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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
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| 800 verbal
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Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How to Get Into Purdue: Admissions Stats + Tips

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What’s Covered:

 

Before he took the first steps a human has ever taken on the moon, Neil Armstrong graduated from Purdue University, joining many other acclaimed professionals who call the school their alma mater.

 

Founded in 1869, Purdue is a public land-grant research university with its flagship campus in West Lafayette, Indiana. From engineering to business, the school boasts numerous programs across academic disciplines. Interested in applying? Here’s what you should know.

 

How Hard Is It to Get Into Purdue?

 

In the 2020–2021 admission cycle, 57,279 students applied, and 38,457 were admitted, for an admissions rate of 67%.

 

Purdue is somewhat selective, but your personal chances of admission depend on your unique profile. To predict your chances at Purdue, try our free admissions calculator. Using your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more, we’ll estimate your odds of acceptance, and give you tips on improving your profile!

 

Average Academic Profile of Accepted Purdue Students

 

GPA

 

The average high school GPA for the freshmen class was 3.67, and 9.86% of students had a 4.0.

 

SAT/ACT

 

The middle 50% SAT range was 1190-1430 (82% submitted), and the middle 50% ACT range was 25-33 (46% submitted).

 

Class Rank

 

Of those submitting class rank, 48% of Purdue’s freshman class were in the top 10% of their graduating high school class, and 79% were in the top 25%.

 

What is Purdue Looking for?

 

Are you academically prepared to succeed in your desired program? Are you a competitive candidate in the context of the overall pool of applicants applying?

 

These are the two questions the Purdue adcom asks when reviewing your application. Purdue seeks students who offer unique perspectives, along with qualities like determination. You can demonstrate this through materials like your essays and extracurricular engagement.

 

You need to have the capability to work hard and you should strive to be successful. You should have clear, focused goals and have the drive to persist through challenging college curriculum.

 

Purdue will conduct a holistic review of your application, assessing both academic and nonacademic factors. At minimum, you should have fulfilled these requirements:

 

  • Math: 8 semesters
  • English: 8 semesters
  • Lab science: 6 semesters
  • Social studies: 6 semesters
  • World language: 4 semesters

 

If you’re an Indiana resident, the university strongly advises you to earn the Academic Honors Diploma. All candidates, meanwhile, will be evaluated according to:

 

  • High school course expectations
  • Overall grades in academic coursework
  • Grades related to intended major
  • Strength of your overall high school curriculum
  • Trends in achievement
  • Grades in academic core coursework
  • SAT or ACT scores (if provided)
  • Ability to be successful in intended major
  • Essays
  • Personal background and experiences
  • Information provided by your high school
  • Time of year you apply
  • Space availability in the desired program

 

How Purdue Evaluates Applications

 

According to Purdue’s 2020–21 Common Data Set, Purdue ranks the following factors “very important”:

 

  • Rigor of secondary school record
  • Academic GPA
  • Standardized test scores

 

These are “important”:

 

  • Application Essay
  • Recommendation(s)
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Character/personal qualities
  • First generation

 

These are “considered”:

 

  • Class rank
  • Talent/ability
  • Geographical residence
  • State residency
  • Racial/ethnic status
  • Volunteer work
  • Work experience
  • Level of applicant’s interest

 

These are “not considered”:

  • Extracurricular activities
  • Alumni/ae relation
  • Religious affiliation/commitment

 

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

 

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Purdue

 

1. Achieve at least a 3.67 while taking the most challenging classes available.

 

Many schools use the Academic Index to ensure applicants meet their minimum standards. This takes into account factors like your GPA and test scores. It’s important to have a GPA that’s at least the average for Purdue—3.67—to boost your Academic Index score and be more competitive than other applicants.

 

You should also be taking the most challenging courses available, and doing well in them, while bearing in mind that you won’t be penalized if you don’t have APs, IBs or honors courses available to you.

 

Purdue also notes that trends in your grades are important. This means that if your grades are weaker earlier on in high school you won’t be penalized as long as you improved over the years. In general, Purdue wants to see an upward trend, showing progress.

 

If your GPA is lower, and you’re earlier on in your high school career, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get a higher test score.

 

2. Aim for a 1430 SAT and 33 ACT.

 

Test scores are also part of the Academic Index. Students should aim for scores at the 75th percentile of enrolled students, which, for Purdue, means 1430 SAT or 33 ACT. However, anything within the middle 50% ranges of 1190-1430 SAT and 25-33 is fine, especially during the pandemic, when most schools are test-optional. We suggest taking the test(s) if you can do so safely and submitting scores that are at the 25th percentile or higher.

 

Students can get recommendations on whether or not they should apply test-optional using our free Chancing Engine

 

For tips on improving your scores, check out:

 

 

3. Cultivate at least one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars (find your “spike”).

 

Purdue is a place for hard workers with goals and defined interests. Extracurriculars are one of the best ways to demonstrate these interests. Ideally, you’ll have one or two areas of specialization (a “spike”), around which your activities are grouped, such as writing or medicine.

 

Consider your activities according to the 4 Tiers of Extracurriculars:

 

  • Tier 1 activities demonstrate exceptional talent, achievement, leadership, or merit. Activities and roles on the national level or which garner field-wide recognition count as Tier 1 activities. This may include winning a national award, qualifying for international competition and therefore gaining prestigious recognition, or starting a nonprofit that gains national traction. Having a Tier 1 activity marks you as a distinguished youth in the field of your activity, so having Tier 1 activities is rare. 

 

  • Tier 2 activities are more common than Tier 1, but still show high levels of achievement and potential. Holding school-wide leadership positions like student government president, winning regional competitions or awards, and local recognition as a student athlete or musician are all considered Tier 2. 

 

  • Tier 3 activities demonstrate sustained participation rather than exceptional achievement, and are frequently seen in applications, both across the board as well as in any given individual student’s application, as some students may have more than one Tier 3 activity. These activities can include holding minor positions in school clubs or being on a Varsity team.

 

  • Tier 4 activities are the most common and have the lowest entry bar; they demonstrate interest without particular dedication. However, they are still important to include, especially if you have higher tier activities, because they can help show the diversity of your interests. Tier 4 activities can include regular volunteering, general membership in clubs or organizations, or taking any kind of music or art lesson over several years. 

 

You should aim to have at least one or two Tier 1-2 activities that demonstrate your spike, along with several Tier 3-4 activities to show your engagement and other passions.

 

Here are more examples of impressive ECs for college.

 

4. Write engaging essays.

 

Your essays are an opportunity to showcase your personality. Once you’ve demonstrated that you meet Purdue’s academic thresholds, they are a way to set yourself apart from other qualified applicants. The current prompts ask you to describe your interest in Purdue and your goals and passions. This is a great chance to help the adcom get to know you—so make the most of it!

 

Check out how to write the Purdue essays here!

 

5. Apply Early Action.

 

While Purdue has an RD deadline in January, many of the special programs, including the Honor’s College and scholarship considerations, are due at the same time as Early Action applications on November 1. This is also the priority deadline for computer science, nursing, and professional flight technology, meaning they will only admit applicants who apply later as space allows. It’s in your best interest to apply early whether or not you intend to apply for a special program because this is a non-binding plan. 

 

How to Apply to Purdue

 

Deadlines

 

Early Action/Scholarships/Honor’s College/veterinary nursing/Priority for computer science, nursing, and professional flight technology

November 1

Regular Decision

January 15

Spring Admission

As soon as possible prior to the start of the term

 

Application Requirements

 

  • Common Application
  • Purdue supplement
  • Self-reported high school grades
  • Self-reported SAT or ACT scores (currently test-flexible)
  • Application fee or fee waiver

 

Learn more about Purdue

 


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.