Record 482 Penn State Athletes Earn 3.0 GPA or Higher

Penn State Football
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – For the fourth consecutive year, Penn State student-athletes have broken the school record for the number of students with a 3.0 grade-point average or higher during the spring semester, punctuating an outstanding and record-breaking 2015-16 academic year.

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

A record 482 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned at least a 3.0 GPA during the most recent semester, to break the spring mark of 474 high achievers set in 2015. The number of student-athletes posting at least a 3.0 GPA during the spring semester has increased 26.6 percent the past six years from the total of 354 in 2011 (see below).

Among the 482 student-athletes earning at least a 3.0 GPA, a spring semester high 224 garnered Dean’s List honors by posting a GPA of 3.5 or higher. The number of student-athletes posting at least a 3.5 GPA during the spring semester has increased 26.3 percent the past six years from the total of 165 in 2011 (see below). The previous Dean’s List spring school mark was 221 in 2015. A minimum 12 credits are required for Dean’s List recognition.

The 482 student-athletes posting at least a 3.0 GPA represent 62.3 percent of Penn State’s 773 student-athletes enrolled during the spring semester. The 224 total students earning Dean’s List recognition represented 28.9 percent of the Nittany Lion student-athletes enrolled in the most recent semester.

The combined average GPA was 3.10 among Penn State’s 31 varsity sports this past spring. The efforts of the student-athletes resulted in 22 teams earning a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher, tied for the second-highest in school history.

“This outstanding academic performance is a tribute to the efforts our talented and highly motivated student-athletes as they pursue their academic dreams, the priority placed on academic achievement by our coaches, and the support they receive from our dedicated Morgan Academic Center staff, faculty and administration,” said Sandy Barbour, Director of Athletics. “We are striving every day to providing conditions for our student-athletes to develop as well-rounded and educated citizens who will be engaged in their communities as well as after their graduation.”

The tremendous academic success during the most recent semester continues the significant upward track in the number of Penn State student-athletes earning a 3.0 GPA during the spring semester over the past six years, up 26.6 percent since 2011:

Student-Athletes With 3.0 GPA; Spring semester, 2011-16 (+26.6 percent)
Spring 2016 – 482 (record)
Spring 2015 – 474
Spring 2014 – 461
Spring 2013 – 450
Spring 2012 – 391
Spring 2011 – 354

Penn State student-athletes have eclipsed their semester 3.0 GPA records during each of the past fall and spring semesters. Last fall, an overall school record 516 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned at least a 3.0 GPA, to break the mark of 500 high achievers set in 2014.

The number of student-athletes posting at least a 3.5 GPA during the spring semester has increased 26.3 percent the past six years from 165 in 2011 to 224 this past spring (see below).

Student-Athletes earning Dean’s List honors; Spring semester, 2011-16 (+26.3 percent)

(3.5 GPA; minimum 12 credits)
Spring 2016 – 224 (record)
Spring 2015 – 221
Spring 2014 – 205
Spring 2013 – 189
Spring 2012 – 172
Spring 2011 – 165

The spring semester performance adds to another banner academic and athletic year for Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. Nittany Lion student-athletes, who have captured 24 Big Ten Championships and seven NCAA titles since September 2012, consistently have been among the most successful in the nation in earning their degrees and academic success. Among some of the recent academic accomplishments are:

– A school record 299 student-athletes garnered Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 2015-16, eclipsing the previous high of 296 from 2012-13. In addition to the overall record, Nittany Lion student-athletes broke school marks for winter (79) and spring/at-large (140) honorees. Penn State leads all Big Ten institutions with 5,576 Academic all-conference honorees since 1991-92, its first year of competition in some Big Ten sports

– Four Penn State student-athletes earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors Nico Megaludis (wrestling), Zain Retherford (wrestling), Haleigh Washington (women’s volleyball) and Tyler Yazujian (football). Penn State’s 193 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time rank No. 4 among Division I institutions.

– A school record-tying 109 Penn State student-athletes graduated this past spring. Including the 2015 fall semester, 140 Nittany Lions had earned their diplomas this year as of May, with approximately 15 more on schedule to graduate in August.

– In April, the NCAA reported that four Penn State teams have perfect four-year Academic Progress Rate scores of 1,000 and that 13 Nittany Lion squads earned perfect APR scores in 2014-15, up from 10 the previous year.

– Last October, the NCAA’s annual study of institutions across the nation revealed Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent compared to the 83 percent average for all Division I institutions.


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