Oct. 14, 2008

Nineteen of 22 athletics programs at the University of Notre Dame compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, and none were below 90 percent, according to the fourth year of Graduation Success Rate measurements developed by the NCAA and released today.

None of the 119 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 .863 figure (19 of 22). This marked the third time in the four years of the survey that Notre Dame has ranked number one in percentage of teams with 100 scores.

Here are the top 10 in that category (these are the only 10 institutions with 50 or more percent of their sports registering 100 marks):

Institution Percentage 100 Scores/Sports Rated
1. Notre Dame .863 19/22
2. Northwestern .789 15/19
3. Boston College .740 20/27
4. Duke .681 15/22
5. Vanderbilt .667 8/12
6. Wake Forest .642 9/14
7. Stanford .629 17/27
8. U.S. Naval Academy .578 11/19
9. Rice .539 7/13
10. Tulane .500 6/12

NCAA figures released today showed that all 11 Irish women’s programs posted a GSR of 100 percent — basketball, cross country/track, fencing, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

Among Notre Dame’s men’s sports, baseball, basketball, cross country/track, fencing, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and tennis achieved 100 percent GSR scores. Ice hockey scored 96 percent, football scored 94 percent, and golf was at 90.

Overall, that’s one more perfect score than a year ago for the Irish programs, after Notre Dame recorded 18 100 percent GSR scores (of 22 sports) in 2007.

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 four years ago to account for transfer student-athletes 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 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 2008 national GSR for Division I-A is 78 percent, up from 77 a year ago and in 2006 (and up one percent from the 76 figure in 2005).

The 2008 GSR numbers are based on entering classes from 1998 to 2001. The 2007 GSR data was based on classes from 1997 to 2000. The 2006 GSR data was based on classes from 1996 to 1999. The 2005 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.