Penn State Football Grad Rate in Top Five

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State football team’s NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) ranks with the nation’s elite among the schools in the College Football Playoff (CFP) Top 25 final rankings.

(Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

Penn State football student-athletes that enrolled in the University from 2006-09 earned a Graduation Success Rate of 80 percent, tied with Alabama, Florida and the United States Naval Academy for No. 5 among the final CFP Top 25.

The Nittany Lions’ NCAA graduation rate leads all Big Ten Conference teams in the Top 25 and is tied for No. 2 among the 12 teams playing in the CFP/NY6 contests, with the Crimson Tide. Clemson leads the dozen schools at 84 percent.

Penn State and Alabama’s 80 percent GSR also is tied for No. 2 among the teams in the final CFP Top 10.

Led by James Franklin, the Big Ten and Sporting News National Coach of the Year, the Nittany Lions won the 2016 Big Ten Championship with a 38-31 comeback victory over Wisconsin on Dec. 3. Penn State (11-2) is ranked No. 5 in the CFP, Associated Press and Coaches’ polls. The Nittany Lions will take a nine-game winning streak into the Rose Bowl vs. 9 USC on January 2 in Pasadena, Calif.

Top Football Graduation Success Rates Among CFP Top 25 Teams (2016 NCAA data)
1. 99 – Stanford
2. 89 – Virginia Tech
3. 86 – Temple
4. 84 – Clemson
5. 80 – Penn State, Alabama, Florida and Navy

Penn State student-athletes earned a GSR of 89 percent overall, compared to the 84 percent average for Division I, according to the NCAA.

Earlier this month, Nittany Lion long snapper Tyler Yazujian (Royersford, Pa.) was selected a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American after earning second-team accolades in 2015. Penn State’s 65 CoSIDA Academic All-America honorees rank No. 2 all-time among all FBS and FCS programs.

Nineteen Nittany Lion football student-athletes were selected Academic All-Big Ten this fall for owning at least a 3.0 grade-point average and being a letterwinner. During the 2015 fall semester, a program record 56 Nittany Lions earned at least a 3.0 GPA. A total of 23 of the 56 football student-athletes posted at least a 3.5 GPA, with 19 earning Dean’s List honors.

The GSR is the NCAA’s more inclusive calculation of academic success among scholarship student-athletes. The NCAA rate is more accurate than the federally mandated methodology because it includes incoming transfers and students enrolling in the spring semester who receive athletic aid and graduate, and deletes from the calculation student-athletes who leave an institution and were academically eligible to compete.

For the 2016 NCAA Graduation rate data for all institutions go to:

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