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December 15, 2009

Purdue begins admitting students after record year of applicants

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A record number of high school seniors applied to Purdue compared to this time last year, university officials reported Tuesday (Dec. 15).

Purdue's application volume so far has increased 20 percent to more than 24,000 applications, up from 20,000 this time last year. The university's Office of Admissions on Friday (Dec. 11) began contacting more than 15,000 students to inform them of the admissions decision.

"Purdue's academic reputation continues to attract a great number of applicants," said Purdue President France A. Córdova. "Purdue has high expectations for our incoming students, and the university is committed to supporting these students so they succeed and graduate in a timely manner."

Indiana resident applications are up 30 percent from this time last year, and all but 60 residents have been offered admission to the Purdue system so far, said Pamela Horne, assistant vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions.

"We are pleased that the diversity and academic quality of the admitted students is very strong," Horne said. "This is a very competitive time, and we are working with students to help them decide if Purdue is the best fit for them. Just in the last few years, we have seen the trend of students making second campus visits after they learn of admittance. Their first impressions are very important, but now they want to come back for a more in-depth look, and that often means speaking with students and faculty, particularly regarding their academic major programs."

The university is still accepting applications, and those students will be notified as soon as decisions are made; generally within a few weeks after all required documents are received.

Admitted students can immediately accept their offers of admission with a $200 enrollment deposit and then apply for housing and register for orientation programs online. Accepted students also should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible and no later than March 1. Students can wait as late as May 1 - the National Candidate Reply Date - to commit to a particular university.

In August U.S.News & World Report included Purdue in its list of 24 public universities that offer the most outstanding first-year experience programming in the nation. The same month, Princeton Review quoted a student as saying: "Purdue boasts an 'absolutely amazing' freshman orientation program."

In addition to the freshman orientation program, Boiler Gold Rush, students also can participate in learning communities, a program in which groups of 20-30 freshmen enroll in two or more courses based on a major or theme and can choose to live in the same residence hall. Some students also benefit from computer-driven classroom technologies that give real-time feedback about their learning. These types of programs have helped boost Purdue's retention rate of students from freshman to sophomore year to 87.2 percent - an all-time high.

This year, Purdue has consistently received national and international attention as the university's rankings climb. In August 2009 U.S.News & World Report ranked Purdue 22nd among the nation's public universities. This was a four-place increase from 26th in 2008. Purdue also was ranked 61st among all universities, up from 66th in 2008.

In October the Times Higher Education - QS World University Rankings ranked Purdue in its top 100.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Sources:   France A. Córdova,

Pamela Horne, 765-494-9116,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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