Oct. 4, 2002

Notre Dame, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame has received a 2002 USA Today/NCAA Academic Achievement Award for graduating 90 percent of its freshmen student-athletes who enrolled in 1995.

Now in their second year, the awards were presented last week to the 10 institutions with the highest overall graduation rates for scholarship student-athletes who began college in the 1995-96 academic year. Rice University finished first with a rate of 91 percent, one percentage point higher than Notre Dame, Stanford and Duke.

The awards were announced in conjunction with the release of the 2002 NCAA Graduation Rate Report. The 12th such survey issued by the association, the report covers student-athletes who enrolled between 1992 and 1995 at Division I institutions, including 115 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. In addition to the one-year rates, the NCAA also provides a four-year average to better measure graduation rates over time at each institution.

As it has since the NCAA survey began, Notre Dame ranked among the top 10 in five major student-athlete graduation rate categories -overall, football, men, women and African-Americans.

Notre Dame graduated a four-year average of 85 percent of its student-athletes, fourth behind Northwestern (90 percent), Duke and Stanford (both at 89). The national average this year for Division I-A schools is 59 percent.

Among student-athletes who complete all four years of athletic eligibility at one institution, the NCAA report placed Notre Dame first with a graduation rate of 100 percent.

The four-year average for football players is 74 percent, which ranks 10th nationally. USA Today reported that Notre Dame is No. 1 when the top 10 teams in the current college football polls are reranked by graduation rate.

Notre Dame graduated 92 percent of all women competing in varsity athletics, to rank fourth among peer institutions in that category behind Northwestern at 99 percent, Stanford at 94 percent and Vanderbilt at 93 percent. Among men, Notre Dame’s 82 percent rate is fourth behind Duke at 87 percent, Stanford at 86 percent, and Northwestern at 84 percent.

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

Following are the top 10 institutions in each of the categories of all student-athletes, male student-athletes, female student-athletes, African American student-athletes, and football players:

2002 Graduation Rates Report

4-year averages for entering classes of 1992-95

1. Northwestern 90%2. Duke 89(tie) Stanford 894. Notre Dame 855. Rice 846. Boston College 80(tie) Vanderbilt 80(tie) Virginia 809. Penn State 7810. Wake Forest 74
1. Northwestern 85%2. Duke 843. Rice 834. Stanford 825. Tulane 80(tie) Vanderbilt 807. Virginia 788. Boston College 769. Penn State 7510. Notre Dame 74

1. Duke 87%2. Stanford 863. Northwestern 844. Notre Dame 82(tie) Rice 826. Virginia 777. Boston College 758. Vanderbilt 749. Penn State 72(tie) Tulane 72
1. Northwestern 99%2. Stanford 943. Vanderbilt 934. Notre Dame 925. Duke 916. Boston College 87(tie) Rice 878. Penn State 869. Virginia 85(tie) Virginia Tech 85
1. Rice 83%(tie) Stanford 83(tie) Vanderbilt 834. Northwestern 825. Duke 816. Notre Dame 73(tie) Tulane 738. Boston College 69(tie) Penn State 6910. Virginia 68