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UPDATE: Fewer state residents at Purdue after tuition freeze

August 3, 2015

About 1,220 fewer undergraduates from Indiana and 330 more non-residents attend Purdue University since the school froze tuition rates at 2012 levels, according to the 2014-15 Purdue Data Digest.

Tuition freezes have only complicated Purdue's desire to serve Indiana residents although they're the least profitable students, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reported.

Since out-of-state and international students pay significantly more to go to Purdue, the school is able to choose from the wealthiest, most talented applicants from around the world. That leaves fewer spaces on the campus for Indiana residents who receive lower in-state tuition.

Students from other states pay nearly $29,000 and those from other countries pay about $31,000. Indiana residents pay just over $10,000.

"It's also absolutely true that because we're so attractive to students from elsewhere, that's one thing that allows us to keep the cost of a Purdue education lower for Hoosiers," Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. "There's no question about it, and everything has to be kept in balance."

How many spots are available for specific student classifications ultimately is up to Daniels, he said. But the school's decision to enroll more non-residents was made before tuition was frozen, Daniels said, and the trend continued after he took office.

"I don't know which was the chicken and the egg," he said. "In other words, becoming more selective ... meant that it was somewhat more non-resident students because people who apply from out-of-state have higher academic profiles. So seeking higher profiles led to the increase in non-resident percentage."

In the past seven years, Purdue has eliminated more than 4,600 spots for undergraduate students from Indiana and added over 2,100 spots for non-resident undergraduates.

The majority of Purdue's campus community is comprised of non-residents, with about 52 percent of combined undergraduate, graduate and professional student population coming from outside of Indiana.

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