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For Asian Families Helping Pay Purdue's Bills, New Company Offers Friends For A Fee

courtesy Purdue University

Though Purdue officials have bowed in recent years to faculty criticism that many international students aren’t qualified or prepared to come to school in West Lafayette, a pair of graduates from China have started a company which could help assimilate Asian students.

It’s call We-YouBond, and it hopes to enroll 40-50 Chinese families this fall in a sort of pay-for-friendship model.

Spokesman Noah Scott says incoming Chinese students would be partnered with a current Purdue junior or senior, who’d be their liaison to campus.

Scott says the parents will receive regular reports for as long as they continue paying for the service.

“These reports can contain anything from this is how the week went, these are how grades are going, this is how your student is feeling about their second, third week of school,” he says.

Scott declined to say how much such a service would cost Chinese families -- who are already charged about three times what Indiana families are for their students to attend Purdue. He says the company hopes to foster genuine friendships between mentors and the incoming freshmen, but couldn’t say when the ongoing payments would cease.

And, though Purdue has financed the tuition freezes of the Mitch Daniels administration in part through increasing international student enrollment, Scott insists the school isn’t just backing the venture because it could be good for campus cashflow.

“Whether or not you argue it’s the bottom line for finances or whatever it might be, Purdue sees an opportunity to help students on an individual basis reach something and empower them to do more than they could before,” Scott says.

We-YouBond won a $2,500 prize from a Purdue business plan competition and has received assistance from an on-campus incubator.

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