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Record 461 Penn State Student-Athletes Earn 3.0 GPA During Superb Spring Semester

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Academic All-American David Taylor

July 21, 2014


A school record 461 Penn State student-athletes earned a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher during the spring semester, punctuating an outstanding and record-breaking 2013-14 academic year.

The 461 high achievers is a Penn State record for the spring semester and punctuates a year that saw a school record 468 student-athletes earn a 3.0 GPA or higher during the 2013 fall semester. The 468 tally is the highest at Penn State for any semester, followed by 463 (fall 2012) and the 461 from this past spring.

The 461 student-athletes with a 3.0 GPA topped the previous Penn State spring semester mark of 450 during the 2013 spring semester. The 461 represents 62 percent of Penn State's nearly 800 student-athletes enrolled during the spring semester.

Among the 461 student-athletes earning a GPA of 3.0 or above, a spring semester record 205 earned Dean’s List honors by posting a GPA of 3.50 or higher. The 205 Dean List as students are the second highest overall total at Penn State, trailing only the 211 honorees during the 2012 fall semester. The previous Dean’s List high for the spring semester was 189 in 2013. A minimum of 12 credits are required for Dean’s List recognition.

"I am very proud of our student-athletes and coaches for their outstanding, consistent dedication to academic achievement and its proper place at the forefront of the Penn State student experience," said David Joyner, Director of Athletics. "The credit belongs to the student-athletes, coaches, professors and Morgan Center staff for this superb academic performance from the spring semester, our high graduation rates and many academic successes throughout each year."

The academic performance during the most recent semester continues the steady increase in the number of Penn State student-athletes earning a 3.0 GPA during the spring semester since 2011:

Student-Athletes With 3.0 GPA Dean's List (3.5 GPA; minimum 12 credits)
Spring 2014 - 461 205
Spring 2013 - 450 189
Spring 2012 - 391 172
Spring 2011 - 354 165

The efforts of the student-athletes resulted in a combined average GPA of 3.10 during the spring semester among Penn State's 31 varsity sports. Twenty-one teams earned a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher. The spring semester figures were improvements from the combined 3.04 GPA and 19 teams during the 2013 fall semester.

Penn State student-athletes, who have captured a 16 Big Ten Championships and four NCAA titles the past two years consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees. Among some of the recent academic accomplishments are:

Academic All-American 
Katie Slay 

- A total of 285 Penn State student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 2013-14, the Nittany Lions' second-highest total in their 21 years as Big Ten members. Record totals were broken with 65 (winter) and 136 (spring and at-large) honorees this past year for earning a 3.0 GPA and being a letterwinner.

- The NCAA's annual study of institutions nationwide in October, 2013 revealed that Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent compared to an 81 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2003-04 through 2006-07;

- The NCAA data in October also showed the four-year federal graduation rate average for Penn State student-athletes was 78 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 65 percent, and tied for second among Big Ten Conference institutions;

- Penn State's Katie Slay (women's volleyball), David Taylor (at-large, wrestling) and John Urschel (football) earned first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 2013-14, with Slay being selected the Academic All-American of the Year for women's volleyball. Penn State has had 186 all-time honorees, the third-highest total among Division I institutions, with 40 Academic All-Americans honorees the past six years.

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