Purdue University is set to extend its tuition freeze into a third year. President Mitch Daniels, who made the freeze one of his first announcements upon taking the reins of the school, will seek formal approval of the move at Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.
On Tuesday, the president was quick to say he couldn’t predict how long the policy would last, however.
“Well all we can say is we think we can see our way clear to a third year," Daniels says. "And we’ll just take it a bit at a time. It can’t be permanent, of course. All that will be permanent, or as long as this board has its way, is a policy of restraint.”
The school’s own numbers show Purdue is largely paying for the freeze by increasing its non-resident population. The school has generated about $784 million a year in tuition each of the last two years. That’s because out-of-state and international students pay three times what in-state students pay. And as in-state attendance drops, non-resident attendance has increased by nearly a thousand students over the past three years. In addition, the school now has more students who are non-residents than it does native Hoosiers.
Daniels says the freeze is also a message to those who opposed his budget-cutting measures to continue tightening their belts.
“Self-imposing a limit like the freeze is really just a way to force or, I hope, encourage everybody to look for ways they might not have thought of before. Or to do things which they already knew were good ideas but had hesitated to do,” he says.
Daniels says Purdue staff will see an average raise of about 1.5-percent this year – that’s about in line with the federal inflation rate. Daniels says the move wasn’t designed to compete with price hikes at other schools, but he does concede it may act that way.
With the freeze in place, tuition for most in-state students will stay around $10,000 per year. Out-of-state and international students will pay closer to $30,000 a year for classes. The school’s website says room and board costs an additional $10,000 per year for all students living on campus.