Student rates

Record 224 student-athletes win Spring All-Big Ten/At-Large Academic Awards

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania. – Two hundred and twenty-four Penn State student-athletes earned Spring Honors/At-Large Academic All-Big Ten, which is a non-alternative ranking program record, to bring the Nittany Lions’ annual total to 478 for 2021-22.

The last 224 honorees bring Penn State’s total number of academic honorees to 7,877 since 1991-92.

To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten, students must be part of a varsity team, be enrolled full-time at the institution for at least 12 months, and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.


Softball’s Claire Swedberg, who was the health and human development marshal for the college of biobehavioral health upon graduation, highlights the list as the only student-athlete with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She also won a Fulbright scholarship to complete her master’s degree in global health at Maastricht University in the Netherlands starting this fall.



Penn State Highest annual totals of top ten colleges
(3.0 GPA):

2021-22: 478*
2020-21: 446^
2018-19: 368
2017-18: 360
2019-20: 350

* – Academic record

^ – alternate scoring system used due to COVID-19.


The Nittany Lions spring/general teams were led overall by women’s athletics with 32 winners. On the men’s side, men’s lacrosse had 28 student-athletes earning All-Big Ten Academic Applause.



Team by team
Baseball – 16
Men’s Lacrosse – 28
Men’s tennis – 8
Men’s Athletics – 21
Men’s Golf – 7
Men’s Fencing – 16
Men’s Volleyball – 14
Women’s fencing – 13
Women’s Golf – 6
Women’s Hockey – 17
Women’s Lacrosse – 22
Softball – 16
Women’s tennis – 8
Women’s Athletics – 32

In 2021-22, Penn State’s Athletic Department finished with a record 478 All-Big Ten scholastic selections.



Penn State Highest Spring/At-Large All-Big Ten Academic Totals (3.0 GPA):
2021 – 226^
2022 – 224*
2019 – 183
2020 – 174^
2018 – 166

* – Academic record

^ – alternate scoring system used due to COVID-19.



Penn State among the top athletic programs in the nation for overall excellence
Below Sandy Barbour, 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 place 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.