Purdue Plans 6th Year Of Tuition Freeze, But Is It Hurting Infrastructure?

Mar 20, 2017

The University Senate President says the $225 million that Purdue says its families have saved could have gone to fix problems in buildings and better retain faculty.
Credit Nic McPhee / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee

Purdue University plans to extend its tuition freeze into the 2018-2019 school year.

President Mitch Daniels made the announcement of a sixth year of tuition flatlining Monday, touting the amount of money the school says students and their families have saved as a result.

“If tuition had been raised at Purdue just in lockstep with the national average, Purdue families would by now have spent here more than $225 million," Daniels says. "Instead, they have those dollars.”

But what Daniels calls a savings, Purdue Senate President David Sanders says is a deficit in areas the school should have been spending all along.

“I believe that there are many examples of deferred maintenance that could be taken care of if we had sufficient resources," Sanders says. "I believe that we can retain people more readily – professors more readily – if we had more resources.”

Professors have complained since early in the tuition freeze about ancillary effects on the school.

Some of those include becoming the only state school not to teach a majority-Hoosier student body, relying heavily on costly tuition from international students to subsidize the freeze, and holding off on building new facilities for some science disciplines still taught in ages-old classrooms and labs.

Daniels told members of the Senate Monday the announcement was timed to be on the minds of prospective students who are choosing between Purdue and other schools before those institutions’ spring decision deadlines.

Daniels says the school will also give the same average raises – 2.5 percent – that it did last year.