The University of Virginia’s football program was one of seven honored Thursday by the American Football Coaches Association with its Academic Achievement Award. All seven schools recorded a 100 percent graduation rate for members of their freshman football student-athlete class of 2010.
This marks the third time UVA has received the association’s top academic honor. The Cavalier program was also recognized (by the then-College Football Association) in 1985 and 1986.
The other six programs honored are the University of Alabama, The University of Cincinnati, Middle Tennessee State University, Northwestern University, the University of Utah and Utah State University.
The award will be presented during the Honors Luncheon on Jan. 8 at the 2018 American Football Coaches Association Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Virginia program has been recognized by the American Football Coaches Association or College Football Association on 25 other occasions for graduating 75 percent or more of its football student-athletes.
The College Football Association established the Academic Achievement Award in 1981. The award recognized the Football Bowl Subdivision member institution with the highest graduation rate among members of its football team. When the association disbanded in 1997, the American Football Coaches Association stepped in to present the award and conduct a graduation rate survey that encompassed all members of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
This year’s award marks the 10th time the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate formula has been used to select the winner. The formula is based on a six-year graduation window for student-athletes, developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The formula holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. It also accounts for mid-year enrollees.
Under the Graduation Success Rate 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 Graduation Success Rate cohort. By counting incoming transfer students and midyear enrollees, the Graduation Success Rate increases the total number of student-athletes tracked for graduation by more than 37 percent.