WEST LAFAYETTE - The Purdue University College of Agriculture has marked its largest enrollment since 1980. The college has 2,803 students this fall, of which 76 percent are from Indiana and 60 percent are women.

Amy Jo Jones directs the college's undergraduate recruitment and says the enrollment numbers are just a fraction of the whole story. "This is about the quality of students, not just the quantity," she said. "We survey incoming students to ask why they selected Purdue and our College of Agriculture. One of the top answers is consistently because they want to make a difference in their careers and their lives. They are here for the right reason, and that is why we are here, too – to help them make a difference."

The high enrollment numbers include 602 in the freshman class, which doesn't include two groups of students enrolled in the First-Year Engineering program and a group of 45 students in the Pathway to Purdue Agriculture program.  Enrolled students are able to pick from more than 30 majors, with disciplines ranging from science to communication. Last month, Purdue was ranked no. 4 Best Value institution in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education.