Is Purdue University a Good School?

One of the most highly ranked public institutions in Indiana and the entire country is Purdue University. So, does this mean it should be your top-choice school if you want to enjoy the best possible degree and college experience?

Purdue University is ideal for students who like to earn a highly ranked degree at the fraction of the cost of going to an elite private school. It’s particularly good for those interested in the STEM fields, especially engineering. Purdue is great for students who wish to have a college city life.

Here’s a fact about the school that tends to fly under the radar of many: Purdue has its very own airport — the Purdue University Airport is the first university-owned airport in the US!

Not a fan of flying? Then these quick stats might make Purdue University land at the top of your college list:

  • Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Founding date: 1869
  • Motto: We are Purdue. Makers, all.
  • Campus size: 2,307 acres
  • Campus type: City
  • School type: Conservative public land-grant research university
  • Reputation: Non-party school
  • Selectivity level: Less selective
  • Number of majors: Over 200
  • Popular majors: Business, Computer Science, Education, Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering
  • Student body: 45,869 (as per Common Data Set 2020 to 2021)
  • Students per class: 10 to 19 in most classes
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Retention rate: 94%
  • Graduation rate: 74%
  • Athletic affiliation: NCAA Division I
  • Color: Gold and black
  • Mascot: Purdue Pete
  • Number of varsity teams: 18
  • Sports: Baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, wrestling
Purdue University

Purdue University Rankings

Purdue University is a highly ranked school nationally and statewide, too. For instance, it’s #17 in Top Public Schools and #49 in National Universities by US News. Niche, meanwhile, ranks it #1 in Top Public Universities in Indiana. Purdue is #1 in Best Public Colleges in Indiana by College Simply.

Some of the benefits of earning a degree from a high-ranking college or university include:

  • Receipt of high-quality education
  • Access to top-notch facilities
  • Opportunity to build a strong network
  • Increased employment opportunities

The fact that Purdue University is recognized by many different college rankers means it’s one of the best. However, keep in mind that just because Purdue ranks highly doesn’t mean right away that it’s the perfect fit. Keep reading — by the time you get to the end of this article, you will have a better idea of whether or not it’s the best for you.

As mentioned earlier, the school tends to dominate not only national rankings but local ones, too. So, in other words, it ranks higher than many public universities across the US as well as in Indiana.

Here are some of the local rankings of Purdue by various college rankers:

  • #1 in Best Big Colleges in Indiana (Niche)
  • #1 in Best Public Colleges and Universities in Indiana (Academic Influence)
  • #1 in Best Public Colleges in Indiana (Prepler)
  • #2 in Best Colleges in Indiana (US News)
  • #2 in Best Value Colleges in Indiana (College Simply)
  • #3 in Best Value Colleges in Indiana (Niche)
  • #8 in the Midwest (Forbes)

Related Article: How Good Is Purdue Global? Is It Worth The Money?

What is Purdue University Known For?

Purdue University is known for being a highly ranked engineering school. It is also known for having lots of international and professional attendees, making up 36% of its student body. Many reputable college ranking sites consider Purdue the leading public institution for higher education in Indiana.

Lots of graduating high school students who wish to get their hands on an engineering degree apply to Purdue.

That’s because some of the best engineering programs in Indiana and across the US, too, are offered by it. As a matter of fact, many engineering graduates from Purdue University are some of those that receive the highest annual salaries — keep reading to know how much the school’s alumni members make per year according to major.

And speaking of which, some of the top majors at the school include:

  • Accounting
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Education
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Finance
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Sociology

All in all, Purdue has won three NCAA championships: for basketball and men’s and women’s golf.

Purdue puts you ahead of many others and it allows you to have a wonderful experience on a big campus. However, there isn’t much help for hard classes that aren’t based in Engineering and the food is not too good.

Is Purdue University a Party School?

Although Purdue University is not a party school, partying is always an option, especially from Wednesday to Saturday, says a Niche poll. Many of the participating Boilermakers (what Purdue students call themselves) say that there are decent frat and house parties, albeit mostly on weekends only.

Studying is always a priority at Purdue. However, when the schoolwork is complete, parties come aplenty.

It isn’t surprising since fraternities and sororities are sort of big at the public research university — 18% of male students are in fraternities and 22% of female students are in sororities. As a matter of fact, Niche ranks Purdue as #7 in Best Greek Life Colleges in Indiana.

Some of the most popular on-campus events and traditions at Purdue include:

  • Christmas parties
  • Fountain runs
  • Grand Prix
  • Halloween parties
  • Homecoming
  • Sledding down Slater Hills

In addition, there are more than 1,000 registered clubs and organizations at Purdue University. According to the school itself, each one of them was created and is led by its students.

What is the Size and Type of Purdue University Campus?

The Purdue University campus, which measures 2,307 acres, has a city setting. The school’s location, West Lafayette, is the most densely populated city in the state of Indiana. Niche ranks Purdue #1 in Best Big Colleges in Indiana and #7 in Best College Campuses in Indiana.

Purdue’s massive campus is home to a total of 377 buildings, 157 of which are considered principals.

It’s also home to three women’s halls, four men’s halls, and 16 co-ed halls and apartments. Up to 36% of the students live in housing affiliated with or owned or operated by the school.

West Lafayette and its twin city, Lafayette, which are separated by the Wabash River, offer an assortment of family-friendly adventures for when loved ones pay in-state students a visit. Night owls have all sorts of restaurants, grills, bars, pubs and lounges to visit after their schoolwork is completed.

Some of the major cities closest to Purdue University include:

  • Lafayette
  • Indianapolis
  • Fort Wayne
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Louisville
  • Milwaukee
  • Toledo
  • Columbus
  • Saint Louis

In terms of safety, you and your family and friends will be more than glad to learn that West Lafayette is one of the top five safest cities in Indiana. As a matter of fact, its crime rate has decreased in 2021.

Schools are Similar to Purdue University

Purdue University is often compared with many highly ranked private and public institutions in and outside Indiana. Leading the list are institutions located in the state, too, such as the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University – Bloomington, Ball State University and Valparaiso University.

Convinced that a Purdue experience is what you need for the best possible college, degree and career path?

Then you will be more than happy to learn that you can fill your college list with institutions similar to your top-choice school. Many of them are located in the Hoosier State, too. But then there are also those elsewhere in the country, some of which are public while others are private.

Without further ado, let’s take a peek at some colleges and universities many Purdue aspirants also tend to apply to:

  • Ball State University. Besides traditional programs, Ball State University also offers online programs. Niche ranks it #1 in Best in Online Colleges in Indiana and #27 in Best in Online Colleges in America.
  • Indiana University – Bloomington. In the US, Indiana University – Bloomington is considered the first informatics school. It offers informatics degrees ranging from artificial intelligence to sports analytics.
  • Miami University. Considered a Public Ivy, Miami University offers more than 180 majors. The public research university in Oxford, Ohio has an acceptance rate of 80% and a graduation rate of 79%.
  • Truman State University. Because Truman State University, which is named after US President Harry Truman, is so prestigious, many refer to it as the “Harvard of the Midwest” or the “Princeton of the Prairie”.
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. A Public Ivy, the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, which is the flagship school of the University of Michigan System, has an acceptance rate of 23%, making it very selective.
  • University of Notre Dame. Located in Notre Dame, Indiana, the University of Notre Dame is a highly ranked school. As a matter of fact, US News ranks it #19 in National Universities.
  • Valparaiso University. Despite being a Lutheran school, Valparaiso University has students from various faiths — 26 percent Lutheran, 26 percent Catholic, 32 percent other Christian faiths, 16 percent other.

Acceptance Rate at Purdue University

Around 60% of all applicants at Purdue University end up getting an offer to enroll. This makes the school less selective. However, due to the fact that many colleges and universities in Indiana have acceptance rates of 100%, Purdue is one of the most selective academic institutions in the state.

One of the nicest things about Purdue University is that getting into it is not that difficult despite being a highly ranked flagship of Indiana’s system of public schools.

It’s true that Purdue’s 60% acceptance rate is higher than the acceptance rate at many selective institutions in the US. But in Indiana alone, this is one of the lowest. As a matter of fact, Purdue University, despite accepting the majority of applicants, is one of the most selective in the Hoosier State.

Let’s take a look at the various Indiana colleges and universities with the lowest acceptance rates:

University of Notre DameNotre Dame16%
Trine University RegionalFort Wayne24%
Purdue University – North CentralWestville50%
Oakland City UniversityOakland City55%
Manchester UniversityNorth Manchester56%
Purdue University – CalumetHammond59%
Indiana Institute of TechnologyFort Wayne60%
Purdue University – West LafayetteWest Lafayette60%
Marian UniversityIndianapolis62%
Anderson UniversityAnderson63%
Earlham CollegeRichmond63%
Goshen CollegeGoshen63%
Indiana University EastRichmond63%
DePauw UniversityGreencastle64%
Wabash CollegeCrawfordsville64%
Hanover CollegeHanover65%
Indiana Wesleyan UniversityMarion67%
Saint Mary of the Woods CollegeSaint Mary of the Woods67%
Taylor UniversityUpland68%
University of EvansvilleEvansville71%
Ancilla CollegeDonaldson72%
Butler UniversityIndianapolis73%
Indiana University KokomoKokomo74%
International Business CollegeFort Wayne74%
Rose Hulman Institute of TechnologyTerre Haute74%
Huntington UniversityHuntington75%
Indiana University NorthwestGary75%
Fountains at Purdue University
Fountains at Purdue University

Early Admissions at Purdue University

Purdue University does not offer Early Decision. What the school offers, in addition to Regular Decision, is Early Action. Early Action deadline is, like Early Decision deadline at many colleges and universities, November 1. Unlike Early Decision, Purdue’s Early Action is non-binding.

Got Purdue’s name written at the top of your college list and willing to commit to it if accepted?

Unfortunately, the school does not offer Early Decision, which is a great admission plan for one’s top-choice school. But the good news is that Purdue University offers Early Action. Some of the nicest things about Early Action is that you can apply to multiple schools early and that you don’t have to commit to the ones that send you an acceptance letter.

However, you will have to complete your application and gather the necessary materials faster than everybody else. Also, you will not be able to use your senior grades or later test scores to boost your application.

The following are the most important dates to remember for Purdue University aspirants:

Early Action1-Nov15-Jan
Regular Decision15-Jan31-Mar

Interested in getting your hands on a comprehensive scholarship or being a part of the school’s Honors College?

Then make sure that your application is in the admissions office on or before November 1, which is the same deadline for Early Action. It’s a must if you want to be considered for Purdue’s full range of scholarships and the Honors College.

How Much Does It Cost to Attend Purdue University?

The estimated cost of attending Purdue University for one year, based on the academic year 2022 to 2023 rate, is $22,812 for in-state students. The amount climbs to $41,614 for non-Indiana residents. Around 44% of first-time students at Purdue get some form of aid such as scholarships and grants.

As of this writing, the average tuition and fees for public colleges and universities in Indiana are $8,505 for in-state students and $21,977 for out-of-state students.

Both are higher than the national average.

What’s more, the tuition and fees for in-state students and out-of-state students at Purdue are higher than what’s considered average locally and nationally: $9,992 and $28,794, respectively.

Related Article: 425 Colleges Charging In-State Tuition for Out-of-State Applicants

So, if you are on a tight budget, make sure that you carefully weigh the pros and cons of attending Purdue beforehand.

Let’s take a look at the breakdown of the estimated cost of going to Purdue University for one year for both Indiana and non-Indiana residents, based on the academic year 2022 to 2023 rate:

Tuition and fees$9,992$28,794
Room and board$10,030$10,030
Books and supplies$1,010$1,010

At Purdue, some programs have additional fees, such as:

  • Computer Science – $2,050
  • Data Science – $2,050
  • Engineering – $2,050
  • Agricultural & Biological Engineering – $2,050
  • Management – $1,436
  • Purdue Polytechnic – $572
  • Honors College – $200

Earlier, we mentioned that 44% of new students at the school receive some form of aid, the majority of which come as scholarships and grants.

While Purdue feels like home, professors and staff do not complete their job nor do a lot of them seem like they enjoy what they do. Great college experience, but very expensive and does not support all majors.

No matter the type of financial assistant you would like to opt for, federal, state or Purdue University-based student aid programs, the initial step to take remains the same: fill out the FAFSA.

Submitting the FAFSA can be done as early as October 1. To enjoy priority consideration for financial aid, make sure that your FAFSA is in no later than April 15.

How Much Do Purdue University Graduates Make?

Six years after initial enrollment, employed Purdue University alumni members tend to make around $47,200 per year. Their annual salary climbs to about $61,200 ten years after attending Purdue for the first time. The said amount is 78% higher than $34,300, which is considered the national median.

We mentioned earlier that increased employment opportunities is one of the perks that come with attending a highly ranked institution like Purdue University.

Naturally, it also allows holders of degrees from those schools access to higher annual salaries.

It’s for this very reason why, more often than not, alumni members of Purdue tend to earn considerably more than most others across all professions ten years from stepping foot on its campus as first-year students. However, other factors contribute, too. Some of them include the location, industry, work experience, position and employer.

Another contributor to how much money a college graduate can make is his or her major. And this takes us to this table demonstrating the average initial yearly salaries of Purdue graduates by major:

Computer Science$84,800
Computer Engineering$71,600
Mechanical Engineering$69,200
Industrial Engineering$68,900
Chemical Engineering$68,300
Electrical Engineering$65,900
Communications Engineering$65,900
Civil Engineering$62,000
Accounting and Related Services$56,300
Registered Nursing$56,000
Nursing Administration$56,000
Political Science$41,300
Air Transportation$40,300
Design and Applied Arts$37,600
Communication and Media Studies$36,100
Clinical Nutrition$33,800
Animal Sciences$32,800
Health and Physical Education$24,200

Just Before You Apply to Purdue University

Purdue University is a staple in many college rankings of not only Indiana schools but national institutions, too. It’s because of this why many graduating high school students think about having it as their top-choice school, most especially those who want nothing but a degree that employers will recognize and respect.

Liked what you have learned about Purdue based on all the information above?

Make sure that you consider the pros and cons of choosing it over other colleges and universities. And don’t forget the application deadline: November 1 for Early Action and January 15 for Regular Decision.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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