Vanderbilt has been honored twice for having the highest graduation rate in the nation (1996, 2001). Prior to 1998, the award honored only members of the College Football Association.
The 2003 award, which is presented annually by the Touchdown Club, goes to Duke University. The Blue Devils won their 11th award, graduating 100 percent of their freshman class from 1997-98.
The overall graduation rate of the 102 Division I-A schools that responded was 59 percent, one percent less than the previous year. Fifty-one of the members responding were above the average and 51 were below the average. The median graduation rate was 59 percent, compared to 61 percent last year and 58 percent the four previous years.
The study involves the freshman class from the academic year of 1997-98, including those who entered at that time but who did not receive financial aid until after their initial year, or who transferred from another institution and subsequently received a grant-in-aid.
All-Time Academic Achievement Award Recipients*
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