Graduating Penn State student-athletes cap record-setting academic year

August 09, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will conclude the 2017-18 academic calendar with summer commencement ceremonies on Saturday in the Bryce Jordan Center. A total of seven Nittany Lion student-athletes have been approved to receive their diplomas this weekend, boosting Penn State Athletics to 145 graduates during the 2017-18 academic year.

Penn State student-athletes from football, men’s hockey, women’s hockey, men’s track and field and wrestling have been approved to graduate this weekend.

The 145 graduates this year includes a school record 43 after the fall semester, 95 this past May and seven this summer.

With the seven students approved to graduate, a total of 885 Penn State student-athletes have earned their degrees since the 2012 fall semester, when the Nittany Lions began sponsoring men’s and women’s hockey.

The summer graduation caps an outstanding year of academic achievements and school records for Penn State student-athletes, who consistently are among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees:

Penn State Student-Athlete Academic Records in 2017-18

  • 3.15 semester student-athlete combined GPA (spring 2018)
  • 66 percent of student-athletes with a semester 3.0 GPA or higher (spring 2017 and 2018)
  • 26 teams earn a 3.0 GPA or higher (fall 2017 and spring 2018)
  • 520 student-athletes post a 3.0 GPA or higher (fall 2017)
  • 253 student-athletes earn dean’s list honors for 3.5 GPA or higher (fall 2017)
  • 360 Academic All-Big Ten honorees (cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher)

Since the 2014 fall semester, when many of this weekend’s graduates enrolled, Penn State student-athletes have won five NCAA Championships (tied for Big Ten lead) and 18 Big Ten titles, including seven in 2016-17.

Penn State, ranked No. 12 in the final 2017-18 Learfield Directors' Cup standings, has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring approximately 800 student-athletes across 31 programs (16 men’s, 15 women’s). Nittany Lion students have captured 34 Big Ten Championships and conference-best nine NCAA titles since the 2012 fall semester.

Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent, which ties the Nittany Lions’ all-time high. Nine teams earned a 100 percent GSR in the NCAA’s November 2017 report. 

A record 166 Nittany Lion students from the spring/at-large sports boosted Penn State Athletics to a school record 360 Academic All-Big Ten selections in 2017-18 (3.0 GPA or higher). The Nittany Lions have had 6,235 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, the conference’s second-highest total since 1991-92.

Penn State ranks No. 4 among all Division I schools with 201 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including Emily Ogle (women’s soccer), Haleigh Washington (women’s volleyball) and Noah Roberson (men’s gymnastics/at-large) in 2017-18.

Last Updated August 31, 2018