Purdue University has launched a grant program to help lower- and middle-class students in Indiana afford college.
Purdue has created the “Boiler Affordability Grant,” which will cover costs after other need-based financial aid is applied to qualifying undergraduate students' tuition, fees and book bill.
The program will start next fall and is for Indiana resident students at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. The students will need to be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, or have a parent adjusted gross income of $70,000 or less. Eligibility for the Pell Grant is determined based on a family's financial need and the cost of attendance at a particular school.
Purdue tuition is currently $9,992 per year for undergraduate Indiana residents.
The grant won't apply to room and board, which is $10,030 during the 2017-18 academic year and some lab, music and aviation fees. Purdue officials said those costs might be covered or partially covered by other financial aid.
The Boiler Affordability Grant will apply to both new students and those currently enrolled at Purdue. About 3,000 state resident students at Purdue would be eligible, according to Purdue.
Funding for the program will come from existing financial resources and money from donors, according to the university. All students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to participate.
“Through our multiyear tuition freeze and cost reductions for food and books, it is less expensive to attend Purdue today than it was in 2012, but attending Purdue still represents a challenging expense for many low- and middle-income Hoosier families,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said in written comments. “Our goal of ‘higher education at the highest proven value’ means lowering every barrier we can to ensure Purdue is accessible to all students who can meet our academic standards.”
Teresa Lubbers, the state’s higher education commissioner, praised the program.
“At a time when higher education is more important than ever, we need to do all we can to ensure that attaining a degree is financially possible,” Lubbers said in written remarks. "The Boiler Affordability Grant increases the value of the higher education experience by reducing debt and simplifying the financial aid process—which is good news for Hoosier families.”