Positively Promoting the Student Athlete Since 1992

’Cats Conclude Record-Setting Year in the Classroom

EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern capped off a record-breaking year in the classroom with all 19 varsity programs posting a department-record average team GPA of 3.427.

“As we step back and process the totality of our Wildcats’ academic accomplishments this year, to say we are proud is an enormous understatement,” said Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips. “This level of achievement would be incredible under normal circumstances, but to witness the discipline and commitment necessary to finish the school year remotely was truly inspiring. These young men and women are among the absolute best and brightest in college athletics, and continue to set a standard on what it means to be a student-athlete.”

In addition to the success across all programs, a school-record 288 student-athletes were recognized with Academic All-Big Ten honors this past year, most recently headlined by 101 spring and at-large nominees to set a program record as the baseball (21), fencing (22) and lacrosse (25) programs all led their respective sports in total honorees.

Northwestern led the Big Ten Conference in the fall with a school-record 127 student-athletes earning academic distinction from the Conference office, with the football (57), men’s soccer (15) and volleyball (13) programs each leading their respective sports in total number of honorees.

The Wildcats continued to raise the standard in the winter as five programs combined to match a school-record with 60 Academic All-Big Ten honorees. In the midst of a Big Ten championship on the court, the women’s basketball program also led the way in the Big Ten with 10 recipients, including all five of the team’s starters.

Northwestern has now matched or set a program-record for number of recipients in four-consecutive Academic All-Big Ten announcements. To earn Academic All-Big Ten distinction, an athlete must be in at least their second year at the institution and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0-or-better.

This past spring, the Big Ten announced that twelve Northwestern programs posted perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores, matching an institutional record. Twelve NU programs led the way in the conference, including the men’s basketball program which finished as the only Big Ten basketball program (and one of 12 DI programs nationally) to post a perfect score.

The Wildcats’ football program posted a 995 APR score, leading all other Big Ten programs by nine points. Pat Fitzgerald’s program has now ranked in the Top-3 among FBS programs for 10 consecutive years. In addition, Northwestern Football’s 100% graduation success rate (announced in Fall of 2019), marked the first time a Power 5 football program has had a perfect mark.

In June, the ‘Cats continued their record run in the classroom as the conference office announced that a school-record 106 Northwestern student-athletes had earned Big Ten Distinguished Scholar recognition, given to those earning a GPA of 3.70 or better during the previous academic year. For the first time ever, all 19 varsity programs had at least one recipient of the prestigious honor, while the total of 106 student-athletes shatters the previous school record (86) set in 2018-19.

Among the many talented graduates from the class of 2020 that plan to continue their education are Charlie Maxwell (baseball) and Allie Lindroth (volleyball), who were both selected as NU’s Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship winners for the 2019-20 year.