Campus Reform | This university hasn't raised tuition in almost a decade

This university hasn't raised tuition in almost a decade

Purdue refuses to institute yearly tuition hikes, even as it has become the norm for most American universities.

“It became the thing we’re known for," Purdue President and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said.

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Indiana residents who attend Purdue University have seen tuition stay at $9,992 since 2013 when former Gov. Mitch Daniels became the university’s president.

While most four-year universities have seen consistent tuition increase since 2013, Purdue remains committed to keeping tuition frozen.

When Daniels first began as president, he told the board of trustees he could freeze tuition for a year. “I thought it would be a one-off, just to send a message that we could break this long, long run of increases,” Daniels told The Atlantic. “It turned out we could do it a second year, then the third. Then it became the thing we’re known for.”

[Related: USC offers free tuition to ONE THIRD of students]

The recent launch of Purdue Global, an online campus, and the implementation of other cost-cutting measures have allowed Purdue to increase faculty salaries and expand the campus while keeping prices down.

For comparison, the cost of attending the University of Indiana, Bloomington in 2012 was $10,033 and increased by 9 percent to $10,948  by the 2019 academic year.

“Had Purdue raised tuition and fees and room and board at the same rate as comparable institutions, Purdue families would have spent a combined $600 million more over the past seven years,” the university said in an announcement of its “9th consecutive tuition freeze," in which the school said it would freeze tuition through the 2021-2022 academic year. 

“A graduating in-state student who has lived on campus the past four years has saved over $12,000 compared with the rate increases at other universities; an out-of-state student has saved over $31,000,” the university added.

[Related: UChicago, on the defense, says students won't have to pay full $100k sticker price]

Even Purdue’s well-regarded “Degree in 3” program is designed to save students money- allowing undergraduates to receive their diploma a full year early saves them thousands. 

“Mitch Daniels is setting a really good example of wringing weight out of the system and bringing market forces to bear,” Director of Government Relations at The Heartland Institute Cameron Sholty told Campus Reform. “Similarly, you do see this movement, and I point to Wisconsin under Governor Walker, for legislatures writing in to their state budgets efforts to freeze tuition.” 

“Mitch Daniels has clearly put a roadmap out there for universities to follow,” added Sholty. “As we see students leaving college with substantial debt, there is room for improvement. Purdue seems to be a bit of an anomaly, but it is a roadmap other public universities can follow. It is not a coincidence of an upward trend line of federal aid to the rising cost of public education.” 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @arik_schneider