Record 450 student-athletes earn 3.0 GPA during spring semester

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A school record total of 450 Penn State student-athletes earned a grade-point average of 3.0 or better during the spring semester, punctuating an outstanding and record breaking 2012-13 academic year.

Among the 450 student-athletes earning a GPA of 3.0 or above, a record 189 earned dean’s list honors during the 2013 spring semester by posting a GPA of 3.50 or higher. A minimum 12 credits are required for dean’s list recognition.

The high achievers are a significant improvement from the 2012 spring semester figures of 391 (3.0 GPA) and 172 on the dean’s list. The previous overall 3.0 GPA record for a spring semester was 401 in 2008-09.

The 450 student-athletes earning a GPA of 3.0 or above represents 60 percent of Penn State’s student-athletes nearly 750 enrolled during the spring semester. The 189 dean’s list honorees account for 25 percent of all the student-athletes this past semester.

"I am extremely proud of our student-athletes and coaches for their continued dedication to academic excellence and its proper place at the forefront of the Penn State student experience," said Dave Joyner, director of athletics. "The credit belongs to the student-athletes, coaches, professors and Morgan Center (academic support program) staff for this significant academic performance from the spring semester, our high graduation rates and numerous academic successes."

The efforts of the student-athletes resulted in a combined average GPA of 3.10 during the spring for all of Penn State’s 31 varsity sports. Twenty-two teams earned a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Penn State student-athletes, who captured a school record 11 conference championships, including a record eight Big Ten titles, in 2012-13, consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees. Among some of the recent academic accomplishments are:

 -- A record 109 current and former Penn State student-athletes graduated this past May.

-- A school record of 296 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2012-13, shattering the previous record of 261.

-- A record 68 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award in 2012-13 for earning a GPA of 3.7 or higher during the most recent academic year.

-- The NCAA's annual study of institutions nationwide in October 2012 revealed that Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent compared to an 80 percent average for all Division I institutions. The 88 percent figure was third-highest among Big Ten Conference institutions.

- The NCAA four-year federal graduation rate average for University Park student-athletes was 78 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 64 percent, and second to Northwestern (88) among Big Ten institutions.

- Among the 2005-06 entering freshman class, 80 percent of Penn State student-athletes earned degrees within six years, well above the 65 percent average for all Division I institutions, according to the NCAA.

- Seven Nittany Lion student-athlete earned Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 2012-13, giving Penn State 182 all-time honorees, the third-highest total among Division I institutions. Penn State has had 36 Academic All-America honorees the past five years.

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Last Updated July 23, 2013