Penn State among nation's best in graduation rates and NCAA championships

December 20, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics continues to rank among the nation’s premier athletic programs in the graduation of its student-athletes, winning national championships and comprehensive excellence.

Since 2007, Penn State has won 20 NCAA championships. Nittany Lion student-athletes also have delivered a 90 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) during the last two NCAA Graduation Rate reports.

Penn State is joined by Stanford, UCLA and Virginia as the nation’s only four institutions that have won at least 10 NCAA titles since 2007 and also earned a 90 percent GSR in the 2018 NCAA report.

Most NCAA championships since 2007 and 90 percent graduation rate           

                        NCAA Titles*       Graduation Rate**

Stanford                  25                       97 percent

Penn State             20                       90 percent

UCLA                       17                       90 percent

Virginia                    10                       92 percent

* NCAA championships since January 2007

** 2018 NCAA Graduation Success Rate

Record-tying 90 percent graduation rate in 2018 NCAA report

Penn State’s 90 percent Graduation Success Rate the past two years ties the school record, initially set in the 2010 NCAA report. Eight Nittany Lion teams earned a 100 percent GSR in the NCAA’s 2018 report.

The Nittany Lions’ 20 NCAA  championships since 2007 trail only Stanford (25) and USC (22) and are tied for No. 3 with Florida and Oregon. Penn State’s 20 national titles over the past 12 years are double the next highest Big Ten institutions (10, both Maryland and Ohio State).

Nittany Lions lead Big Ten with eight NCAA championships in past five years

Since the start of the 2013-14 academic year, Penn State leads all Big Ten schools with eight NCAA championships, the highest total of any institution in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast or Midwest. The Nittany Lions have won NCAA titles in men’s and women’s fencing, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and wrestling since the 2013 fall semester.

Also over the past five years, Penn State has won 27 Big Ten championships in 14 different sports.

The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 3 in the latest Learfield Directors’ Cup standings. Seven Penn State teams have been ranked in their respective top 15 nationally so far in 2018-19 (final or current ranking): wrestling (1), women’s volleyball (6), women’s soccer (8), field hockey (9), men’s hockey (9), football (12) and women’s cross-country (13).

Student-athletes' 3.15 GPA among academic records in 2018

Nittany Lion student-athletes again shattered numerous academic records in 2018, including delivering a 3.15 grade-point average during the spring semester and tying the highest percentage (66 percent) and number of teams (26) earning a 3.0 grade-point average last spring.

Starting with the 2014 fall semester, Penn State student-athletes have achieved the eight highest semesters all-time for the number of students earning at least a 3.0 GPA during the past eight semesters (fall 2018 data not available).

Led by Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, Penn State offers one of the nation’s most broad-based and successful athletic programs, embodying comprehensive excellence with 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men’s, 15 women’s).

The 2017-18 academic year marked the 19th time in the last 25 years that Penn State has posted a top 15 finish in the Learfield Directors’ Cup. Penn State is one of only nine institutions nationwide to have finished in the top 25 in all 25 Learfield Directors' Cup final standings.

Penn State’s 50 NCAA championships all-time (78 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State’s 31 NCAA titles since 1992-93, including a third consecutive NCAA wrestling championship last March, lead all Big Ten institutions.

The Nittany Lions have won 108 Big Ten championships or tournament titles since capturing their first crown in 1992-93, including the women’s soccer team earning its 19th conference title this fall.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated December 20, 2018