Nearly 400 Penn State student-athletes earn fall GPAs of 3.0 or higher

April 04, 2008

University Park, Pa. — Nearly 400 Penn State student-athletes earned a grade point average of 3.0 or higher during the 2007 Fall semester to highlight another outstanding academic performance, Tim Curley, Director of Athletics, reported Tuesday (April 1).

During the most recent semester, 396 student-athletes earned a GPA of 3.0 or above. The 396 total represents 55 percent of the 724 young men and women who were members of Penn State's 29 varsity sport programs last fall.

A total of 174 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned a 3.50 grade point average or higher to gain Dean's List recognition last fall. Dean's List students must complete a minimum of 12 credits in a semester.

Penn State's 29 varsity teams had an average GPA of 3.03, with 18 squads earning a team semester GPA of 3.0 or higher, according to Russ Mushinsky, Director of the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes. The cheerleaders and Lionettes dance team also posted team GPAs of 3.0 or better.

Four Nittany Lion student-athletes earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® honors last fall. Gerald Cadogan (football) earned first team Academic All-America® accolades, while Aubrey Aden-Buie and Zoe Bouchelle (women's soccer) earned second and third team honors, respectively. All-American Christa Harmotto (women's volleyball) also earned third team accolades.

Penn State has had 133 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans® all-time, the fourth highest total in the nation, with 90 honorees in the last 14 years under Curley's leadership. Fifteen Nittany Lions have earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® honors the past two-plus years.

"We continue to be very pleased by the excellent academic achievements of our student-athletes," Curley said. "Our student-athletes consistently achieve at a high level. Their academic success is a credit to their outstanding work-ethic and dedication and to the encouragement they receive from our faculty, academic support personnel and coaches."

Penn State's student-athletes, who have captured 11 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:

  • 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. 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.

    Three times in the past six years, Penn State has been tied for the highest graduation rate among the nation's I-A public institutions.

  • 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.
  • African-American student-athletes at Penn State continue to consistently graduate at much higher percentages than at other Division I institutions. A record 90 percent of African-American student-athletes that entered Penn State in 2000-01 graduated, far surpassing all Big Ten institutions and the national average. Northwestern was second in the conference at 69 percent and the national Division I average was 53 percent.
  • Penn State's four-year federal graduation rate for African-American student-athletes was 74 percent, marking the 17th consecutive year the Nittany Lions topped the Division I national average. At all Division I institutions in the NCAA compilation, the African-American four-year graduation percentile was 53 percent.
  • The University's African-American student-athlete GSR was 77 percent, again significantly above the Division I national GSR average of 61 percent. Penn State was second in the Big Ten (to Northwestern) in both the four-year federal and GSR figures among African-American student-athletes.

    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.

  • A school record 81 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the 2007 fall sports. The total was the most among conference institutions for the eighth time in the last 10 years among the seven fall sports. Penn State has 2,879 overall honorees during the past 13-plus years to lead all Big Ten institutions in academic all-conference recipients.
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    Last Updated November 18, 2010