CHICAGO (WSCR) On Tuesday, the NCAA released the most recent Academic Progress Rate data for all Division I athletic programs. The Northwestern football team took the top spot among all FBS programs.

The APR is based on the eligibility, retention and graduation of each scholarship student-athlete. The score also serves as a predictor of graduation success.

The Wildcats’ multi-year APR of 993 came in second behind Penn (995) for all Division I football programs.

“After nine of our programs earned national recognition from the APR program last week, this week’s complete report paints an even better overall picture of how well our student-athletes are performing in the classroom,” Northwestern Director of Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips said in a statement. “Time and time again our young men and women demonstrate that Northwestern is a leader both on the field and in the classroom. Credit goes also to our tremendous coaches, who recruit quality young people into our institution.”

The football program is in the midst of its most successful stretch in its history: over the last three seasons, Northwestern has won 24 games and gone to three consecutive bowl games, the longest bowl-streak in school history.

On May 10 the university and head coach Pat Fitzgerald agreed to a new 10-year contract. Phillips cited Fitzgerald’s commitment to “developing young men athletically, academically and socially.”

The latest APR data covers the 2006-10 academic years. Teams that score below 925 face varying degrees of penalties.

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