What cutbacks Purdue University has made to freeze tuition

Student affordability continues to be a number one priority at Purdue University. For the last seven years, Purdue has held tuition flat.

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 6:54 PM
Updated: Apr 17, 2018 11:46 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Student affordability continues to be a number one priority at Purdue University. For the last seven years, Purdue has held tuition flat.

So, how has the university been able to make it work? News 18 sat down with President Mitch Daniels to learn about what cutbacks Purdue has made.

When it comes to picking a college, cost can be a determining factor.

"So, one of the things I thought about when coming here was the difference between how much it was going to cost versus what opportunities am I going to have?" said Purdue student Anissa Orozco.

Fortunately for Orozco, she could have both low tuition cost and opportunities at Purdue. It's because for seven consecutive years, the university has frozen tuition.

"I know it's something that a lot of students worry about so it's really great to hear that Purdue is doing such a great job to ensure kids don't have to worry about that kind of stuff anymore," said Orozco.

However, many want to know how Purdue has been able to hold tuition flat for so many years.

"I'm not too sure why they're doing it, so I would like to know why," said Josh Nobbe.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said there are a number of factors.

"More students is a big part of the answer, and we know that the freeze is attracting more students," said Daniels.

Another reason is because of cutbacks like using less paper. Daniels calculated that the reduction of paper just in the last year or two, if stacked up, would go up halfway up to the campus bell tower. He said the university has also found dozens of ways to build and repair things on campus less expensively than in the past.

"We're now one of the least expensive big ten schools. Let me talk about room and board for a minute. Five years ago we were the second most expensive Big Ten. We're now second or third least expensive in the Big Ten," said Daniels.

Daniels said tuition in 2020 will be the same as tuition paid in 2012. In addition, 59 percent of undergrads graduated debt free in 2017.

"With all of the classes and opportunities that we have here on campus, it's incredible that they're even offering that at such a low tuition rate. So, they're ensuring a lot of opportunities for us," said Orozco.

Daniels said Purdue Global will also help out with future tuition freezes. In the first five years, the university will make a minimum of $10 million off the online university.

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