Oct. 27, 2010

Nineteen of 22 athletics programs at the University of Notre Dame compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, and none were below 93 percent, according to the sixth year of Graduation Success Rate measurements developed by the NCAA and released today.

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 .863 figure (19 of 22). This marked the fifth time in the six years of the survey that Notre Dame has ranked number one in percentage of teams with 100 scores.

Here are the top institutions in that category (these are the only FBS 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. Boston College .780 19/25
3. Wake Forest .714 10/14
4. Stanford .703 19/27
5. Duke .636 14/22
6. Northwestern .526 10/19
7. Rice .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/diving, tennis and volleyball.

Among Notre Dame’s men’s sports, baseball, basketball, cross country/track, fencing, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and swimming/diving achieved 100 percent GSR scores. Football scored 96 percent, ice hockey scored 95 percent, and tennis came in at 93.

Overall, that’s the exact same number of perfect scores as in 2009 and 2008 (both years also 19 of 22 sports) for the Irish programs, after Notre Dame recorded 18 100 percent GSR scores (of 22) in 2007.

In football, among the FBS programs, Notre Dame in 2010 finished with the top score at 96, followed by Duke and Northwestern at 95, Rice at 93, the U.S. Naval Academy at 92, and Boston College at 90.

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 five 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 2010 national GSR (four-class average) for Division I is a record-high 79 percent, matching the figures from both 2009 and 2008. 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.