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Purdue to conduct public hearing on tuition, student fees

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University officials will conduct a public hearing July 13 on proposed tuition and fees to be paid by students attending any of the university’s campuses during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years.

The proposal calls for a $388 increase for resident students and a $1,394 increase for nonresident students. This translates into a 5 percent resident tuition increase and a 6 percent nonresident tuition increase for continuing students each of the next two academic years at the West Lafayette campus.

Although Purdue was given an apparently flat budget in the state appropriations process, 8 percent was one-time “stimulus” funding. Purdue actually received a cut of 8 percent in its recurring funding for operations, or $21 million over two years at the West Lafayette campus.

“The state has worked hard to give us the best budget possible, and we’ve made significant budget reductions at Purdue over the past year. Nevertheless, we still have critical university needs that are substantially underfunded,” Purdue President France A. Córdova said. “Our proposal addresses these critical needs, protects students who come from the neediest families and preserves the high educational quality at Purdue.”

There also will be a new $500 fee per academic year for new West Lafayette campus students tied to strategic plan improvements for academic programs. However, first-time Indiana undergraduate students will have this $500 fee rebated this year, using the stimulus funding provided to Purdue by the General Assembly. Students enrolled prior to the summer of 2009 will not be assessed the fee. Funds generated by the proposed strategic plan fee will be used to invest in academic curricula, financial aid, student success programs, and assist in attracting and retaining top faculty.

Purdue also will use the stimulus funds to help with $400 million in facility repair and rehabilitation needs.

Randy Woodson, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, said most of the tuition increase will go to student aid and faculty support.

“The faculty make Purdue a world-class institution and attract students who aspire to a truly competitive education. We will invest in programs that help ensure our students are successful and improve retention and graduation rates. We also will enhance our investments in financial aid to keep Purdue affordable for all students,” Woodson said.

The new tuition and fee structure, with the one-year credit for first-time students, would result in a $388 increase in the 2009-10 year for all resident students on the West Lafayette campus. Tuition and fees in 2009-10 would be $8,138 for resident students. Tuition and fees for 2010-11 would be $8,544 for returning residents and $9,070 for returning sophomores and first-time resident students.

Nonresident students returning to the West Lafayette campus would pay $1,394 more, and nonresident first-time students would pay $1,894 more for the 2009-10 academic year. Tuition and fees in 2009-10 would be $24,618 for returning nonresident students and $25,118 for nonresident first-time students. Tuition and fees for 2010-11 would be $26,096 for returning nonresidents and $26,622 for nonresident first-time students.

Some programs, such as engineering, management, pharmacy and veterinary medicine, have fee differentials, which are additional fees to defray the higher costs of these programs. Fee increases are proposed for these programs as well. New this year is a $500 differential fee for College of Technology students who start this fall on the West Lafayette campus.

Purdue currently ranks ninth in the Big Ten for resident undergraduate tuition and has been listed as one of the nation’s best value educations by The Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney magazine.

“Comparing alumni salaries within five and 10 years after graduation against their tuition cost, the magazine listed Purdue as ninth in the country. The payback to graduates was 197 percent,” said James Almond, vice president for business services and assistant treasurer.

The university also has been aggressive in raising financial aid and cutting costs.

“On the West Lafayette campus, we’ve cut almost $10 million from departments and schools and eliminated 146 positions for the next fiscal year,” Almond said. “We also managed our debt and were able to save the state $8.5 million over the last two years.”

For 2008-09, total financial aid and student support on the West Lafayette campus was budgeted at $467 million, and three out of four Purdue students receive some form of assistance. In 2008-09, for a student with a family income below $40,000, the net cost for tuition, room and board was an average of $1,666 after all forms of aid were counted. Students who qualify for federal financial aid will have their tuition and fees offset with additional Purdue aid.

More information on tuition and fees can be found online at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/tuition/

Fees for Indiana students at other Purdue campuses are assessed on a per credit hour basis. Rates for resident and nonresident students, respectively, are:

  • Purdue Calumet – $210 and $471
  • Purdue North Central – $213 and $502
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne – $231 and $549

These rates represent a 5 percent increase for resident students and a 6 percent increase for nonresident students.

The public hearing will begin at 9 a.m. July 13 in Stewart Center, Room 326, as a special meeting of the executive committee of the university’s board of trustees. The proposed fees will be discussed, and the public will have a chance to comment. The executive committee will act on behalf of the board and will vote on the fee proposal and the 2009-10 system-wide conceptual budget plan during the meeting.

A videoconference connection also will permit public input from Purdue’s regional campuses.

Those wishing to speak at the hearing should notify the board of trustees’ office in advance at 765-494-9710, or e-mail trustees@purdue.edu. Each speaker will be scheduled in the order they register and allotted three minutes to make comments at the hearing, which will last 30 minutes.

Written comments also may be submitted via e-mail or sent to the Office of the Board of Trustees, Hovde Hall, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

Anyone wanting to offer testimony at one of the statewide campuses should contact the chancellor’s office at that campus for directions to the videoconference location. Those locations and phone numbers are:

  • Purdue Calumet: Purdue Calumet Conference Center (Room 135); 219-989-2673
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne: Kettler Hall (Room 178); 260-481-6103
  • Purdue North Central: Technology Building (Room 134); 219-785-5511

This special meeting is in addition to the board’s regularly scheduled meeting on July 9 and 10.

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