Purdue University

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#150, overall score 42.25/100

Fun Fact:

Purdue engineering students are able to train using their very own nuclear reactor — although it only creates enough electricity to power a toaster.

Why should Jewish students attend Purdue? “Purdue is a safe and welcoming environment with no anti-Semitic activity. It’s a great place for a education and to be Jewish.” — Philip Schlossberg, director, Purdue Hillel


  • Location: West Lafayette, Ind.
  • Region: Midwest
  • Campus type: College town
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 30,043
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 525
  • Jewish population share: 2%
  • Student origin: 64% in-state / 36% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: The Exponent
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Boilermakers
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Undue Ultimate / AMOC

What Students Say:

“Purdue is a very large campus with a small feel. Part of what makes Purdue feel small is the variety of clubs and organizations such as Purdue Hillel. With such a variety, you are able to find your niche easily and have the opportunity to meet a lot of people with similar interests and love.”

COST & AID Score: 6.67/15

  • Score: 6.67/15
  • In-state tuition: $10,002
  • Out-of-state tuition: $28,804
  • Room & board costs: $10,030
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $9,924
  • Average loan debt: $27,617
  • Starting median salary: $58,000
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: No

ACADEMICS Score: 8.33/20

  • Score: 8.33/20
  • Acceptance rate: 57%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Median SAT range: 1150-1380
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Hebrew major: No

What Students Say:

“Purdue is very diverse and very accepting. You meet people from all different backgrounds, yet no one feels out of place.”… “Purdue could improve its relationship between faculty and students. We often don’t get to know the professors and they don’t get to know us, meaning that they can’t teach us as effectively as needed.”

ISRAEL Score: 11.33/20

  • Score: 11.33/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 20
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: No
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: Israel Council at Purdue
  • Jewish Agency for Israel fellow: No
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never introduced

SAFETY Score: 5.67/11

  • Score: 5.67/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 1
  • Campus crime rate: 2.19/1,000 students (medium-low)
  • City crime rate: 11.00/1,000 people (low)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 10.25/34

  • Score: 10.25/34
  • Hillel: Purdue Hillel
  • Chabad: Chabad at Purdue University
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: SDT
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? No
  • Chicken soup hotline: Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 2
  • Hillel Friday night services: 1
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 40
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 15
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 2 (1 Conservative, 1 Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most unique/noteworthy club: Rover Team –- working to build a prototype of a two wheel vehicle that can operate on Mars.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? 50% are from the Midwest, but Purdue is seeing a larger percentage from both coasts and Texas.
  • Kosher food details: Hillel is the only kosher kitchen on campus. Hillel has weekly bagel breaks, Shabbat dinner and all holiday meals including a full Passover week meal plan/option.

What Students Say:

“The best thing about the Jewish community at Purdue is its relaxed atmosphere. You aren’t required to attend every event or attend anything at all. You could show up to one event a year, and still be accepted just as much as someone who goes to every event. Everyone, religious or not, is welcome.”…”The Jewish community is unique because it is very active. We have at least three events a month, not including weekly services, which keeps the students engaged in their Judaism. We also have weekly events that don’t involve anything religious, so students that are not as religious can also be part of the community.”

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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