Purdue University is among the dozens of institutions starting to use the World Wide Web as a student recruitment tool.
The Purdue Office of Admissions has unveiled a World Wide Web site that provides information to prospective students about admission requirements, campus life, academic programs, housing, expenses and financial aid. Prospective students who connect to the web site can request a paper application or get information about connecting to the Purdue Application Resource That Never Sleeps (PARTNERS), a toll-free, dial-in electronic application service.
All the Big Ten schools have admission information on-line. Even schools with enrollments of less than 2,000 students, like Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Ind., and Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, Va., are putting recruitment information on the Internet.
"The primary goal is to provide better service to our prospective students," says Douglas L. Christiansen, Purdue's director of admissions. "These and other projects are designed to make Purdue more versatile, global and effective. We are thrilled to offer various mediums for communication and several different ways to apply to Purdue. Students will be able to choose the application process and communication medium that best meets their needs."
The Office of Admissions web site is available off the Purdue University Home Page, http://www.purdue.edu/
Prospective students who do not want to wait for a paper application form can call a Purdue computer with a toll-free number, 800-276-9223, and apply on-line using PARTNERS. PARTNERS is designed to work with most communication software programs using the default settings. Complete instructions are available at the admissions web site.
"One benefit of using PARTNERS is that students are not incurring any on-line charges while gathering information and filling out the application," Christiansen said.
People dialing into PARTNERS can fill out an admissions application and pay the application fee with a credit card. Information such as standardized test scores and high-school grades will need to be submitted by regular mail before the application process is complete.
The admissions office also is working to develop a paperless application. A complete on-line application to Purdue is being tested this year with the help of nearby Jefferson High School. Entrata, a computer program offered by National Computing System Inc., can provide a secure way to transfer confidential information such as grades and counselor comments to Purdue's admissions office. As with PARTNERS, student can pay the application fee by credit card.
Purdue's admissions application also allows prospective students to apply for financial aid and housing with a single form. The application makes it possible for any of several staff members in the admissions office to review an application, rather than requiring the sign-off of several individuals. That means Purdue can mail most acceptance letters within 48 hours of receiving the complete application.
The application also gives students the option of requesting an estimate of financial aid available through Purdue and the federal government for the first year. The acceptance letter includes a preprinted housing form for students to apply for campus housing and the optional financial-aid estimate.
Debra Swartz, assistant director of admissions in charge of processing applications, says 62 percent of the applicants are requesting an aid estimate. "Another plus is that our own staff members who handle the applications like the streamlined process because they can respond to students more quickly," she says.
Sources: Douglas L. Christiansen, (765) 494-1776; firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Swartz, (765) 494-5938; Internet, email@example.com
Writers: Ellen Rantz, (765) 494-2073; Internet, firstname.lastname@example.org
J. Michael Willis (765) 494-0371; Internet, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A color graphic of the Purdue University Office of Admissions' web site is available from Purdue News Service, (765) 494-2096. Ask for the graphic called Admissions/Christiansen.
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