Student rates

Seventh Annual State of Excellence Week Celebrates Student-Athlete Achievements

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania – Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics will highlight the many accomplishments of its more than 800 student-athletes during the seventh annual STATE of Excellence Week, September 5-10. STATE of Excellence Week will also reward coaches and department staff for their commitment to providing a comprehensive student-athlete experience based on four pillars: academic, athletic, civic engagement, and cultural leadership.

The Nittany Lions will celebrate student-athlete success through events and social media posts. The week will culminate with all student-athletes who achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the 2022 spring semester being recognized at Ohio’s football game at Beaver Stadium on Sept. 10, which kicks off at noon.

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 success 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. A total of 18 Penn State teams have a GSR of 90% or higher. The Nittany Lions rank 4th among all Division I schools with 218 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).


Penn State has won 79 all-time national team championships, including the best nine NCAA titles since the 2013 fall semester. The Nittany Lions have won 51 all-time NCAA championships to rank No. 5 on a national level. Penn State leads all schools east of the Mississippi River in NCAA titles. Penn State student-athletes have won 177 NCAA individual championships in 11 different sports.


The Nittany Lions have won 303 conference championships (209 regular season; 94 conference tournaments) since 1941-42. Nittany Lion student-athletes have won 364 individual Big Ten championships and 35 relays in 10 different sports since 1991-92.



State of Excellence Week (September 5-10)



Tuesday, September 6 – Academic success
Penn State’s student-athlete commitment to academic excellence and the support provided by
Morgan Academic Center and ICA staff, faculty, fans and donors will be recognized on social media on team accounts.


The 2021-22 academic year saw student-athletes continue to show off their classroom prowess with the following results:

  • 26 teams with a GPA of 3.0 for the 2021-22 academic year;
  • 157 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars (3.7 GPA in the academic year)
  • 22 students with a perfect 4.0 GPA
  • 478 Academic All-Big Ten selections (3.0 GPA);
  • 7 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans
  • 35.5% of student-athletes achieved Dean’s List recognition (3.5 GPA with 12+ credits) in Spring 2021 semester
  • 68% of student-athletes had a 3.0 or better in the spring 2021 semester.

Wednesday, September 7 – Sporting Excellence

The conference and national champions will be honored on Penn State social media and on the video board at halftime of the Sept. 10 football game against Ohio.
National champions: Chase Clingman (men’s gymnastics), Roman Bravo-Young (wrestling), Nick Lee (wrestling), Carter Starocci (wrestling), Aaron Brooks (wrestling) and Max Dean (wrestling), as well as the entire state of Penn wrestling program, will be honored on the field at the Oct. 1 football game.

Thursday, September 8 – Cultural Leadership

Penn State Coaches Show featuring james franklin at Field Burger and Tap: Christina DiazAssistant Athletic Director for Development and Enrichment will join Steve Jones on the Penn State Coaches Show presented by Pepsi to discuss Nittany Lion student-athlete cultural leadership.

Friday, September 9 – Civic Engagement

Let’s Go State Podcast: Student-athletes from multiple sports, including women’s gymnastics, women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s lacrosse, will join Brian Tripp on the Let’s Go State podcast to discuss civic engagement.

Saturday September 10
Student-athletes with spring semester 2022 GPAs of 3.0 or higher will be recognized at halftime of the Penn State-Ohio football game.