The Penn Graduate School of Education's Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education released the results of its four-year study of athletes and racial inequities in college sports on Monday.

The study used data from 2007 to 2010 and ranked the best and worst universities in six NCAA conferences in graduating black male athletes. The authors of the study - Shaun R. Harper, Collin D. Williams Jr. and Horatio W. Blackman - also offered recommendations for improving the results.

The data was collected from 76 colleges and universities, including those from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference.

Northwestern ranked the best in the study with a six-year graduation rate of 83 percent for its black male athletes. However, the study noted that Northwestern's six-year rate for all undergraduates was 94 percent.

The average undergraduate rate for all schools in the study, regardless of race, was 72.8 percent.

Notre Dame was second in graduating black male athletes at 81 percent, and Villanova tied Penn State for third at 78 percent. Rutgers was at 67 percent, and Temple was at 46 percent.

Villanova graduated 88 percent of all its undergraduates, according to the study. Temple graduated 63 percent, Rutgers 75 percent and Penn State 85 percent.

Iowa State had the lowest ranking of black athletes graduating at 30 percent. On average, 50.2 percent of black male athletes in the the study graduated within six years.

For complete information on the data-gathering process, complete rankings and the recommendations for improvement, go to