Penn State student-athletes deliver record-tying academic success in fall 2018

February 20, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State student-athletes continue to deliver outstanding academic achievement, tying three school records, with more than 500 Nittany Lions posting at least a 3.0 grade-point average during the fall 2018 semester.

During the most recent semester, Nittany Lion students tied two school overall records and one semester record:

School overall academic records tied:

— Combined 3.15 GPA (tied with spring 2018).

— 26 teams (of 31 total teams) with at least a 3.0 GPA (tied with fall 2017, spring 2018).

School fall semester academic record tied:

— 64 percent of 815 enrolled student-athletes earned at least a 3.0 grade-point average (tiedwith fall 2017).

Total of 518 student-athletes earn at least 3.0 GPA; No. 2 in school history

A total of 518 Penn State student-athletes delivered at least a 3.0 GPA during the most recent semester, the second-highest total in school history, trailing only the 520 in the 2017 fall semester.

Russ Mushinsky, director of the Morgan Academic Center, reported that 239 Nittany Lion students garnered Dean’s List recognition for posting at least a 3.5 GPA (minimum 12 credits). The 239 Dean’s List honorees rank No. 3 in school history.

A total of 46 Penn State student-athletes delivered a perfect 4.0 GPA during the 2018 fall semester.

“This outstanding academic performance is a testament to the effort and priority our talented student-athletes direct toward their academic pursuits, the emphasis placed on academic achievement by our coaches, and the support they receive from our dedicated Morgan Academic Center staff, faculty and administration,” said Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. “Every day, we are striving for comprehensive excellence across all aspects of ICA and preparing our students for a lifetime of impact. Academic achievement is at the forefront of that excellence. These results make our alumni and donors who have invested mightily in that premise very proud.”

Women’s soccer posts highest team GPA

The 2018 Big Ten champion women’s soccer team recorded the highest team GPA among Penn State’s 31 programs last fall, followed by the women’s cross-country and women’s lacrosse squads.

Nine highest semesters for number of 3.0 GPA students since fall 2014

Starting with the 2014 fall semester, Penn State student-athletes have achieved the nine highest semesters all-time for the number of students earning at least a 3.0 GPA:

2014 fall (500); 2015 spring (474)

2015 fall (516); 2016 spring (482)

2016 fall (498); 2017 spring (495)

2017 fall (520); 2018 spring (487)

2018 fall (518)

The number of student-athletes posting at least a 3.0 GPA during the fall semester has increased 10 percent the past five years from 468 in 2013 to 518 in 2018.

Student-athletes with 3.0 GPA; fall semester, 2013-18 (+10 percent)

Fall 2018 – 518 (No. 2 overall)

Fall 2017 – 520 (fall and overall record)

Fall 2016 – 498

Fall 2015 – 516                     

Fall 2014 – 500                     

Fall 2013 – 468

The number of student-athletes posting at least a 3.5 GPA during the fall semester to earn Dean’s List recognition has increased 17.6 percent the past five years from 197 in 2013 to 239 in 2018. A 3.5 GPA and passing a minimum of 12 credits are required to be considered for Dean’s List honors.

Student-athletes making Dean’s List; fall semester, 2013-18 (+17.6 percent)

(3.5 GPA; minimum 12 credits)

Fall 2018 – 239 (No. 3 overall)

Fall 2017 – 253 (fall and overall record)

Fall 2016 – 223

Fall 2015 – 232

Fall 2014 – 241

Fall 2013 – 197

Penn State, which ranked No. 3 in the 2018-19 final fall Learfield Directors' Cup standings, has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring approximately 800 students across 31 programs (16 men’s, 15 women’s). Nittany Lion students have captured 36 Big Ten championships and a conference-best eight NCAA titles since the 2013 fall semester.

Among the Nittany Lions’ recent academic achievements:

— Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent, which ties the Nittany Lions’ all-time high. Eight teams earned a 100 percent GSR in the NCAA’s November 2018 Graduation Rates report.

— A school-record 360 Nittany Lion students earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 2017-18 (3.0 GPA or higher).

— Penn State ranks No. 4 among all Division I schools with 204 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including Blake Gillikin (football) and Kerry Abello and Emily Ogle (women’s soccer) during the fall 2018 semester.

Last Updated February 20, 2019