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Purdue ups math requirements for incoming students

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — To help ensure that students succeed academically once at Purdue, the university will require incoming students to have completed four years of high school math.

“We want Indiana students to succeed, and we want Purdue students to do well and excel,” says Randy Woodson, Purdue’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “We know four years of math during high school is one of the best ways to prepare for college because it puts students on the right track from day one to do well in the classroom.”

Students who completed their high school sophomore year this spring should plan on taking math during their senior year if they want to get in to Purdue.

Students who completed their high school sophomore year this spring should plan on taking math during their senior year if they want to get in to Purdue.

The requirement will take effect for the fall 2011 incoming class. Students who completed their high school sophomore year this spring should plan on taking math during their senior year if they want to get in to Purdue. This admission requirement applies to all baccalaureate programs.

This change is not about selectivity, but about success, Woodson says. The vast majority – 95.1 percent – of Indiana students attending Purdue already takes four years of college preparatory math, such as algebra, trigonometry, precalculus and calculus.

“Studies show that completing one additional unit of intensive high school math increased the odds of completing a bachelor’s degree by 73 percent,” says Ken Sauer, the interim Indiana commissioner for higher education. “We emphasize four years of math in our ‘Reaching Higher’ plan. Not only do we want to make a college education accessible for students, but we want students to have the right preparation to succeed and graduate.”

This also serves as a reminder that the senior year does matter, says Pamela Horne, dean of admissions and assistant vice president for enrollment management.

“Students need to look at their senior year as the first year before college, rather than their last year of high school,” she says. “A runner would never take a year off from training before a marathon, so we don’t want students to take it easy academically during their senior year, but rather be ready to hit the ground running here.”

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