Duke One of Four Schools to Share AFCA’s Top Academic Honor For Football Graduation Rate


Total of Nine ACC Schools And Notre Dame Honored for Football GSR

Duke University, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Stanford will share the American Football Coaches Association’s 2014 Academic Achievement Award, which is presented by the Touchdown Club of Memphis. All four schools 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.

Additionally, eight other ACC schools were honored for their football GSR including both Miami and Wake Forest, which were two of 13 schools nationally to each achieve a graduation rate of 90 percent of better.

ACC schools also earning Honorable Mention accolades from the AFCA for a graduation rate of at least 75 percent includes Boston College, Florida State, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

In all, in the 34 years since 1981 that the AFCA has honored schools for their graduation rates, a current ACC school or Notre Dame has won or shared the top honor 25 times.

About the Academic Achievement Award

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 fi ve-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-ath- letes. 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.

Academic Achievement Award Winners Through the Years

1981: Duke*
1982: Notre Dame*
1983: Notre Dame*
1984: Duke & Notre Dame*
1985: Virginia*
1986: Virginia*
1987: Duke*
1988: Notre Dame*
1989: Kentucky*
1990: Duke*
1991: Notre Dame*
1992: Boston College & TCU*
1993: Duke*
1994: Duke*
1995: Boston College, Duke & Wake Forest*
1996: Boston College, Duke & Vanderbilt*
1997: Duke*
1998: Northwestern
1999: Duke
2000: Syracuse
2001: Notre Dame & Vanderbilt
2002: Northwestern
2003: Duke
2004: Boston College & Northwestern
2005: Duke & Northwestern
2006: SMU
2007: Northwestern & Notre Dame
2008: Vanderbilt
2009: Notre Dame & Miami (Fla.)
2010: Northwestern & Rice
2011: Boise State & Miami (Ohio)
2012: Northwestern & Stanford
2013: Georgia, Rice, Stanford & Tulane
*- Presented by the CFA

Most Awards: Duke, 13; Notre Dame, 9; Northwestern, 8; Boston
College, 4; Stanford, 3; Vanderbilt, 3; Rice, 2; Virginia, 2.

Most Honorable Mentions: Notre Dame, 24; Virginia, 24; Penn
State, 23; Rice, 23; Boston College, 22; Vanderbilt, 21; Syracuse,
20; Wake Forest, 19.