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    Northwestern Leads Big Ten, Football Leads Nation in GSR Data

    Head coach Pat Fitzgerald's football program leads the FBS with a 97 percent graduate success rate.

    Head coach Pat Fitzgerald's football program leads the FBS with a 97 percent graduate success rate.

    Oct. 25, 2012

    NCAA Searchable GSR Database

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern has scored a 97 percent overall Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in the latest data released by the NCAA today (Oct. 25), a figure which leads the Big Ten by eight percentage points and ranks among the best scores nationally.

    Northwestern football, specifically, also earned a 97 percent GSR for the current cohort, a three percent increase from last year's data, making it six percentage points ahead of the program's nearest conference counterpart and tied for first among all FBS schools nationwide.

    Twelve of NU's 19 Varsity sports have perfect 100 percent GSR's for the most recent cohort, which measures incoming freshman classes from 2002-05. Women's cross country, women's fencing, women's golf, women's lacrosse, women's soccer, women's swimming, women's tennis, women's volleyball, men's golf, men's soccer, men's tennis, men's wresting and men's golf achieved those perfect scores for the `Cats.

    This number represents a one-sport improvement in total Wildcat programs receiving perfect scores compared to last year's data. NU had a school-record 15 programs with a perfect GSR in 2008.

    "We continue to be proud of our student-athletes and the effort they put forth in the classroom that makes us a leader among our peers," Northwestern Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips said. "We are especially proud of our football program for once again leading the nation in graduation rate data."

    The NCAA developed the GSR to more accurately assess long-term student-athlete academic success, taking into account the many different academic paths followed by today's college students. The GSR differs from the federally mandated graduation rate in that it holds institutions accountable for transfer students, accounts for mid-year enrollees and is calculated for every sport. Institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. These outgoing transfers are essentially passed to the receiving institution's GSR cohort.

    Data show the GSR includes just over 110,000 student-athletes in the most recent four classes, compared to almost 80,000 counted in the federal graduation rate. The NCAA continues to provide the federal rate, though, since there is no comparable rate to the GSR for the general student body. This marks the 11th year GSR data have been collected.


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