One billion dollars.
That is what Purdue University says students and families have saved over the past decade by attending their institution over others in the Big Ten.
On Monday, Purdue kept that “savings streak” going by committing to its 10th straight year of flat tuition through 2022-23 academic year, during an era of unprecedented challenges for higher education that includes COVID-19 pandemic.
“We said very early on that we believe strongly that our students and their families deserve a high-value education that they can afford and that we will fit our spending to their budgets — not the other way around,” said President Mitch Daniels, whose university announced its first tuition freeze in 2012-13. “Purdue is a national leader in the value of its degrees, and we intend to increase that value further. As long as we are balancing our operating budget, growing our faculty, and investing in necessary projects, we see no good reason to charge our students more.”
Base undergraduate tuition at the university is just under $10,000 for those who live in Indiana. Purdue also says it has the most affordable room and board options among the conference’s institutions.
Along with its prowess as a top public research institution, Purdue is No. 5 in the nation for innovation, according to U.S. News and World Report. Combined with that esteem and low price tag, Purdue’s freshman class ballooned to more than 8,900 this year, its largest ever, and boosted its overall enrollment to just under 46,000, another record.
Though many institutions have been trying various methods to stave off declining enrollment numbers, keeping flat tuition or even lowering it – heeding calls from students and families during the pandemic – it has been a challenge to keep tuition flat or even reduce it. Many private universities have tossed in attractive tuition discounts – upwards of 25-60%, along with financial aid – to lure prospective attendees.
Like Purdue, the University of California system tuition has remained frozen for nine years, and its president Michael Drake said it will not consider hiking it as long as schools are operating in a remote environment.
The University of Iowa, Northern Iowa and Iowa State University, have chosen to freeze tuition for the spring semester. It is unclear what will happen beyond that.
Florida’s public universities, which have long provided students with some of the most affordable tuition rates in the nation, are for the first time in a decade considering raising them.