May 20, 2016  

Purdue summer enrollment largest on record

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University will have the largest enrollment on record for the 2016 summer session.

Blake Nemelka, director of summer session, said 2016 will see a 10 percent increase over the 2015 summer enrollment numbers.

More than 250 incoming freshmen taking classes will be on campus early, 210 more than in 2015.

Many are taking advantage of Purdue's Think Summer programs hosted by the Division of Summer Session in the Office of the Provost. Those programs include Summer Start, Summer Stay, Early Start and Early Start Engineering. All are part of Purdue's major strategic initiatives to transform education.

The increase in freshmen coming early is largely because of the Summer Start Session, a five-week course to give students a head start on their college career, said Jon Harbor, associate vice provost for teaching and learning. In the program, students get familiar with campus, professors, other students and the ins and outs of college living.

"By expanding summer options, students are more likely to graduate on time and have more ways to balance coursework with other exciting learning experiences such as study abroad, internships, research and co-op programs," Harbor said.

Of the 180 freshmen taking the Summer Start Session, 20 percent are underrepresented minorities, 41 percent are first-generation students, and 74 percent are Indiana residents.

The total number of credit hours being taken in Summer 2016 increased by 15 percent.

A survey of 5,000 students also showed that there is a 16 percent increase over last year in those who plan to be employed while they take summer courses. Those who plan to have an internship while taking classes increased six percent over last year.

The increase comes in a year of records for the university, which is projected to see the largest entering class since 2008 this fall. The class is expected to break records for its diversity and academic profile. The projections are based on the number of admitted students who paid their admissions deposit by the May 2 commitment date. 

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325, 

Sources: Blake Nemelka, 765-494-5296,

Jon Harbor, 765-496-6384, 

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