David B. Henson, vice president for student services, said enrollment systemwide is estimated at 64,041. At West Lafayette, enrollment increased 471 students to 35,156. Freshmen comprised the biggest class at 7,728 students, the second largest group of freshman students since the record set in 1988.
"We are obviously pleased with the enrollment growth," Henson said. "We think Purdue is an excellent place to learn, and people throughout the campus have worked hard during the past year to help young people come to the same conclusion."
Henson said the undergraduate schools have been working closely with the Office of Admissions on student recruitment. "The partnerships that have been developed have put students in contact with faculty and staff within the undergraduate schools early in the decision-making process," he said. "That personal contact with the academic staff, I think, is a critical difference in which institution a student selects."
The number of first-year students at the West Layette campus increased for the second straight year during a time when other institutions are having difficulty recruiting new high-school graduates, said Douglas L. Christiansen, director of admissions.
In addition to the personal contact, students appreciate a quick response when they apply to a school, Christiansen said. "The integrated application process is one of the important things we do for potential students," he said. "Once we receive a student's application, high-school transcript, standardized test scores and application fee, we can have a decision about admission and information about costs, financial aid and on-campus housing on the way back to the student in two days."
The undergraduate enrollment at the West Lafayette campus rose 585 students to 28,567, said Marlesa A. Roney, registrar.
Graduate school enrollment is down 240 students to 6,157. The number of students seeking professional degrees in pharmacy and pharmacal sciences increased 128 students this year to 183. Enrollment in the veterinary medicine professional degree program is down two students from last year to 249.
The West Lafayette enrollment consists of 20,255 men and 14,901 women, a ratio of 4 to 3, the same as last year. Of those enrolled in undergraduate programs, 74 percent are Indiana residents.
The report shows a slight decrease in ethnic enrollment. There are 1,229 African-American students this fall compared with 1,247 a year ago. The Asian-American student population decreased by nine to 1,345. The number of Hispanic students at Purdue is 737, down from 744 students. American Indian enrollment increased by 11 students to 157.
Although student enrollment at West Lafayette increased, it did not do so at the expense of admission standards, Christiansen said. "Admission criteria have not changed at all from previous years," he said.
Enrollments at other Purdue campuses are expected to remain fairly steady. Enrollment at Calumet and Indianapolis and in Statewide Technology is still in progress.
Enrollment in the Statewide Technology program is estimated at 1,715 students. Statewide Technology classes are taught in Anderson, Columbus, Elkhart, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Muncie, New Albany, Richmond, South Bend and Versailles.
The undergraduate schools and their enrollments are:
There are 212 students enrolled in Undergraduate Studies, a new program at Purdue's West Lafayette campus. There are 381 students enrolled in University Division. Both programs are for students who have not decided on a major.
The largest enrollment increase came in the School of Technology. Dean Don K. Gentry said job opportunities and starting salaries are driving up enrollment in technology programs. "Students and their families do look closely at a program's career potential," he said. "We also have an advantage being one of the few technology schools in the country."
Dennis J. Weidenaar, dean of the School of Management, said his staff has worked on increasing enrollment by marketing the program to potential students and expanding student and high-school contacts. "We've also increased the number of merit scholarships available to students with the contributions of alumni and friends," he said. "Our faculty and staff are more keenly attuned to the needs of the students. Plus the publicity that goes with being a nationally ranked business program helps."
Purdue's School of Agriculture continues to grow, with its enrollment increasing every year since 1987. "Students around the country have gotten the message that Purdue's School of Agriculture is much more than production farming," said Victor L. Lechtenberg, Dean of Agriculture. "Our job placement rate is more than 90 percent, with only one out of 12 students going into production. As long as our placement rate continues, I believe we can continue to grow."
Sources: David B. Henson (765) 494-5776; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marlesa A. Roney (765) 494-6133; e-mail, email@example.com
Douglas L. Christiansen (765) 494-1776; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
Victor L. Lechtenberg, (765) 494-8392; e-mail, email@example.com
Dennis J. Weidenaar, (765) 494-4366; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
Don K. Gentry, (765) 494-2552
Writer: J. Michael Willis (765) 494-0371; e-mail, email@example.com
To the Purdue News and Photos Page