Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 75.72

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN
Purdue was founded in 1874 with just 39 students and six teachers. Now it's a public land grant university with nearly 50,000 students, including more than 37,000 undergraduates. The majority – 59% – of its students come from Indiana and nearly 13% are from other countries. Almost a third of Purdue undergraduates enroll in its well-regarded school of engineering, but students have more than 200 different majors to decide among (offerings include farm management, wildlife, and cybersecurity). Purdue's website has an intriguing feature where students can browse majors by personality type. Boilermaker football is a school-wide obsession at this Big Ten school, and Greek life is a dominant social force on campus. But with more than 1,000 student organizations to choose from, everyone is likely to find something to match their interests, whether that's volunteering at no-kill animal shelters or preparing for dental school. When students want to venture off campus, West Lafayette boasts its share of student-friendly bars and restaurants. Purdue scores high in Money’s rankings thanks in part to its commitment to affordability. The estimated price of a degree comes in under $90,000, and the university hasn’t raised tuition in more than a decade.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.3 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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