Nov. 29, 2011
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern is among the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs being recognized as an honorable mention recipient of the 2011 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Academic Achievement award, the AFCA announced Tuesday. NU is one of only 17 FBS programs to achieve a graduation rate of 90 percent or better for members of its freshman football student-athlete class of 2004.
This year's award marks the fourth time the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate (GSR) formula has been used to select the winners, which this year are Boise State and Miami (Ohio). The award is based on the highest NCAA GSR, with at least 15 students in the GSR cohort, and a Federal Graduation Rate of 75 percent or better.
Northwestern has been the winner or co-winner of the award on six occasions since 1998 -- 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010. NU is one of just four Big Ten teams to garner honorable mention standing this year.
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 measure holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate, and also accounts for midyear enrollees.
The Academic Achievement Award was established by the College Football Association in 1981. The award recognized the CFA-member Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) 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 -- including Big Ten schools for the first time.
For more information on the award and its history, visit the AFCA website.
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