Illinois State University student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom despite the academic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they posted a semester departmental grade-point average (GPA) of 3.31 during the fall 2021 semester, as announced by Assistant Athletics Director for Academics and Life Skills Joe Klausner on Thursday. 

“Our Redbird student-athletes had another tremendous fall semester in the classroom, and we are so proud as a department to have them be such great ambassadors for our University and community,” Klausner said. “Transitioning back to a more traditional setting of in-person teaching provided unique challenges across college campuses and yet, watching our Redbirds in the classroom this past fall with positive attitudes and determination to succeed was inspiring. Our Redbirds continue to soar academically and have built upon a culture of academic excellence and competing in the classroom.”

ISU’s women’s programs combined for a 3.58 cumulative GPA and the Illinois State men’s teams combined to earn a 3.08 GPA. The women’s golf (3.80) and men’s tennis (3.61) teams were the GPA award winners for highest marks among the women’s and men’s programs, respectively. The women’s track and field program also set a team semester GPA record of 3.38 topping the previous high of 3.34.

A total of 338 Redbird student-athletes were named to the AFNI Honor Roll, accounting for 71 percent of the group. Additionally, a total of 125 student-athletes posted perfect 4.0 GPAs during the fall semester.

“It takes a strong support system to yield these types of results. Our students put in the work, but a big thank you to our coaches for supporting our academic culture here at ISU,” Klausner said. “Additionally, thank you to the tremendous staff at the Karin L. Bone Athletics Study Center for their diligent work and care toward working with our student-athletes. Results like this illustrate a strong support system in place from various groups and individuals, and I can’t thank those enough who assist in the experiences of our student-athletes. I know the foundations of academic achievement have been established here at ISU, and I look forward to watching our Redbirds’ continued success in the classroom.”