Need to Know

Understanding Admission Decisions

Around 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Jan. 15, Purdue will begin releasing admission decisions. Students who applied by the Nov. 1 Early Action deadline will have a decision on this date. Those who applied by the Jan. 1 Regular Decision deadline will have a decision by March 15.

While many applicants will be admitted, of course not all students will receive the decision they were hoping for. Following is information you can use to advise students who are not admitted for fall.

Denied/Offer Alternate Major or Waitlist

For some of our majors, demand greatly exceeds supply and we are forced to deny good students. If these students remain interested in Purdue, they have two options: request admission to a different major or request waitlist for their original major. They may choose one of these options, not both, and will make that selection within their online application portal.  

Here's a short video in which Admissions Director Mitch Warren explains this decision and students' next steps.

Of course, there are no guarantees for students who choose to be added to the waitlist. We will advise them to keep an enrollment option open with at least one other institution, letting them know that some years few, if any, students come off the waitlist. We will make final decisions about waitlisted students no later than mid-June 2018.


A deferred decision means we want to see additional information before making a final decision – typically, a midyear transcript from their senior year or test scores from those who said they would be sitting for another SAT or ACT exam.

Students can log onto their online application to see specifically what information we need before we can make a final decision. If we need a midyear transcript, they can upload an unofficial copy within their Purdue application portal. Test scores must be sent from the testing agency.

With deferred decisions, a student's application reverts to "incomplete" until the requested material is received.

Offer Summer Start

This decision is for students who we believe are a higher risk for retention if they were admitted to begin in the fall. Instead, we are offering them admission to their desired major but with the requirement that they begin during a five-week session, July - August. This "Summer Start" session is an immersion program during which students will enjoy small classes and strong academic support. Completion of the program is required for students to continue in the fall.

Denied West Lafayette/Offer Regional Campus

Many Indiana students who are not offered admission to the West Lafayette campus will be offered admission to one of Purdue's regional campuses or a Purdue Polytechnic statewide location. These locations offer exceptional degree programs and students who enroll at a regional location often transfer to the West Lafayette campus after a year or two.

Those who want to pursue a Purdue degree at one of the regional locations should contact the desired location directly. (Contact information is provided in their electronic decision letter.)

Decision Letters and Decision Release

We do not send paper letters to those who are not admitted. However, upon the release of their admission decision, students have immediate access to an electronic copy of their decision letter within their online application portal.

Purdue Transfer Credit

If your students are trying to figure out what kind of pre-college credit they might earn at Purdue, we’ve made a few changes to better serve them:

  1. We’ve expanded the credit we award for International Baccalaureate testing.
  2. We’ve simplified and reorganized our transfer credit website. We believe the site is easier to navigate and clarifies a process that can confusing. But you tell us – did we hit the mark? Any suggestions?
  3. We’ve created a new tool that allows students to enter previous college coursework, including dual credit coursework, to generate a report that shows them not only what credit transfers, but how it would be applied to the degree plan for their desired Purdue major. Version 1.0 of Purdue Transfer Equivalency Self Service is available now.

Self-Reported Grades and Test Scores in 2019

Beginning with students who will apply for Fall 2019, Purdue will accept self-reported test scores. We will require official test scores from students who are admitted to Purdue and accept their offer, but by accepting self-reported scores when students apply, we hope to simplify and take some anxiety out of the process. Also, late test-takers will be able to complete their Purdue application as soon as their scores are available to them.  

As we get closer to the 2019 application going live, we’ll provide you and students more information about self-reported scores, but we wanted to let you know ASAP so that you can start making plans for 2019 applications.

For the 2019 application, we also will improve the tools and processes for self-reported grades. We’ve learned some lessons during this – the first year of self-reported grades both for Purdue and the Common Application. And there will be changes, whether we implement them ourselves (just for Purdue applicants), or whether changes are made to the Common Application. Again, more information to come, but we know the process was labor-intensive and confusing for some students this year. We will make it better.

Free SAT and ACT Score Reports for Low-Income Students

In case you missed it we thought it was worth mentioning that beginning this year, both the College Board and ACT are vastly increasing the number of free reports they’re allowing for low-income students.

ACT is allowing up to 20 free reports for each test sitting beginning with the September test date. The College Board is allowing unlimited free SAT score reports beginning with test registration that opens in April.

The irony doesn’t escape us that we’re mentioning this as we announce that we’ll be accepting self-reported test scores next year, but we will need official scores from admitted students who plan to enroll. So for low-income students, providing official scores to Purdue prior to enrollment will be free.

Purdue University Office of Admissions, 475 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-1776, Hearing impaired only: 1-800-743-3333

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