Purdue's 2021 freshman class is nearly 2,000 students larger than Purdue aimed for, due largely to a jump in out-of-state admission, the university announced in a press release.
The class of 2021 consists of 10,191 undergraduates, putting the West Lafayette campus's total graduate and undergraduate enrollment at a record of 49,639. The university received 59,173 applications.
"While our application numbers have been high for several years, we were fortunate to have a high yield rate – those students who wanted to make their giant leaps by accepting their Purdue offers," Kristina Wong Davis, vice provost for enrollment management said in the release.
Students who received an offer of admissions said in a survey that Purdue's response to the pandemic played a role in their interest.
Nearly 50% of respondents said Purdue's COVID-19 response made them more interested, the release says. Similarly, according to a national study by Carnegie Darlet cited in the press release, 70% of the incoming students nationwide preferred an open university with social distancing and mask requirements in place.
"Through the hard work and persistence of our faculty and staff, and exceptional cooperation of our students, we were able to stay open and deliver a safe residential learning experience despite COVID-19," said Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity.
A new record was set again for the number of admission offered to in-state students. Of the 9,286 Hoosiers offered admission into the Purdue system — 332 more than last year's record — 85.4% were offered a spot in West Lafayette as part of the university's effort to prioritize in-state applicants, according to the release.
Respondents also cited Purdue's affordability efforts, like the ongoing tuition freeze, and academic opportunities as motivating factors behind their decision.
Purdue's academic reputation and the accessibility of an affordable education were primary motivators in addition to hands-on learning experiences and career development, according to the release.
"Lots of hands-on experience such as internships" and "Strong academics with career preparation" were the top two factors for students, according to the release. Each category was selected by nearly one in four respondents.