This year's award marks the second 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.
Thirty-nine other institutions will be recognized for graduating 75 percent or more of their football student-athletes. Nine of those institutions — Alabama, Boston College, Connecticut, Duke, Navy, Northwestern, Penn State, Rice, Southern Mississippi — achieved a rate of 90 percent or better. The remaining 30 institutions are: Air Force, Army, Central Florida, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Marshall, Memphis, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma State, Rutgers, South Florida, Stanford, Syracuse, TCU, Troy, Tulane, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Washington and West Virginia.
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. The NCAA also calculates the federal graduation rate for student-athletes because it is the only rate by which to compare student-athletes to the general student body.
Conference Breakdown: Big 10- 6, Conference USA- 6, ACC- 5, Big East- 5, Big 12- 4, Independents- 3, Mountain West- 3, SEC- 3, MAC- 2, Pac-10- 2, Sun Belt- 1, WAC- 1
Academic Achievement Award Winners Through the Years
1982: Notre Dame*
1983: Notre Dame*
1984: Duke & Notre Dame*
1988: Notre Dame*
1991: Notre Dame*
1992: Boston College & TCU*
1995: Boston College, Duke & Wake Forest*
1996: Boston College, Duke & Vanderbilt*
2001: Notre Dame & Vanderbilt
2004: Boston College & Northwestern
2005: Duke & Northwestern
2007: Northwestern & Notre Dame
2009: Notre Dame & Miami (Fla.)
*- Presented by the College Football Association
Most Awards: Duke, 12; Notre Dame, 8; Boston College, 5; Northwestern, 5
Most Honorable Mentions: Virginia, 21; Rice, 21; Notre Dame, 20.
For more information on the AFCA, log on to the AFCA's website at www.afca.com. -(AFCA)-