletes matched those for the U.S. Naval Academy and Northwestern. Using the federal formula, Notre Dame graduated a four-year average of 89 percent of its student-athletes, just behind Duke at 91 percent and Stanford at 90 percent.

Notre Dame graduated 94 percent of all women competing in varsity athletics, to rank first among its peer institutions based on the federal calculations. Among men, Notre Dame's 85 percent rate was third, behind only Stanford's 90 percent rate and Duke at 89.

Notre Dame graduated 75 percent of its black student-athletes, ranking eighth nationally based on the federal rate, and Irish football players graduated at a 79 percent rate, to rank sixth.

In the GSR standings, in addition to its number-one ranking for all student-athletes, Notre Dame finished tied for first among female student athletes at 100 (Vanderbilt and the U.S. Naval Academy also finished at 100), second among male student-athletes at 97 percent (behind the Naval Academy at 98), tied for third with Boston College among football players at 93 percent (behind the Naval Academy at 95 and Northwestern at 94), and fourth among black student-athletes at 91 percent (behind the Naval Academy at 96, and Northwestern and Wake Forest at 93).

The NCAA also calculated graduation rates over a 10-year period (student-athletes who entered from 1991-92 through 2000-2001). During those 10 years, Notre Dame had 635 student-athletes who exhausted their eligibility - and 99 percent of them graduated within the allotted six-year period. By comparison, Northwestern had a 100 percent rate, Duke also recorded 99 percent, and Boston College and Stanford both had 98 percent rates.

2007 NCAA Graduation Rates
All data for student-athletes who enrolled between 1997 and 2000 (numbers are percentages)

All Student-Athletes
Federal Rate
1. Duke, 91
2. Stanford, 90
3. Notre Dame, 89
4. Northwestern, 87
5. Boston College, 85
6. Penn State, 82
7. Vanderbilt, 79
8. Rice, 78
9. Michigan, 76
(tie) Wake Forest, 76
(tie) SMU, 76

GSR
1. Notre Dame, 98
(tie) U.S. Naval Academy, 98
(tie) Northwestern, 98
4. Duke, 97
5. Boston College, 96
6. Stanford, 94
(tie) Vanderbilt, 94
8. U.S. Military Academy, 93
(tie) Wake Forest, 93
(tie) U.S. Air Force Academy, 93

Male Student-Athletes
Federal Rate
1. Stanford, 90
2. Duke, 89
3. Notre Dame, 85
4. Northwestern, 83
5. Boston College, 79
6. Vanderbilt, 77
7. SMU, 76
8. Penn State, 75
9. Wake Forest, 72
(tie) Rice 72

GSR
1. U.S. Naval Academy, 98
2. Notre Dame, 97
3. Northwestern, 96
4. Boston College, 95
(tie) Duke, 95
6. Stanford, 94
7. U.S. Air Force Academy, 93
8. U.S. Military Academy, 92
9. Vanderbilt, 91
10. Wake Forest, 89

Female Student-Athletes
Federal Rate
1. Notre Dame, 94
2. Duke, 93
3. Northwestern, 92
(tie) Rice, 92
5. Penn State, 91
6. Boston College, 90
(tie) Stanford, 90
8. Virginia, 88
9. Michigan, 86
10. Wake Forest, 84

GSR
1. Notre Dame, 100
(tie) Vanderbilt, 100
(tie) U.S. Naval Academy, 100
4. Northwestern, 99
(tie) Duke, 99
(tie) Rice, 99
(tie) Wake Forest, 99
8. Illinois, 98
9. Penn State, 97
(tie) U.S. Military Academy, 97
(tie) Boston College, 97

Black Student-Athletes
Federal Rate
1. Wake Forest, 86
2. Stanford, 84
3. Vanderbilt, 82
4. Northwestern, 81
5. Boston College, 76
(tie) Rice, 76
(tie) Duke, 76
8. Notre Dame, 75
9. Penn State, 74
10. SMU, 73

GSR
1. U.S. Naval Academy, 96
2. Wake Forest, 93
(tie) Northwestern, 93
4. Notre Dame, 91
5. U.S. Air Force Academy, 88
6. Boston College, 87
(tie) Duke, 87
8. Stanford, 86
9. Vanderbilt, 84
(tie) SMU, 84

Football Student-Athletes
Federal Rate
1. Stanford, 91
2. Duke, 90
3. Boston College, 87
4. Vanderbilt, 85
5. Wake Forest, 80
6. Notre Dame, 79
(tie) Northwestern, 79
8. Rice, 78
9. Nebraska, 77
10. Ball State, 75

GSR
1. U.S. Naval Academy, 95
2. Northwestern, 94
3. Notre Dame, 93
(tie) Boston College, 93
(tie) Stanford, 93
(tie) Duke, 93
7. U.S. Air Force Academy, 92
8. Vanderbilt, 91
9. Wake Forest, 90
10. U.S. Military Academy, 87

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