Student record

One hundred and forty-two Penn State student-athletes set to graduate at spring ceremonies

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania. – One hundred and forty-two Penn State student-athletes are scheduled to graduate this weekend (May 6-8) at graduation ceremonies. The 142 student-athletes on the intent-to-graduate list add to the 17 student-athletes in the fall graduation and bring Penn State’s total number of graduates to 159 for the 2021 academic year. -22.

All 31 teams have at least one Nittany Lion student-athlete intent on graduating. The football and men’s lacrosse programs lead Penn State’s athletic department with 14 student-athletes each.

Among the students who have expressed their intention to graduate is softball’s Claire Swedberg, who was selected as the health and human development marshal for the college of biobehavioral health. Swedberg has a perfect GPA of 4.0 and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to complete her master’s degree in global health at Maastricht University in the Netherlands starting this fall. On the men’s side, two-time NCAA wrestling champion Roman Bravo-Young will graduate, while football stars and current NFL players Saquon Barkley and Shaka Toney are set to graduate.

In the 2021-22 academic year, 159 Nittany Lions graduated (Fall 2021-17, Spring 2022 – 142).

Penn State among the top athletic programs in the nation for overall excellence

Under Barbour’s leadership, Penn State has one of the most comprehensive and successful athletic programs in the nation, with 800 student-athletes in 31 varsity programs (16 men, 15 women). The Nittany Lions’ 31 programs are tied for the fourth-most institution-sponsored sports in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

Nittany Lion students posted an NCAA graduation pass rate (GSR) of 92%, a program record, in the most recent report. Ten teams earned a 100% graduation rate in the 2021 NCAA Graduation Rate Report. The Nittany Lions rank 4th among all Division I schools with 213 all-time CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.

Penn State student-athletes have led the athletics department to 47 Big Ten championships and nine NCAA national championships since October 2013. Penn State is one of five schools to have won at least 10 NCAA championships since 2012 and obtained at least 90% diplomas. Success rate in the 2021 NCAA report (Stanford, Florida, USC, Virginia). The Nittany Lions rank fifth in the Learfield IMG College Manager’s Cup after the fall season.

Record NCAA degree completion rate
The NCAA’s 2021 Graduation Rate Report from Division I institutions across the country found that Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus achieved a successful graduation rate (GSR ) by 92% to tie the school’s all-time record of 92, which was previously set in the NCAA’s 2020 report. Nittany Lion students posted a 92% graduation rate compared to the 89% average for all Division I institutions for incoming students from 2011-12 through the 2014-15 academic year.


Penn State student-athletes have had graduation success rates in the range of 88-92% in each of the last 15 NCAA reports, rising from 88% in the 2015 report to a record ratio of 92% in 2020 and 2021. Sixteen of the 27 Nittany Lions teams (men’s and women’s track and field/cross country teams combined) achieved a graduation pass rate equal to or greater than the National Division I GSR average for their respective sport. A total of 18 Penn State teams have a GSR of 90% or higher.