Nittany Lions Post Second-Highest Graduation Success Rate Among AP Top 25 Teams
Oct. 22, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., - The Penn State football team has the second-highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) among teams ranked in this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll, according to data recently released by the NCAA.
Among students entering Penn State in the fall of 1997 through 2000, Nittany Lion football student-athletes earned a GSR of 76 percent, easily above the national GSR average of 67 percent.
Boston College (93) is the only team in the AP Top 25 with a higher GSR than Penn State.
For the second consecutive year, Coach Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions posted the second highest GSR among teams in the Big Ten Conference, trailing only Northwestern.
The Graduation Success Rate data includes only student-athletes receiving athletic aid and is generated from four years of graduation data. The GSR data also includes student-athlete transfers to Penn State that receive athletic aid.
Student-athletes from 21 of Penn State's 25 teams earned a GSR at or above 80 percent according to the latest NCAA data. Ten Penn State squads earned a Graduation Success Rate of 100 percent. (Track and field and cross country are counted as one sport).
Later this year, the NCAA will release each institution's overall Graduation Success Rate and federal graduation rate for students entering in the fall of 1997 through 2000.
The strong Graduation Success Rate result is the latest success in a long line of academic achievement for members of Paterno's program, who consistently are near the top nationally in graduation success:
* According to the "2006 NCAA Division I Graduation Rates Report," Penn State's 83 percent football graduation rate was third highest in the nation among all Division I-A public institutions and 2006-07 bowl teams. The Nittany Lions had the seventh-highest graduation rate overall among all of the nation's 119 Division I-A programs, including the best among Big Ten Conference institutions.
The Penn State football team's graduation rate of 83 percent for students entering in 1999 was 28 points higher than the national average of 55 percent.
* Among African-American football student-athletes entering in 1999-2000, the Nittany Lions posted a graduation figure of 71 percent to significantly exceed the 49 percent national average. Penn State's four-year graduation rate for African-American players was 72 percent, 23 points higher than the national average.
* All-America linebacker Paul Posluszny was selected the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American® of the Year, becoming a two-time first team Academic All-American®. Defensive end Tim Shaw also earned first team Academic All-America® honors in 2006 and safety Nolan McCready was a second team Academic All-American®.
During Paterno's tenure, Penn State has had 35 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans® (26 first team), 15 National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes (including Posluszny in 2006) and 18 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winners. Penn State ranks fourth among all Division I-A institutions in Academic All-America® football honorees.
* The Nittany Lions had 18 Academic All-Big Ten football honorees in 2006, improving their conference-leading total to 190 from 1993-2006.
No. 24 Penn State (6-2, 3-2) hosts No. 1 Ohio State (8-0, 4-0) Saturday at 8:00 p.m. in sold out Beaver Stadium. The showdown will air on ABC, the Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com, the official website of Penn State Athletics. A Student White Out has been declared.