Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Nov. 25, 2014

Duke University, Northwestern University, University of Notre Dame and Stanford University will share the American Football Coaches Association’s 2014 Academic Achievement Award, which is presented by the Touchdown Club of Memphis. Duke, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Stanford recorded a 100 percent graduation rate for members of its freshman football student-athlete class of 2007. This is the 13th time Duke has won the award, which leads all schools. The Blue Devils are followed by Notre Dame with its ninth award, Northwestern with its eighth and Stanford with its third honor. The award will be presented at the President’s Kickoff Luncheon on Monday, January 12 at the 2015 AFCA Convention in Louisville.

This year’s award marks the seventh time the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) formula has been used to select the winner. From 1981 to 2007, the award was presented based on a formula used by the College Football Association and AFCA. Since 2008, the criteria for the AFCA’s Academic Achievement Award is based on the highest NCAA GSR, at least 15 students in the GSR Cohort, and a Federal Graduation Rate of 75 percent or better.

Sixty-one other institutions will be recognized for graduating 75 percent or more of their football student-athletes. Thirteen of those institutions — Air Force, Arizona State, Army, Ball State, Central Florida, Miami (Fla.), Middle Tennessee State, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Rice, South Carolina, UCLA and Wake Forest — achieved a rate of 90 percent or better. The remaining 48 institutions are: Alabama, Arkansas, Boise State, Boston College, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Connecticut, Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Kent State, Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Mississippi State, Navy, Nebraska, Nevada, North Texas, Oregon State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, San Diego State, San Jose State, Syracuse, TCU, Temple, Toledo, Troy, USC, Utah State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington State, Western Kentucky and Wyoming.

The Academic Achievement Award was established by the College Football Association in 1981. The award recognized the CFA-member Football Bowl Subdivision institution with the highest graduation rate among members of its football team. When the CFA disbanded in 1997, the AFCA stepped in to present the award and conduct a graduation rate survey that encompassed all members of the FBS.

The GSR is based on a six-year graduation window for student-athletes which is a change from the five-year window used by the CFA and AFCA. The GSR was developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees.

Under GSR calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. These outgoing transfers are passed to the receiving institution’s GSR cohort. By counting incoming transfer students and midyear enrollees, the GSR increases the total number of student-athletes tracked for graduation by more than 37 percent.