Purdue's incoming class projected to raise academic profile

May 13, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The group of first-year students Purdue expects on its West Lafayette campus this fall will be the university's most academically prepared ever, according to preliminary admissions data.

"Purdue's reputation continues to attract high-caliber students, and while many schools are competing for these students, there are a number of people and key initiatives at Purdue that attract them to West Lafayette," said Pamela T. Horne, associate vice provost for enrollment management and dean of admissions. "For example, the new Honors College is a priority for many of these top students. We also have personalized recruiting strategies in which administrators, such as Purdue President Mitch Daniels, call top students to encourage them to choose Purdue. These initiatives make an impact on many admitted students and their families."

The projected percentage of Indiana students accepting admissions to Purdue this year is 59.8 percent, which is up compared to last year's 58.4 percent. These students' academic credentials are also on the rise. At this time, the average SAT composite score is up 21 points to 1770 this year, which will be updated when enrollment figures and student academic profiles are finalized in September. Since 2009, the average SAT total score for first-year students has increased 62 points.

More of the state's highest achievers also are choosing Purdue.

This year 334 of Indiana's top students - those with an A high school grade average and a total SAT score of 2100 - are expected to enroll at Purdue. That number is up from 281 in 2012 and 240 in 2011.

"In an unprecedented way, Purdue is the destination for high-achieving Indiana students," said Daniels, who has contacted high school seniors who received some of Purdue's top scholarship awards - such as Presidential Scholars, Trustees, Emerging Leaders, Steven C. Beering and Stamps Family Charitable Foundation - to congratulate and welcome them to Purdue. "Any student arriving this fall can get an education at Purdue that is equal to or better than that at any university in the country at a cost far lower."

The number of applications to Purdue also continues to climb. At this time, the West Lafayette campus has received 30,804 applications, up 0.2 percent from this time last year. If the trend continues, applications are expected to be a new record or hold with last year's all-time high of 30,903. Horne said interest in Purdue continues to increase because the university is known for the value of its education and its high return on investment.

The president and many deans have spent their evenings calling admitted students to answer questions and speak to interested parents, Horne said. Current students also reach out to accepted students to answer questions about academic programs and campus life.

Purdue's academic strength also is enhanced with the new Honors College, Horne said. This fall the college is expecting more than 620 first-year students, which is 100 more than anticipated. Recruiting efforts for this group of students include special campus visit days with opportunities for high school students to sit in on current honors classes. 

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu 

Sources: Pamela T. Horne, 765-494-7014, pamhorne@purdue.edu

Mitch Daniels, president@purdue.edu

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