Bloomberg Businessweek

The Myth of The Empty Campus

Purdue is a school that, in the words of its president, Mitch Daniels Jr., “promotes density of our population.” The current enrollment of the university in West Lafayette, Ind., is more than 44,000, up 25% since he took over in 2013. Purdue keeps tuition under $10,000 for in-state students, and room and board costs are lower than those of any other school in the Big Ten. Its football stadium holds 60,000 people. Its theater is larger than Radio City Music Hall.

Like every other American university, Purdue sent its students home as the coronavirus swept through the country in March, switching to online classes to finish the semester. Its commencement also took place virtually. But when the university restarts for the 2020-21 school year, professors and students—including the second-largest freshman class in its history—will be returning to campus, just as they always have.

Purdue “intends to accept students on campus in typical numbers this fall, sober about certain problems that the Covid-19 virus represents, but determined not to surrender helplessly to those difficulties but to tackle and manage them aggressively and creatively,” Daniels wrote in a letter to the university community

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