Purdue room and board rates part of student affordability issue

Apr 8, 2013

Students who enrolled at Purdue for the first time this year overwhelming chose to live on-campus. The university reports 92% of those students live in a residence hall. But only 30% of the total student population lives on-campus.

President Mitch Daniels says the university’s goal is to boost that rate to at least 50%.

“And I’ve found, eating with students, the cost of the food is one deterrent to that,” he says. “I think it’s great the food is so good, but maybe there are ways we can be careful about the cost of that too.”

Daniels says the cost of a typical room with the university’s maximum meal plan is almost as much as in-state tuition. He says while it’s on par with similar public, research universities, it’s about $1,000 more than Indiana University charges its students.

As part of the effort to make a college degree more affordable, Daniels says he wants to examine all student costs – including room and board.

“This is important not just on the financial end, but we have a very, I think, important goal of enabling or bringing more students onto campus to live,” he says. “Students who live on campus wind up doing better. They graduate at higher rates. They have higher grade point averages. Makes common sense, I think.”

Purdue University's First Street Towers offers single air-conditioned rooms with private baths arranged in clusters around a central living room/dinette area.
Credit Purdue University

The university reports prices for the most common room with a 12 meal plan in a residence hall range from roughly $7,600 at Cary Quad to almost $15,000 at First Street Towers.

In December, 2012, the Purdue Board of Trustees approved a nearly 2% average increase in room and board rates at the West Lafayette campus for the 2013-14 academic year.