NCAA honors Penn State teams for high scores in academic progress rate

University Park, Pa. – Five Penn State teams have earned a Public Recognition Award from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for earning high scores in the latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) compilation. 

The five teams - field hockey, softball, women's lacrosse, women's tennis and wrestling - all earned four-year APR scores in the top 10 percent nationally for their respective sport through the 2006-07 academic year. The women's lacrosse, women's tennis and wrestling squads earned Public Recognition Awards for the second consecutive year that the awards have been presented.

Penn State's five honored teams were second-highest in the Big Ten Conference. Northwestern led with eight.

The aggregate 2006-07 Academic Progress Rate data for all NCAA Division I institutions will be announced on May 6. 

The NCAA's APR data in 2007 revealed that Penn State student-athletes make better progress toward graduation in comparison with the nation's Division I institutions, despite higher academic standards than required.

Nine Penn State teams earned a perfect APR score of 1,000 during the 2005-06 academic year and three teams have a three-year APR score of 1,000 --- women's golf, women's lacrosse and women's tennis. Less than 10 percent of the nation's 6,110 Division teams in the 2005-06 survey earned a three-year APR score of 1,000.

Among Penn State's 29 varsity teams, 22 had a three-year APR score above the Division I average for their respective sports.

The NCAA will be releasing data from the 2006-07 academic year on May 6 as the fourth set of information in the Academic Progress Rate, a formula introduced in 2005 as part of the Division I Academic Performance Program. The NCAA will release sport specific data for 2006-07 to each institution, as well as the initial four years of collected data that will be used to determine a four-year APR score for all athletic teams to provide a meaningful assessment of a team's academic performance.

Penn State's student-athletes, who have captured 12 Big Ten Championships during the past two-plus years and three NCAA titles in 2007, consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees. Among some of the recent academic accomplishments are:

- Eight Nittany Lion student-athletes were selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® team in 2006-07, with four more honorees during the 2007 fall semester.

- Penn State student-athletes earned a record Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent compared to a 77 percent average for all Division I institutions, according to NCAA data released in October 2007. Twenty-two of Penn State's 25 teams earned a GSR score above the national average (track and field and cross country are counted as one sport) and 21 teams had a GSR of 80 percent or better.

Ten Penn State squads earned a GSR of 100 percent.

 - Among the 2000-01 entering freshman class, a record-tying 83 percent of Penn State student-athletes earned degrees within six years, compared to 63 percent for all Division I institutions, according to the NCAA.

- Penn State's 82 percent four-year graduation rate is well above the national average of 62 percent for student-athletes. The four-year average was second highest in the Big Ten to Northwestern.

- Of the Penn State student-athletes in the NCAA studies from 1991-92 through 2000-01 who exhausted their eligibility, 95 percent earned their diplomas.

Contacts: 
Last Updated November 18, 2010