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Irish Again Lead The Way In 2011 NCAA Graduation Success Rates

Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki.

Oct. 26, 2011

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame baseball compiled a graduation rate of 100 percent, according to the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) measurements developed by the NCAA, for the seventh consecutive year. The Irish are one of five Division I baseball programs to register a perfect score of 100 on each of the seven GSR reports.

"Our program prides itself on competition on the diamond and achievement in the classroom," said second-year head coach Mik Aoki. "The student-athletes that choose this University to play baseball understand academic success is just as vital a part of their Notre Dame experience as is anything that occurs on the field. Notre Dame attracts and then develops truly well-rounded student-athletes."

Notre Dame and Boston College are the only two programs among the five with seven straight years of perfect scores to compete in a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) conference.

Rank Institution Consecutive Perfect GSR Scores
1. Notre Dame 7
Boston College 7
Bucknell 7
Lafayette 7
Air Force 7
6. Holy Cross 6
7.Fairfield 5
8.Alcorn State 4
Davidson 4
Merrimack 4
Stanford 4
San Diego 4
Vanderbilt 4
Villanova 4

The Irish were one of 18 NCAA Division I baseball programs to record a perfect GSR score in the most recent report and one of four from a BCS conference. Joining Notre Dame with perfect GSR scores from a BCS conference, Stanford, Wake Forest and Boston College.

Eighteen of 22 athletics programs at Notre Dame compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, and none were below 93 percent.

None of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-A) programs in the country had a higher percentage of 100 GSR scores than did Notre Dame with its .818 number (18 of 22). This marked the sixth time in the seven years of the survey that Notre Dame has ranked number one in percentage of teams with 100 scores.

In addition, Notre Dame also led all FBS institutions with nine perfect scores among 22 sports (.409) 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. Wake Forest .785 11/14
3. Boston College .760 19/25
4. Stanford .653 17/26
5. Duke .590 13/22
6. Northwestern .578 11/19
7. (tie) Rice .500 6/12
Vanderbilt .500 6/12

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

Federal Graduation Rates

Institution Percentage 100 Scores/Sports Rated
1. Notre Dame .409 9/22
2. Stanford .384 10/26
3. (tie) Duke .294 5/17
Boston College .294 5/17
5. (tie) Wake Forest .285 4/14
Iowa State .285 4/14
7. Bowling Green .250 4/16
8. Northwestern .210 4/19
9. Michigan .173 4/23
10. Rutgers .166 4/24
11. Penn State .160 4/25

The national GSR for 2011 for the FBS (Division I-A) is 80 percent. The four-year GSR data is based upon the entering classes from 2001 to 2004. In addition to baseball, other Notre Dame programs recording 100 GSR scores were men's basketball, women's basketball, men's cross country/track, women's cross country/track, men's fencing, women's fencing, men's golf, women's golf, women's lacrosse, women's rowing, men's soccer, women's soccer, women's softball, men's swimming, women's swimming, women's tennis and women's volleyball.

Eighteen of 22 athletics programs at the University of Notre Dame compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, and none were below 93 percent.

Overall, that's one less than the number of perfect GSR scores in 2010, 2009 and 2008 (all three years with 19 of 22 sports at 100) for the Irish programs. Notre Dame recorded 18 100 percent GSR scores (of 22) in 2007.

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

• In 2005, among the 119 NCAA Division I-A football-playing institutions, 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 2007 data put Notre Dame's percentage at .818 (18 of 22), which again ranked number one.

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. College and university presidents had 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.

The 2011 national GSR (four-class average) for Division I is a record-high 80 percent. The 2011 GSR numbers are based on entering classes from 2001 to 2004. The 2010 GSR numbers are based on entering classes from 2000 to 2003. The 2009 GSR numbers are based 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 fairly recent 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.

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