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Purdue to have largest freshman class in history next fall

More than 10,000 freshmen are expected to head to West Lafayette for in-person classes next fall.
Credit: WTHR

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — For the second year in a row, Purdue University expects to welcome its largest ever freshman class for the fall of 2021.

More than 10,000 freshmen are expected to head to West Lafayette in the fall — more than any other Big Ten school since at least 2005. The record-breaking class includes an increased number of enrollment of both in-state and out-of-state students. The university also expects nearly 800 international students.

Purdue received more than 58,000 applications for fall 2021 admittance, which was also a record.

"We've become accustomed to rising demand for a Purdue education, but this latest surge surpassed all our projections," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. "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."

The school credits its return to in-person instruction as one reason why the incoming class is so large.

"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."

With a history of recognition for its engineering, hospitality and tourism management and speech-language pathology programs, Purdue also has strong academics attracting prospective students.

To keep up with the growing student population, Purdue is searching for more than 150 tenure-track and clinical faculty to start in the fall in the fall. The university is also searching for additional student support staff, additional classroom space and more housing.

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