Penn State Tops the Charts in Student-Athlete Graduation Rates

As the Nittany Lions continue to excel at their different sports, the student-athletes that make up each program's team are going above and beyond in the classroom. 

In nearly every major category, the Nittany Lions far exceed the national Division I average, according to statistics released by the NCAA. As a whole, the entire group of Penn State University Park athletes holds an 89 percent Graduation Success Rate, five points above the Division I average of 84 percent. Penn State's female student athletes hold one of the best total averages with a 95 percent graduation rate compared to the national average of 91 percent.

Seven teams earned a 100 percent graduation rate: men's basketball, field hockey, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's soccer, softball and women's tennis. The men's basketball team's 100 percent rate is an amazing 24 points higher than the national average of 76 percent.

Overall, Penn State is ranked No. 3 among Big Ten schools in student-athlete graduation rates.

Both President Eric Barron and Athletic Director Sandy Barbour expressed their pride in learning the results for their program's student-athletes and their committment to education.

“Long hours of practice, a full schedule of home and away games, and challenging academic schedules require an incredible amount of discipline and commitment by student-athletes,” Barron said. “I’m very proud that Penn State student-athletes continue to achieve noteworthy success in the classroom and in athletic competitions. Congratulations to the student-athletes, coaches, advisors, staff, families and fans for supporting excellence in every arena.” 

Barbour offered a similar sentiment, stating that the proof is essentially in the pudding in terms of Penn State's academic excellence.

“Every day, in everything they do, our student-athletes, coaches, staff and administration, strive for comprehensive excellence, including results in the classroom, athletic venues and community,” Barbour said. “These outstanding graduation rates tell an important part of our story, and serve as concrete evidence of our commitment and focus on academics, as well as our students’ preparation for life beyond Penn State. These numbers show that our commitment to student-athletes over the years has been steadfast and our pursuit of comprehensive excellence is as strong as our commitment of Penn State’s values.” 

These numbers give a whole lot more meaning to the phrase, "We Are!"


Graph via GoPSUsports

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