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Northwestern, Notre Dame among graduation rate leaders

The NCAA's annual graduation success rate report was released Thursday, and it was positive news for an organization needing some.

The numbers are based on four years of data collected from freshman athletes who entered school between 2003-04 and 2006-07 and earned their degrees within six years. Graduation rates over the four-year span hit 81 percent, an NCAA record. In addition, 82 percent of athletes in the 2006-07 freshman class earned degrees, matching a one-year record.

"More student-athletes than ever before are earning their college degrees, and we are gratified to see our reform efforts impact the lives of those we serve," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement.

Among the 121 FBS schools in the survey, Northwestern led the way, with a 97 percent graduation rate. At the other end of the spectrum was California, which had just a 44 percent rate.

In all, 24 schools had graduation rates of 80 percent or above, but 27 were below 60 percent.

Here is the GSR top 25; schools listed in bold type are private institutions.

  1. Northwestern 97 percent
  1. Rice 96
  1. Notre Dame 94

Boston College 94

  1. Air Force 93

Stanford 93

  1. Duke 92
  1. Boise State 91
  1. Army 89
  1. Miami 86
  1. Wake Forest 86
  1. TCU 85
  1. Northern Illinois 85
  1. Penn State 85
  1. Rutgers 85
  1. Navy 84

Utah State 84

  1. UCF 83
  1. UCLA 82
  1. Georgia 82

Tulane 82

Vanderbilt 82

  1. Iowa 81
  1. West Virginia 80
  1. Louisiana Tech 79

Colorado State 79

Temple 79

The bottom 10:

California 44

Florida International 47

Troy 48

Oklahoma 51

San Jose State 51

Central Michigan 53

USC 53

Arkansas 54

Florida Atlantic 54

Ole Miss 55

Complete information on all the NCAA schools in all sports is available to view.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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