Nov. 30, 2001

The University of Notre Dame ranks among the top NCAA Division I-A institutions in five major graduation rate categories — all student-athletes, football players, male student-athletes, female student-athletes and African-American student-athletes — according to statistics released this fall by the NCAA.

The 2001 NCAA Graduation-Rates Report, the 11th-such survey issued by the association, covers students who enrolled between 1991 and 1994 at Division I institutions, including 114 in Division I-A. The NCAA bases graduation rates 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.

Using the NCAA formula, Notre Dame graduated a four-year average of 85 percent of its student-athletes, fourth behind Northwestern (92 percent), Duke (91) and Stanford (88).

Among student-athletes who complete all four years of athletic eligibility at Notre Dame, not considering those who leave or transfer, 99 percent earn their degrees. The national average for Division I-A schools is 58 percent.

Notre Dame graduated 90 percent of all women competing in varsity athletics, to rank fifth in that category behind leader Northwestern at 98 percent. Among men, Notre Dame’s 82 percent rate is fourth behind Duke at 90 percent, Northwestern at 88 percent and Stanford at 85 percent.

Notre Dame graduated 73 percent of its African-American student-athletes, ranking behind only Duke, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Northwestern and Rice.

Notre Dame football players graduated at a 74 percent rate, higher than the percentage posted by 14 of the 15 institutions listed in this week’s Bowl Championship Series rankings (only Stanford at 83 percent is higher).

Here are the top 10 institutions in each of the five categories:

ALL STUDENT-ATHLETES1. Northwestern     92%2. Duke         91%3. Stanford     88%4. Notre Dame       85%5. Boston College   82%     Rice       82%7. Virginia     79%     Vanderbilt     79%9. Penn State       77%10. Iowa        73%     Wake Forest    73%
FOOTBALL PLAYERS1. Duke 89%2. Northwestern 86%3. Rice 85%4. Stanford 83%5. Boston College 78%6. Vanderbilt 76% Tulane 76%8. Notre Dame 74%9. Virginia 72% Baylor 72% Syracuse 72%
MALE STUDENT-ATHLETES1. Duke 90%2. Northwestern 88%3. Stanford 85%4. Notre Dame 82%5. Rice 81%6. Boston College 77% Virginia 77%8. Vanderbilt 74%9. Wake Forest 70% SMU 70% Tulane 70%
FEMALE STUDENT-ATHLETES1. Northwestern 98%2. Stanford 93%3. Duke 92%4. Vanderbilt 91%5. Notre Dame 90%6. Boston College 88%7. Virginia Tech 86% Penn State 86%9. Michigan 85% Akron 85%
AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENT-ATHLETES1. Duke 84%2. Vanderbilt 82%3. Stanford 81%4. Northwestern 80%5. Rice 78%6. Notre Dame 73% Boston College 73%8. Virginia 69% Penn State 69% Iowa 69%