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How Do I Pay for a Purdue Engineering Degree?

As a public, land-grant university, Purdue aims to provide our students with the highest quality education at the highest proven value. A degree from Purdue Engineering is an investment in your future, and there are many ways to fund this investment, ranging from ways you might expect, such as scholarships, to other things you may not have considered or realized. There's also more to consider in the cost of college than just the cost, so let's take a look at some important factors and resources to consider when looking at financing a Purdue Engineering degree.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Make sure to keep a close eye on important dates and deadlines through the application process! These dates can sometimes vary from year to year, so it's best to check directly with each respective department to ensure you are getting the most up-to-date information.

The Purdue Value

Purdue's undergraduate engineering programs are widely regarded as among the best in the country and around the world. Purdue Engineering was ranked #8 in the U.S. News & World Report's 2023 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs survey, and we have consistently been among their top 10 list for the last several years. Not only that, but Purdue boasts the lowest in-state and out-of-state tuition rates, respectively, among the top 30 undergraduate engineering programs on the list.

In addition to that, the Wall Street Journal & Times Higher Education ranked Purdue as the #7 Best Value institution in the country, marking 7 straight years of being among the list's top 10. The WSJ/THE college ranking system looks at student outcomes, resources, engagement, and the campus learning environment when compiling their rankings. The higher a university scores in those areas and the lower their tuition, the better the value!

Speaking of student outcomes, let's take a look at the students who graduated from Purdue's undergraduate engineering programs in 2022*:

  • 85% of students reported having at least one internship or co-op experience prior to graduation (over 50% had two or more!).
  • 97% of students were successfully placed into a career or graduate school within 6 months of graduation.
  • Those who went straight into the workforce saw an average starting salary of $79,019.

*Data provided by the Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) Post-Graduate Survey

Purdue has also been taking a variety of approaches to keep costs low for our students - both current and future. Tuition has been frozen at 2012-2013 rates through at least the 2023-2024 academic year, and we've also been keeping our room and board rates low over the years, too! In fact, Purdue's room and board rates are the lowest in the Big Ten, compared to being the second-highest in 2013. You can read more about Purdue's efforts toward affordability on their Freezing Tuition and Cutting Costs page.

All of that means that Purdue Engineering provides our students with a fantastic return on investment, and it's also why we attract students not just from Indiana but from across the country and around the world. Our students choose to come here because they know they will have access to elite academics, a thriving student life, excellent outcomes, and be well worth their time and investment - even if it means paying more as an out-of-state or international student. For our Indiana students, having access to a top-10 engineering program at in-state tuition rates that have been frozen for over 10 years is a value that's hard to beat!


Scholarships are one of the most widely-known avenues for helping pay for college. All students who apply to Purdue prior to the November 1 Early Action application deadline are considered for merit-based scholarships, and there is no separate application for Purdue-specific scholarships for students applying to Engineering. For more details on Purdue's merit-based scholarships, check out the Undergraduate Admissions Freshmen Scholarships page.

Those wishing to be considered for need-based scholarships should file the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to December 15. For the 2024-25 academic year, the deadline to file a FAFSA to be considered for a university-wide need-based scholarship is April 15, 2024. Note that the College of Engineering does not use Purdue's Supplemental/Departmental Scholarship Application, so students applying to the College of Engineering do not need to fill it out. 

Another important thing to note regarding scholarships is that, since all Purdue Engineering students start in our First-Year Engineering program for their freshman year, there will be more scholarship opportunities for students starting their sophomore year when they transition to their engineering major. In fact, the College of Engineering awards $3.8 million in undergraduate scholarships every year. You can view all of of the scholarship opportunities by major on the College of Engineering's current student scholarship page.

The Division of Financial Aid at Purdue also provides a tool called ScholarshipUniverse that helps students find and apply for internal and external scholarships. More details about ScholarshipUniverse can be found on the Division of Financial Aid's Scholarships page.

Internships & Co-Ops

While scholarships are one the most widely-known methods of helping pay for college, they are far from the only opportunity. All internship and co-op opportunities in the field of engineering are paid opportunities, so not only do student interns gain valuable, practical work experience in industry, they also are paid well for their time! Salaries can vary widely based on the employer, industry, and location, but students can typically expect to see salaries starting at or well above $20-30/hr.

Internships are generally a one-at-a-time commitment between an employer and a student, whereas students participating in a co-op will work for the same employer for anywhere from 2-5 work sessions over the course of their time as a student. Most internship opportunities take place over the summer, with some opportunities available during the fall and spring semesters, while co-op work sessions can take place year-round. Co-op students will generally alternate semesters either on-campus studying full-time or off-campus working full-time for their employer. Being a co-op student can often delay graduation by a semester or two, because the student will be off campus for 2-5 semesters, however they are only paying tuition when they are on-campus studying, so it is still only 4 years' worth of tuition broken up over the course of 4.5 or 5 years. You can learn more about Purdue's co-op program on the Office of Professional Practice's website.

Internships and co-ops both pay similarly to each other, so choosing to pursue internships vs. co-ops ultimately boils down to personal preferences. Internships offer a student the opportunity to work with multiple companies and multiple industries, while co-ops provide unmatched breadth and depth within a particular industry.

Internship and co-op opportunities take place across the country, so students are not limited to the Greater Lafayette area. Over 1,000 companies will visit Purdue's campus each year to recruit students for internships, co-ops, and full-time positions, and over 30 career fairs take place each year. Industrial Roundtable is one of the largest student-run career fairs in the country that attracts around 400 companies every year that are looking specifically for engineering students. The Center for Career Opportunities at Purdue offers a variety of services to help students find and secure work opportunities through everything from resume reviews and mock interviews to maintaining a huge jobs board that lists open positions from over a thousand companies.

Research and Campus Jobs

Students also have the opportunity to earn some extra money during the school year through campus jobs and research opportunities!

There is a wide range of campus job opportunities, like working in one of the dining courts on campus, being a Resident Assistant in our residence halls, working in one of the many retail operations on campus, or working with an academic department. As an example, the Office of Future Engineers employs current engineering students in our office year-round as Peer Counselors to connect with prospective students and families and assist our office's daily operations.

On the research front, there are over 2,000 undergraduate research projects taking place on our campus every year. Students can get involved in research as early as their freshman year, and most of our students get involved simply by reaching out to professors whose research they are interested in. As an R1 research institution, all of our professors are involved in research activities, and they are almost always looking for undergraduate help in their labs or know a colleague who is. Research opportunities can be taken for class credit or for pay, and sometimes both.

Campus jobs and research won't pay as much as internships and co-ops, but they can definitely help with having some extra spending money during the school year!