UTSA earns AFCA Academic Achievement Award

WACO, Texas — UTSA has earned the American Football Coaches Association's 2023 Academic Achievement Award for posting the highest graduation rate among FBS programs in the recently released NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report.

UTSA will share the award with a dozen other schools: Arkansas State, Buffalo, Clemson, Iowa State, Kansas State, Louisville, Navy, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, South Alabama and Virginia.

All 13 schools shared the highest graduation rate for members of their 2016 freshman football student-athlete classes. The award, which is sponsored by BSN Sports, will be presented by the Memphis Touchdown Club during the Honors Luncheon on Jan. 8 at the 2024 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. 

This year’s award marks the 12th time the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) one-year 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 the AFCA. From 2008-17, the criteria for the AFCA’s Academic Achievement Award was based on the highest NCAA GSR, and a Federal Graduation Rate of 75 percent or better. For 2018 and 2019, the AFCA used the NCAA’s single-year APR. The AFCA returned to the GSR one-year formula in 2022.

The GSR is based on a six-year graduation window for student-athletes and holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and non-scholarship students at schools that do not offer athletics aid. 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.

The Academic Achievement Award was established by the College Football Association in 1981. The award recognized the CFA-member Football Bowl Subdivision institution with the highest graduation rate among members of its football team. When the CFA disbanded in 1997, the AFCA stepped in to present the award.