WEST LAFAYETTE − With most Indiana universities seeing progressively lower rates of student enrollment, according to a state report on higher education, Purdue University stands out with its recent highest ever freshman class in Fall 2021.

This begs the question, why is Purdue the exception?

According to the June edition of Indiana Commission for Higher Education report on 2020's college enrollment rates, "With just over half – 53 percent – of Indiana high school graduates in the class of 2020 having pursued education beyond high school," the report said, "Indiana’s college-going rate experienced its sharpest year-over-year decline and dropped to its lowest point in recent history."

In 2019, the college-going student rate was 59%; when including 2020's rate of 53%, that's a 12% drop from the peak rate of 65% in 2015.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education attributes one of the main reasons for these drops to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, not all Indiana universities have seen lower rates of enrollment. Purdue University last fall welcomed its largest class of incoming freshman with 10,191 new students, bringing the university's overall enrollment to a record 49,639.

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