May 23, 2006
Nine Atlantic Coast Conference schools were recognized for graduating at least 70 percent of their football student-athletes according to the American Football Coaches Association annual Academic Achievement Awards data, released today.
SMU won top honors with a 100 percent graduation rate while Boston College and Duke were among six Division I-A institutions with a graduation rate of 90 percent or better. The ACC led all conferences with nine schools on the honors list, followed by the Big East and Big 12 with four. The Big 10 and Conference USA were each represented by three schools while Mid-American, Mountain West, Pacific-10, Southeastern, Sun Belt conferences each had one school.
In addition to Boston College and Duke, three other institutions achieved a rate of 90 percent or better: Northwestern, Notre Dame and Southern Mississippi. Those institutions graduating 70 percent or more of their football student-athletes are Auburn, Baylor, California, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado State, Florida State, Iowa, Iowa State, Maryland, Miami (Ohio), Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Rice, Rutgers, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Troy, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
The overall graduation rate of the 104 schools that responded to the survey was 58 percent, equaling last year’s mark. Fifty of the members responding were above the average and 54 were below the average. The median graduation rate was 57 percent, compared to 57 percent last year and 60 percent two years ago.
The study involves the freshmen class from the academic year of 2000-2001, 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.
Academic Achievement Award Winners through the Years
(1981-97 presented by the College Football Association; 1998-06 presented by the American Football Coaches Association)
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