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ND tied for highest graduation rate

Notre Dame and Duke are tied for the highest graduation rate among schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision, or former Division I-A, according to the NCAA's latest graduation data.

Notre Dame and Duke are graduating football players at a 96 percent rate. Navy (93), Northwestern (92), Boston College (91) and Vanderbilt (91) are next.

Graduation rates for student-athletes are at an all-time high, according to the NCAA's numbers. Federal statistics, which don't take into account transfer students, are a bit lower, but still show athletes still are more likely than other students to graduate on time.

The NCAA announced that the graduation rate for student-athletes at FBS schools is 67 percent, according to NCAA numbers, and 55 percent by federal statistics.

Data was drawn from freshmen classes entering school from 1999 to 2002.

Cincinnati was the only top-10 school in the BCS standings to top 70 percent by both NCAA and federal measures. Among BCS top-10 teams, Georgia Tech and Texas had the lowest scores, graduating 49 percent according to NCAA measures, and 41 percent according to federal measures.

"The misconception is that NCAA student-athletes are not good students," interim NCAA President Jim Isch said Wednesday in a conference call. "The truth, as [late NCAA President Myles Brand] reminded people, is that they could perform in the classroom and they outperformed the general student body in almost every measure."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.