Purdue enrollment and graduation rates up

Published November 2016

The newest class of Boilermakers — 7,243 new freshmen — is the largest first-year class in recent history and includes 3,809 in-state students, the highest number of Hoosier freshmen since 2009. Why? Recognizing the value of a Purdue education, more than 48,000 students applied to Purdue for the 2016-17 academic year, a university record.

"Our overarching goal is to provide higher education at the highest proven value, and this is key to Purdue's enrollment increase," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels.

Still, bringing in new students is only part of the equation — keeping them in school and helping them graduate with strong credentials is equally important. Purdue is succeeding there, too. The four-year and six-year graduation rates increased to 55.9 percent and 77 percent from 51.5 percent and 75.4 percent, respectively. The first-year retention rate is at 91.8 percent compared with 91 percent last year, and the second-year retention rate is 88 percent, up from last year's 87.7 percent.

For the first time on record, first-year retention rates for African American students surpassed their overall cohort, reaching 92.2 percent this year. Hispanic students also reached a new high (91.1 percent), nearly equaling the overall rate.

Many areas across campus work together to increase student retention, providing student support throughout the entire college experience. Programs include learning communities, diversity-focused initiatives, student organizations, mentoring and other opportunities.

“The graduation rate continues to increase because students are well-prepared when they arrive at Purdue, and they are increasingly supported with student programming and opportunities to help them succeed,” said Pamela T. Horne, vice provost for enrollment management and dean of admissions. “Purdue offers opportunities through engaging coursework, study abroad and leadership development, which are proven to pay off after graduation, according to the Gallup-Purdue Index.”

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