Amid all the disappointment and frustration of Northwestern’s 2013 football season, one thing remains true: the Wildcats perform in the classroom. In the latest edition of the NCAA’s academic progress rate scores, which were released this summer, Northwestern ranked No. 1 among FBS schools with a score of 996. On Thursday, we learned the Wildcats inhabit that same lofty perch when measured by the governing body’s graduation success rate, which measures the percentage of students who earn a college degree over a six-year period while accounting for transfers and other athletes who leave their respective programs in good academic standing.
Last year, Northwestern’s 97-percent rate – the same rate it posted this year – tied Notre Dame for the nation’s top GSR score. On this year's rates, the Wildcats scored one percentage point ahead of Rice, three ahead of Notre Dame and Boston College and four ahead of Air Force and Stanford. FBS football players' national average for GSR was 71 percent.