Football Recognized for its Graduation Rate

Jan. 25, 2016

WACO, Texas -- The TCU football program's high graduation rate has been recognized for an eighth straight season by the American Football Coaches Association.

TCU is cited for graduating 75 percent or more of its football student-athletes who entered as freshmen in 2008.

In its 47-41 triple-overtime victory over Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl, TCU had 16 players take the field with their degree already in hand. New America, which publishes its rankings on TIME, rated TCU as the No. 5 academic school among the college football top 25. The Horned Frogs finished the season with an 11-2 record and No. 7 ranking in the Associated Press and Amway USA Today Coaches polls.

This year's award marks the eighth time the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate (GSR) formula has been used to select the winner. From 1981 to 2007, the award was presented based on a formula used by the College Football Association and AFCA. Since 2008, the criteria for the AFCA's Academic Achievement Award is based on the highest NCAA GSR, at least 15 students in the GSR Cohort and a Federal Graduation Rate of 75 percent or better.

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 GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for mid-year enrollees.

Under GSR calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. These outgoing transfers are passed to the receiving institution's GSR cohort. By counting incoming transfer students and mid-year enrollees, the GSR increases the total number of student-athletes tracked for graduation by more than 37 percent.



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