sealPurdue News

November 1999

One-stop admissions available at Purdue Web site

Sources: Christiansen, (765) 494-1776,
Brzezinski, (765) 494-7084
Gordon, (765) 494-0246

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – High school students now can apply at Purdue University without filing a single piece of paper.

Prospective students can fill out an application, pay the application fee and complete a financial aid estimater online at the Purdue University Web Application site.

"Several years ago we refocused our admissions efforts on an integrated application that helps the prospective students access all services they will need to start classes at Purdue," said Douglas Christiansen, director of admissions. "We've continued that effort, only this time on the World Wide Web."

Unlike most other universities, Purdue offers an integrated system. Prospective students enter their information into Purdue's computer systems rather than into systems run by third-party companies used by most other universities. Data about prospective students applying on the Web site is downloaded nightly to the university's student information system.

"Many universities have online applications: that's not new anymore," Christiansen said. "Quite a few allow payment of application fees with MasterCard or Visa. There are only a dozen or so that allow prospective students to save and modify their application information. Even fewer have a financial aid estimater. We're among an elite two or three institutions that have all these services online."

Once a student completes the application, he or she will be sent an e-mail acknowledgment as a reminder to submit the high school transcript and standardized test scores before the application can be evaluated. After all the necessary information is received, a Purdue admissions counselor can approve the application within 48 hours.

Christiansen estimates that about one-third of Purdue's freshman class of 2000 will apply online.

The electronic application guides the prospective student through the process with help files and data entry filters that help ensure accuracy. The Web site also is easily accessible for users with older computers. Lee Gordon, director of student services computing, said the design deliberately avoided features such as frames and Javascript than cannot be interpreted by Web browsers released before 1997 such as Netscape Navigator 2 or Internet Explorer 2. The site also can be used by text-based Web browsers such as Lynx. The site also is designed for use by people with visual impairments.

The Web-based system is a significant time-saver for prospective students living outside the United States, said Michael Brzezinski, director of International Students and Scholars. "This system can save five weeks for international students or U.S. students living abroad," he said. "Instead of mailing a letter across the oceans to request an application form, a student can now apply for admission online in less than one hour." Brzezinski said he believes that up to 30 percent of the international freshman class of 2000 will use this service.


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