August 16, 2017

Summer enrollment at Purdue continues to set records

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Summer enrollment at Purdue University set another record in 2017 with a 3.5 percent increase over 2016.

John Gipson, director of summer session, says that 15,849 students were taking classes during the 2017 summer session, compared with 15,322 in 2016.

“Taking summer classes is an excellent way for students to get ahead in their studies,” he says. “By taking courses during multiple summer sessions, students who graduate early and start jobs sooner net anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000, even after taking into account the cost of summer courses and lower summer income.”

Summer isn’t just for returning students either, Gipson says. More than 300 incoming freshmen were on campus early, another jump from the 250 that started early in 2016.

The increase in freshmen coming early is largely because of the Summer Start session, a five-week module to give students a head start on their college careers. In the program, students get familiar with campus, professors, other students and the ins and outs of college living.

Of the 224 freshmen completing the Summer Start session, 21 percent identified as underrepresented minorities, compared with 11 percent of all students who have accepted their offer of admission for Fall 2017; 32 percent are first-generation students; and 76 percent are Indiana residents, compared to 53 percent of all students who have accepted offers of admission for Fall 2017.

“Summer allows for smaller class sizes, flexible options to fit students’ schedules, and more time to dedicate to difficult courses,” Gipson says. “Nearly 60 percent of Purdue students who graduate in four years or less have taken at least one summer course.”

The summer session at Purdue also offers Summer Finish, which is a scholarship initiative intended to help Purdue undergraduate students finish their degrees through summer coursework. This scholarship provides recipients $1,000 toward their tuition and fees for summer courses. There were 63 students that took advantage of the Summer Finish program this year.

“I was able to finish my degree in time to start my graduate program in the fall,” says Hannah Fischer, a student in speech, language, and hearing sciences. “If I had taken the Fall 2017 semester to finish my undergraduate, I would have had to postpone starting my master’s until Fall 2018. The Summer Finish program is extremely helpful for those trying to finish their degree early, either to enter the workforce earlier or save time and money. The scholarship helped me finish my degree in under four years, as well as save money.” 

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325,

Source: John Gipson, director of summer session, 765-494-5296,

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