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Penn State Athletics: Student-Athletes Continue Above Average Graduation Rates

by on October 24, 2013 1:28 PM

Penn State student-athletes continue to graduate well above the nationwide average according to information released Thursday by the NCAA.

The NCAA's annual study reveals that Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent. That's seven percent higher than the national average. The NCAA says the graduation rate for all Division I schools is 81 percent. The numbers cover all students who entered college from 2003-04 through the 2006-07.

Most successfully, the Nittany Lion basketball and Lady Lion basketball teams earned perfect GSR scores of 100 percent. The Penn State football team posted a GSR of 85 percent. That's 15 percent higher than the national average. The men's basketball perfect score is 30 points higher than the national average for the sport.  

In total, 20 of Penn State's 25 teams (track/cross country teams combined) earned a Graduation Success Rate at or above the national GSR average.

"This academic report demonstrates Penn State's on-going commitment to scholarship and athletic performance," says Penn State President Rodney Erickson. "Penn State student-athletes represent the best in intercollegiate sports, and I couldn't be more proud of the student-athletes, coaches and staff members who support their academic success. This is a great achievement. Congratulations to everyone in our Intercollegiate Athletics program."

Penn State African-American student-athletes earned an 88-percent GSR which is the second-highest figure in school history and second-best within the Big Ten conference. That's 22-percent higher than the national average. Northwestern has the Big Ten's highest graduation rate for African-American student-athletes -- 92 percent.

Overall, of the 2006-07 entering freshman class, 77 percent of Penn State student-athletes earned degrees within six years, roughly 12 percent above the national average. The graduation rate for all Penn State students in that class was 86 percent.

Thursday's data marks the 23rd annual release of graduation rates since national "right-to-know" legislation was passed in 1990. The GSR data was created and released in 2005. 

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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