A person who works the education system to his/her advantage in order to attain the highest achievement, usually while minimizing effort. Does not require cheating, only a keen understanding of how to succeed in academics, such as exploiting teacher biases by studying the way a teacher grades and thinks in order to tailor one's answer to his/her preferences and not necessarily to what the perceived objectively correct answer actually is.
David seems to never do any work but gets straight A's -- he's such an academic hustler.
Rebecca did all the reading, then read the paper prompt, wrote the paper and received a B+; Eva read the prompt, looked in the index of the book for keywords and read the relevant passages, wrote the paper and got an A, the latter is obviously an academic hustler.
John takes the maximum number of courses a quarter, takes the hardest classes, has a 2.7 GPA and is still unemployed; his friend, an academic hustler, took it easy but has a 3.9 and currently a six figure salary.