Purdue University is expecting its largest-ever incoming class for the fall semester. The university says more than 10,000 freshmen, which would be the largest incoming freshman class at any Big Ten school since at least 2005, are expected to arrive on campus for in-person learning, with increases of both Indiana and out-of-state residents.
Purdue says the number exceeds the 2020 incoming class by nearly 1,200 students and is the fourth time in the past five years that the university has seen a record freshman class.
“We’ve become accustomed to rising demand for a Purdue education, but this latest surge surpassed all our projections,” President Mitch Daniels said. “It imposes a great responsibility on us to maintain and enhance the quality and value that is attracting these record classes. Fortunately, we’ve had lots of experience doing that.”
Purdue says the expected record enrollment includes an increase in the number of Indiana residents from 4,418 to 4,647, the biggest increase since 2007. The incoming class also includes an increase in the number of out-of-state residents from 3,643 to 4,643.
The university attributes the size of the incoming class in part to the success of the Protect Purdue Plan and the investment in safeguarding the student experience over the last year and in the future.
“National surveys tell us that a college’s response to COVID-19 greatly influences a student’s likelihood to enroll,” said Kris Wong Davis, vice provost for enrollment management. “While many schools were not able to open last fall, we were determined to safely welcome back our students after they told us in overwhelming numbers that they hoped we would.”
According to the university, there is also a demand for its graduates. 95% of students have successful outcomes as reported by Purdue’s Center for Career Opportunities.
Purdue says work is underway to expand academic resources for next year, including searches for 151 tenure-track and clinical faculty, additional student support staff, classrooms as well as additional housing.