Northwestern and Duke Lead Football Schools in Graduation Rate

Northwestern University and Duke University graduated 97% of their football players over the last six years, best among schools in the so-called “Power Five” football conferences, according to data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

It’s the fourth straight year that Northwestern topped the annual list and the 10th year in a row in which the Evanston, Illinois, school finished either first or second. Its 97% success rate was 4 percentage points higher than its next closest Big Ten peer, the University of Minnesota.

”Our purpose is to provide a world-class experience during the short time our Wildcats are on campus,” Jim Phillips, Northwestern’s Combe Family vice president for athletics and recreation, said in a statement. “From the first meeting with a family during recruitment, through that unforgettable day in cap-and-gown, our mission is crystal clear across student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

The Atlantic Coast Conference, home to Duke and Louisville, also placed two schools in the top five. In basketball, Duke was one of five ACC schools to post a perfect 100% score.

Northwestern and Duke Lead Football Schools in Graduation Rate

But it wasn’t all good news for the ACC: Florida State University registered the worst success rate among Power Five schools with just 51% of its football players having graduated.

Northwestern and Duke Lead Football Schools in Graduation Rate

Northwestern’s stellar performance propelled the Big Ten to an 86% average success rate, the best score of the five conferences, with the ACC trailing behind at 83%. The Big 12 Conference, which includes the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin, had the worst score with a 78% rate.

Northwestern and Duke Lead Football Schools in Graduation Rate

Graduation success rate is a measure compiled by the NCAA to track the long-term success of student-athletes. Athletes are given six-years to complete their degrees. Transfer students are included in their original school’s calculation, but schools aren’t dinged if they leave in good academic standing.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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