Nittany Lions excelling academically

Three Penn State squads — field hockey, women’s lacrosse and women’s tennis — received perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores as 23 of the 29 varsity sports at the university have earned a four-year score at or above the Division I average in its respective sports, according to a report released by the NCAA.

Nine Nittany Lions programs — men’s basketball, women’s cross country, field hockey, football, women’s golf, women’s lacrosse, softball, women’s tennis and wrestling — have earned multi-year scores that rank in the top 20 percent nationally.

Penn State has the highest multi-year APR score among Big Ten football teams, while the Nittany Lion basketball team ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lion football and basketball squads and the Lady Lion basketball team all improved their APR score by at least nine points from the 2008 NCAA report.

In April, five Nittany Lion teams - field hockey, softball, women's lacrosse, women's tennis and wrestling - earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards for having APR scores in the top 10 percent nationally for their respective sport during the 2007-08 academic year.

Penn State's five honored teams were tied for second-highest in the Big Ten Conference. The Nittany Lions have placed second in the Big Ten all three years of the NCAA's Public Recognition program.

Penn State student-athletes earned a record Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent compared to a 78 percent average for all Division I institutions, according to NCAA data released in October 2008. Twenty-two of Penn State's 25 teams earned a GSR score above the national average (track and field and cross country are counted as one sport) and 21 Nittany Lion teams earned a GSR higher than the national average for their respective sport.

Eleven Penn State squads earned a GSR of 100 percent, according to the 2008 NCAA report.