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Stimulus dollars power Purdue to even greater value

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University officials on Tuesday (Sept. 8) announced a program to keep the institution one of the best values in the country.

Purdue plans to rebate $250 of the $500 student success fee to Indiana undergraduate students for the 2010-2011 academic year using federal stimulus funds. This is in addition to the previously announced (July 13) rebate of $500 for Hoosier undergraduates Purdue had already implemented for 09-10.

Purdue plans to rebate $250 of the $500 student success fee to Indiana undergraduate students for the 2010-2011 academic year using federal stimulus funds. This is in addition to the previously announced (July 13) rebate of $500 for Hoosier undergraduates Purdue had already implemented for 09-10.

Purdue President France A. Córdova announced plans to rebate $250 of the $500 student success fee to Indiana undergraduate students for the 2010-2011 academic year using federal stimulus funds. This is in addition to the previously announced (July 13) rebate of $500 for Hoosier undergraduates Purdue had already implemented for the 2009-2010 school year. Also, in an effort to keep Purdue affordable, Córdova announced that all students qualifying for both federal and state financial aid will have their financial aid from Purdue boosted to offset the increase in tuition and fees for both the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years.

Purdue will spend $6 million to fund both years of the rebate and the increase in financial aid to students.

“This is one more step we are able to take to ensure that a Purdue degree remains accessible and affordable,” Córdova said. “While the recent rankings placed Purdue as one of the top institutions in the country, our tuition and fees currently rank eighth among our public Big Ten peers. Purdue continues to be an exceptional value for Indiana and the nation.”

University officials considered a variety of plans to help offset tuition costs, listening carefully to faculty who wanted to make sure that university resources remained dedicated to the overall mission of access and student success.

State Budget Committee chairman Sen. Luke Kenley said the announcement was a benefit for Hoosier families, especially in light of Purdue’s prior efforts.

“We’re glad to see that Purdue is working on keeping college tuition affordable for Indiana families,” Kenley said. “Adding this effort to what they’ve already done will help more Indiana students through these rough economic times.”

Measures Purdue already has undertaken included using federal stimulus funds to rebate the $500 student success fee for new-to-campus resident undergraduates; aggressively raising money for new scholarships like the Marquis, the only university-provided scholarship in Indiana designed specifically to help good students from middle-class families; and freezing salaries and cutting $9.8 million from the university’s annual budget.

The student success fee of $500 only applies to students who were new to campus starting after spring semester 2009 since the money would be used to create programs to help develop courses and support programs to improve learning and student achievement. Córdova said using stimulus funds to offset the rebates means the university would be able to fund the student success programs over the next two years.

Two recent examples include Ideas to Innovations, a new way to teach freshman engineering students that already has increased attendance and student performance, and Signals, a $600,000 computer program that helps students monitor their class work and warns them if they need to attend help sessions or step up their homework.

Purdue has raised more than $100 million towards Córdova’s $304 million Access and Success campaign, now in its second year. Total financial aid and student support at Purdue for 2009-10 is estimated at $510 million – the most ever – and three out of four Purdue students receive some type of financial assistance.

Purdue is consistently labeled a great value for education. The university was recently ranked 22nd nationally among public research universities – a jump of four places from last year’s ranking – yet its tuition remains among the lowest of the top universities. In January 2009, Purdue was ranked ninth in SmartMoney magazine’s college “payback” survey, which quantified the long-term value of a college education.

“We are committed to maintaining Purdue’s great value for our students, while focusing on academic quality and institutional excellence,” said Keith Krach, chairman of the Purdue Board of Trustees.

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