Skip to main content

Arizona State University academic highlights

February 07, 2008

Arizona State University is providing the following information in response to calls from the media regarding statements made by the University of Arizona’s head football coach on February 6, 2008.


Admission standards are set by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) and are identical for all three state universities. Under these requirements, less than 48% of Arizona high school graduates are eligible to attend any of the three universities.

This year’s incoming freshmen classes at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona were academically equal. The only significant difference is that ASU’s freshman class was 30 percent larger:

Entering Freshmen Credentials (2007)
Mean High School GPA 3.34 3.39
Mean SAT
1077 1102
Mean ACT



17 percent of ASU’s Arizona freshmen were in the top 5 percent of their class; 31 percent were in the top 10 percent; and 41 percent were in the top 15 percent.

Academic Credentials

ASU students have some of the highest academic credentials in the nation. Last year’s freshman class included 188 National Merit Scholars, ranking ASU third among public universities nationwide and eighth overall, ahead of both Princeton University and Stanford University. U of A’s freshman class included 92 National Merit Scholars.

ASU’s 2007 class includes 10 Flinn Scholars, 111 National Hispanic Scholars (an increase of 164 percent since 2002) and 265 National Scholars. ASU continues to lead in degrees awarded to Hispanic undergraduate students among peer institutions.

ASU students who apply for Fulbright awards to study overseas are among the most successful in the nation, with 40 percent of students who applied being chosen to receive the grants. (This beats Harvard's acceptance rate of 22 percent.) This year, 16 ASU students received Fulbright awards, more than Columbia University, Princeton University, or the University of Texas at Austin. Eleven U of A students received Fulbright awards.

ASU has the most undergraduates (11) named to USA Today’s Academic First Team of any public university in the nation. Only Harvard, Yale and Duke have had more. The USA Today Academic Team rankings began in 1990.

ASU awards 13,600 degrees annually, on pace with the nation’s largest universities, including Ohio State University (13,750), University of Florida (13,650) and the University of Texas (12,000). ASU has 9,724 first-time freshmen, compared with 7,485 at the University of Texas, 6,441 at the University of Florida and 6,110 at Ohio State University.

In 2006, two ASU faculty members were awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which honors the nation’s most promising science and engineering researchers at the start of their independent research careers. No U of A faculty were selected.

Academics and Athletics

Each year all three universities submit reports to the NCAA. Those reports were shared at the Board of Regents meeting in January 2008 and are available online. Here are some key points about the academic performance of ASU student-athletes:

ASU football is third in the Pac-10 Conference (behind Stanford and Cal) for number of Pac-10 Conference all-academic team members over the past 6 years.

In 2006-07, ASU Football was second in the Pac-10 Conference for graduation rate (behind only Stanford) at 67 percent. ASU also ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference (behind Stanford) and is ranked in the top 10 in Division I Athletics for highest number of Academic All-Americans over the past 6 years.

Only three of the 140 football student-athletes at ASU who have entered the program in the past six years have been declared academically ineligible to compete.

Eight ASU football student-athletes played this season as college graduates. This ranks as the fifth-highest in the nation. Sixteen of the 26 seniors in the current class have already graduated. Nine of the remaining 10 will graduate in spring 2008 or summer.

The ASU football program’s academic progress rate (APR) has increased each year since the NCAA’s academic reform program began in 2003. ASU has lost NO SCHOLARSHIPS under the academic reform program.

In the fall of 2003, ASU became the first football program in the history of college athletics to honor academic achievement (3.0 or above) with a patch on the football jersey.

Sixty-three percent of all Student Athletes are Maroon and Gold Scholar Athletes (earning a 3.0 GPA or higher in the fall or spring semester). Forty-eight percent of all student-athletes have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Seventy percent of ASU student-athletes performed almost 1,700 hours of community service, engaging over 61,000 youth and adults in the community.