Northwestern football best in Big Ten with graduation rates, second in nation

Daily Northwestern

Last Wednesday, the NCAA released Graduation Success Rates (GSR) for players who entered school in 2003, and Northwestern football again finished first in the Big Ten with a GSR of 95.

“I am so proud of our young men!”, tweeted head coach Pat Fitzgerald, with a link to the NCAA report.

Overall, NU’s 19 athletic programs achieved a 97 GSR – including 10 sports that achieved a perfect 100 rating. “The number one goal of our coaches and staff at Northwestern is to provide a world class experience,” athletic director Jim Phillips said in a press release. “It is a source of great pride that we remain a leader among our peers in graduating our student-athletes.”

NU football has finished first in the Big Ten all six years the NCAA has released reports. This year, NU’s GSR of 95 was 11 points above the second-place finisher – NU’s opponent this week, Penn State – and 26 percentage points above the national average of 69 percent. The only football program with a better GSR was Notre Dame, which finished one point higher with a 96.

NU men’s basketball earned a 90, 24 points higher than the national average, but second in the conference behind Illinois, who earned a perfect score of 100.