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How Purdue did it: Dean should look to Daniels

July 18. 2018 10:00PM

Even as college tuition costs have skyrocketed, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels has kept tuition level for seven years running.

Daniels has also lowered room and board fees by 5 percent and set up a textbook savings partnership with Amazon. Purdue students are paying less to attend the Indiana school than students in 2012.

Student borrowing has dropped 31 percent, and Purdue remains one of the best public universities in the country.

During that same period, in-state tuition has risen by more than 25 percent at the University of New Hampshire.

Indiana taxpayers provide 17 percent of Purdue’s annual revenues, while New Hampshire state appropriations make up 9 percent of UNH’s revenues. Both states also fund university capital expenses. The difference in state aid does not account for Daniels’ ability to hold down rising tuition costs.

Daniels has focused on spending, cutting the cost of student dining services by 10 percent while UNH spent $17,570 for a light-up dining table. Purdue sold off redundant property, cutting rental storage costs in half, and fixed broken office furniture rather than buying replacements.

We would hope that incoming UNH President James Dean learns from Daniels’ example. There is no need for the cost of a college education to keep increasing. Controlling campus costs can hold down tuition and debt.

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