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Purdue Announces Unprecedented 7th Year of Tuition Freeze
Indiana Ag Connection - 04/13/2018

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels on Thursday announced plans to hold tuition constant on the West Lafayette campus for a seventh year in a row, extending the tuition freeze through the 2019-20 academic year.

This means students at the West Lafayette campus will be paying nearly the same in tuition and fees as they were in 2012-13, and five graduating classes will have earned their Purdue degrees without ever having a tuition increase. When combined with room and board rates that have been held flat or lowered and potential textbook savings through Purdue's Amazon partnership, current students' total cost of attendance is lower than in 2012-13.

It is estimated that from fiscal years 2013-19 Purdue families have saved a total of about $465 million through the university's deferral of tuition, fee, and room and board increases. Current Indiana resident students would be paying $1,400 a year more if Purdue had raised its tuition by the national average for four-year public universities; non-resident students would be paying $5,560 more per year if tuition had increased by the Big Ten average.

"A Purdue education will be less expensive in 2020 than it was in 2012. This commitment to affordability has kept Purdue attractive to prospective students and has helped save families millions of dollars," Daniels said. "Coupled with continued investments in the quality of our academic programs, we believe Purdue is delivering on our goal of higher education at the highest proven value."

Among Purdue's strategic investments in research and academic excellence are: $250 million for the Pillars of Excellence in the Life Sciences; $200 million for the College of Engineering expansion; $29.5 million to create the Purdue Polytechnic Institute; $7.2 million to transform traditional courses to active-learning classrooms; $39.4 million in scholarship funding investments; and a $16 million, five-year subsidy to encourage study abroad. The university also has launched major facilities to enhance the student learning experience, such as the Wilmeth Active Learning Center and the Honors College and Residences.

"Purdue continues to set itself apart as a university committed to protecting students' interests," said Sam Eschker, president of Purdue Student Government. "In my time at Purdue, I reaped the benefits of frozen tuition, and I am grateful that students in the years to come will be able to do the same."

Sponsored research funding at the university also hit $418.3 million in fiscal year 2017, besting the previous year's record of $403 million. Fundraising in the same year also hit an annual record of $351.9 million, with more than 85,000 individual donors making gifts to Purdue. It also marked the first time in Purdue's history that fundraising topped $300 million for three consecutive years.

In addition to its tuition restraint policy, the university has worked to help reduce student debt. These efforts have led to 59 percent of Purdue West Lafayette undergraduates graduating debt-free in the 2016-17 academic year, the highest figure on record, compared to an average of less than 40 percent at other four-year public universities. Among resident undergraduates with debt, the average amount owed by West Lafayette graduates has declined every year since the 2012-13 academic year. And the student loan default rate stood at 2.5 percent (0.8 percent for students who graduated), compared to the national average of 7.5 percent at public four-year universities.

Tuition and fees at Purdue's West Lafayette campus are $9,992 for Indiana residents, $28,794 for nonresidents and $30,954 for international students.

May 1 is the national deadline for students to select a university for next fall. To help students weigh critical factors in making that choice, Purdue produced a college planning checklist based on findings on survey findings from the Gallup-Purdue Index designed to help students know what questions to ask as they narrow down their choices.

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