Penn State student-athletes enjoy successful summer in the classroom

October 06, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State student-athletes did not miss a beat with their outstanding academic achievement during the summer semester, with nearly 80 percent earning a 3.0 grade point average or higher.

With slightly more than half of the Nittany Lions’ approximately 800 student-athletes on campus during the summer sessions, 77.5 percent delivered a 3.0 GPA or higher (320 of 413 students), reported Russ Mushinsky, director of the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes.

Among the 320 student-athletes that posted a 3.0, a total of 171 earned a 3.5 GPA or higher, for a total of 41.4 percent of the Nittany Lion students enrolled during the summer.

The excellent summer performance by the student-athletes resulted in Penn State’s 31 varsity teams combining for a 3.15 GPA during the summer sessions, with 21 teams earning a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. During the summer semester, the majority of all Penn State students take 12 or fewer credit hours.
The summer academic semester included returning student-athletes, as well as some freshmen who began taking classes during the second session, which started in July.

During the 2014-15 academic year, 146 Nittany Lion student-athletes graduated, an increase of three from the previous year. The total included 101 after the spring semester, the second highest total in school history, and 18 this past summer.

The 2014-15 academic year was another banner campaign for Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. Nittany Lion student-athletes, who have captured 19 Big Ten championships and five NCAA titles since September 2012, consistently have been among the most successful in the nation in earning their degrees and achieving academic success. Recent academic accomplishments include:

  • The NCAA's most recent annual study of institutions across the nation revealed Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent, compared to the 82 percent average for all Division I institutions. The 89 percent figure was second only to Northwestern among Big Ten Conference institutions.
  • In July, the Big Ten announced that 69 Penn State student-athletes received Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Awards for the 2014-15 academic year (3.7 GPA or higher). The total was the school's second highest and just shy of last year's record total of 73. Eight of the 69 Nittany Lion student-athletes posted perfect 4.0 grade point averages this past year.
  • During the 2014 fall semester, a school record 500 of the approximately 800 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned at least a 3.0 GPA, crushing the previous high of 468 in the 2013 fall semester. Among the 500 high achievers, a record 241 garnered Dean's List honors by posting a GPA of 3.50 or higher, while passing a minimum of 12 credits. The previous dean’s list mark was 211 in the 2012 fall semester.
  • A school spring-semester record 474 Penn State student-athletes earned a 3.0 GPA; 62 percent of all student-athletes enrolled during the spring. Among the 474 high achievers, a spring semester record 221 earned dean’s list honors with a 3.5 GPA. The combined average GPA was 3.11 among Penn State's 31 varsity sports during the spring semester. The 474 and 221 totals, respectively, rank No. 2 overall in a semester, topped only by last fall’s academic achievements.
  • A total of 277 student-athletes garnered Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 2014-15 (cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher). Penn State has earned a total of 5,041 Academic All-Big Ten honorees during its 22 years of full membership in the conference.
  • Matt Brown (wrestling) and Laura Gebhart (field hockey) were selected first-team CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-Americans, with Brown earning the Academic All-American of the Year for all sports. Robby Creese (men’s track and field) was a third-team honoree. Penn State's 189 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time rank No. 3 among Division I institutions.
  • Brown, the Nittany Lions’ Male Student-Athlete of the Year for 2014-15, also earned a prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship, Penn State’s 46th such recipient.
  • In May, the NCAA reported that six Penn State teams have perfect four-year Academic Progress Rate scores of 1,000 and that 10 Nittany Lion squads earned perfect APR scores in 2013-14.
Last Updated October 08, 2015