Purdue University Admissions Statistics

Learn About Purdue University's Main Campus and What It Takes to Get In

John Purdue Statue
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Purdue University has selective admissions with a 57 percent acceptance rate. Those interested in applying will need to submit an application that includes high school transcripts, an essay, and scores from the SAT or the ACT. Students can apply to Purdue using the Common Application or Coalition Application.

Why Purdue University?

  • Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Campus: Purdue's main campus spreads across 2,600 acres with another 15,000 acres dedicated to agricultural and industrial research. Athletic facilities include two 18-hole golf courses and the 62,500-seat Ross-Ade Stadium.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 13:1
  • Athletics: The Purdue Boilermakers compete in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference.
  • Highlights: Along with strong STEM fields, Purdue earned a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences. Students can choose from over 200 undergraduate majors, 80 graduate programs, and over 900 clubs and organizations.

Purdue University Admissions Statistics 2017-18

For students who entered Purdue University in the 2017-18 academic year, the acceptance rate was 57 percent. Below are accepted student SAT score and ACT score statistics organized by score percentile.

SAT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 570 670
Math 580 710
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

Most dedicated and hard-working students should be able to get into Purdue, but you can see that typical SAT scores are above average. If you compare SAT scores for top public universities, you'll see that Purdue is a little less selective than many of the schools.

ACT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 24 32
Math 26 32
Composite 25 31

An average ACT score is 21, so you can see that nearly all Purdue students earn above average scores. If you compare ACT scores for the Big Ten universities, you'll see that Purdue's score range is typical.

Purdue University GPA, SAT Score, and ACT Score Graph

Purdue University GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data for admission.
Purdue University GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data for admission.  Graph courtesy of Cappex

The GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data in the graph was self-reported by applicants to Purdue University. You can see the real-time graph and calculate your own chances of getting into Purdue with a free account at Cappex.

Discussion of Purdue's Admissions Standards

As the scattergram above reveals, students who are admitted to Purdue tend to have strong GPAs and test scores. The blue and green represent accepted students, so you can see that the majority of students who got into Purdue had a high school average of B+ or higher, an ACT composite score above 20, and a combined SAT score (ERW+M) above 1050. The chances for admission increase as those grades and test scores go up.

Note that a few students with grades and test scores that were on target for Purdue still got rejected. Note also that a few students were accepted with test scores and grades below the norm. This is because Purdue has holistic admissions. The admissions officers are evaluating students based on more than numerical data. A rigorous high school curriculum, winning essay, and interesting extracurricular activities all contribute to a successful application.

Purdue notes that they consider your grades relating to your intended major. They also look at the trend of your achievements. If your grades improved over your high school record, that is a positive trend.

Rejection and Waitlist Data for Purdue University

Purdue University rejection and waitlist data
Purdue University rejection and waitlist data.  Graph courtesy of Cappex

If we strip away the blue and green data points for accepted students, we can see that many students with strong grades and standardized test scores receive rejections from Purdue. The reasons why academically strong students get rejected can be many: a weak application essay; a high school record that doesn't have adequate course coverage in areas such as math or foreign language; a lack of space availability in the applicant's desired program; or thin involvement in extracurricular activities, service, or work.

In short, make sure your application is strong on all fronts. You can't simply rely upon your grades and SAT/ACT scores earning you an acceptance letter.

More Purdue University Information

Purdue's in-state tuition is a true bargain, but watch out for excessive reliance on loans if you're receiving financial aid. Also, when making cost calculations, note that only half of students graduate in four years.

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 42,699 (32,132 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 58 percent male / 42 percent female
  • 94 percent full-time

Costs (2017 - 18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $9,992 (in-state); $28,794 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,160 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $10,030
  • Other Expenses: $1,630
  • Total Cost: $22,812 (in-state); $41,614 (out-of-state)

Purdue Financial Aid (2016 - 17)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 66 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
  • Grants: 46 percent
  • Loans: 35 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
  • Grants: $10,703
  • Loans: $8,188

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Aeronautics, Apparel and Textiles, Architectural Engineering, Business, Communications Studies, Electrical Engineering, Elementary Education, Hotel Administration, Mechanical Engineering, Operations Management
  • What major is right for you? Sign up to take the free "My Careers and Majors Quiz" at Cappex.

Graduation, Retention and Transfer Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 91 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 51 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 78 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Wrestling
  • Women's Sports: Basketbal, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball,

If You Like Purdue University, You May Also Like These Schools

Purdue University applicants often apply to other large public universities in the Midwest. Some popular choices include Indiana University-Bloomington, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Because of Purdue University's many strengths in STEM fields, many applicants apply to other schools with highly regarded engineering programs. Popular choices include MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Data Source: National Center for Education Statistics