Help needed with unfair rejection at Purdue

However, a college that is overenrolled has less incentive to be lenient about rules or fixing mistakes (by the college, the student, or (in some of the UCI cases a few years ago) the high schools that were tardy in sending final transcripts) than a college that is underenrolled.


I’m simply going by the assumption that they’ve done everything right.

1 Like

Totally agree but having said that something doesn’t sound right here either. If there’s a deposit and proof of payment then that’s an acceptance of contract so there must be more to it than OP is letting us know.

Also this is a lesson that if possible no one should ever wait until the last minute to accept and pay the enrollment deposit and students really need to be extra careful and read everything!! Sounds like she should just accept the summer start and move on.


I’d agree but I’ll also take the OP at her word. But my guess is you are correct.

I wonder what percent of people wait til the last day or two that might be dangerous…for future posters.


Yep. Don’t understand it in many cases when it’s such a huge commitment unless you’re waiting for a financial package to come through but also with the commitment why someone wouldn’t be more careful about what they’re clicking through in the first place and leaving enough lead time to get the confirmation of deposit etc. it’s a good lesson for any of us.


This was a routine issue at my son’s alma mater. The application was clear, but odd. It required listing middle school math classes rather than conferring that they’d took them by the highest math achieved. It would cause a significant drop in admissions algorithm points if those classes weren’t listed. As a result, every year very high stats students who didn’t read the application carefully were rejected, much to their dismay. The schools attitude was pretty much that people were beating down the doors to get in, with plenty who did read the directions lined up to take the spot. It was a brutally harsh lesson and one with no recourse.


This entire situation seems terrible assuming the facts are as presented. It has me wondering, however…

Schools very directly claim you have until 11:59 on May 1st to submit your decision…including sending emails on May 1st to remind you of this fact. You go to the portal to accept, click the button saying yes. Often, the ability to pay the deposit comes immediately after this…but in others, they send a follow-up notice within an hour or more that provides the link to pay the deposit. Then they provide an opportunity to pay by e-check (usually takes several days to process), or by credit card.

So yes, it seems risky to wait to the last minute…but do schools not bear some responsibility to be clear on what they need/demand to ensure enrollment. If May 1st is a weekend and you select YES, pay by e-check, you most certainly will not get your deposit funds to their account by midnight. If that’s the expectation…it should be very clearly stated somewhere. IMO.

I find it hard to imagine there aren’t thousands of kids every year who are clicking yes within hours of the midnight deadline. And they don’t lose their spot due to the mechanics of the deposit processing. Maybe I’m wrong.

1 Like

I agree and my kid was also accepted to Purdue and they were sending emails like crazy constantly. This isn’t one of those schools that doesn’t have their crap together.

I don’t agree with others saying to post on twitter and spam them that way because this student can’t be the only one that paid by echeck and clicked the button when she did. And it sounds like she hit the summer button so not sure why she can’t enroll in summer.

I think people responding with the blow up social media and such didn’t read the update and are just responding to the original post, which did sound egregious.

Purdue has been nothing but amazing for our D and I think they will at least honor the summer start, which is what this student selected.

Based on this thread, I bet their won’t be wait list activity this year.


If the OP made a mistake and signed up for the summer start then the OP should honor the mistake and start in the summer. Not really sure what the issue is here. If there is a spot it will go to someone on the waitlist. If Purdue can make something work I am sure they want everyone to be happy. But if there’s no spots for the fall hard to make one I would think. At least she’s going to college.


While the story is not exactly clear, it does not sound like the student has a summer spot, or ever had a summer spot.

It sounds like the student mistakenly accepted a spot she didn’t have for the summer (instead of the fall spot she did have).

The payment she sent was attached to a summer spot that couldn’t be attached to her so the payment sat in limbo.

When she called, the school changed her acceptance to fall in their system but the payment didn’t shift from the limbo to fall until after the deadline. So while it showed she said yes to fall, it didn’t show that she had paid a deposit. It probably would have been in her best interest to pay the deposit for the fall spot and work on getting a refund for the incorrect summer school deposit rather than hoping the system would fix this so close to the wire.

Therefor, her yes was changed to a no because of “non-payment” (her original mistake of having paid for a summer spot she never had).

We could all play shoulda, woulda, coulda but the issues have come and gone. Instead of castigating Purdue for the family’s mistake, I hope the parents are working with the school to figure out what type of solution might be on offer. If I had to guess, a spring admittance may well be her best option if she wants to attend Purdue and may well be the best Purdue will offer.


And I’d be leery of getting the media involved. Does the D really want her name and this snafu easily googled every time she applies for a job, wants to get a security clearance, etc? Even though she did nothing wrong- you have no control over how the press will spin the story. It would be nice if the first five things that come up when the D’s name is googled are “Won a research fellowship” or “Her team came in first place in an incubator competition” and not “Sued Perdue when she was rejected”.


This sounds like an example of a poorly set up online response form. Computerized systems are only as good as the programming. Ideally, a prospective student should only be presented with options for which they are qualified. If this student was not actually offered admission for summer, she should not have had the option to choose summer. Surely, Purdue has the resources to create individualized response forms.

Of course, even if the school learns from this and makes future adjustments, it doesn’t help this student.

I understand the school’s position, but unless a large number of students made the same mistake this student made, I would think that Purdue could accommodate her in the class (although she may have to do a spring start). I suggest trying to do this without going the social media route. Push it up the chain of command internally. If that doesn’t work, you can get more public … but please be sure that this is okay with your D.

Keep in mind that while it may seem like the end of the world to your D if she can’t go to Purdue this fall, she most likely will be given an opportunity to matriculate in the future. Not what she had hoped … but just a blip in the scheme of life. If this happens, it will be important for you to help her stay positive about the outcome.


Summer start is an option for all accepted students.

Early start is the program that is invitation only and wouldn’t have shown up on the portal if ineligible.

It also appears to me that Purdue made a mistake in the design of its website that failed to warn students of the consequences of their final selection. It’s entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that there’re other students who made the same mistake. If OP’s daughter were the only one who made that mistake, Purdue would probably (and quietly) make a change to accommodate her. But if there’re many students like her, accommodation may not be possible.


FWIW, Purdue sends out a ton of information to their accepted students, offers all kinds of webinars, and at least when D was a new Boiler, was clear about the start options.

I remember going back and forth with D about whether summer start made sense or not. There were also pre-start summer abroad options as well (not offered this year). Ultimately she did Fall start because we were moving and she needed her wisdom teeth removed, but many of her current friends did start in the summer and it’s pretty common to do so at Purdue.

It would not have raised any red flags on the university’s end to have a student select and deposit for the summer start option.


I wouldn’t go the media route either. I think short-term legal recourse is one option, in the form of a letter from a lawyer to the president and key admissions staff. A letter from legal counsel can be harder to ignore than the protests of a frustrated parent. The key legal points (accepted & finalized contract, etc.) can be presented in proper fashion and it must be regarded as an official document. Quickly find a competent attorney, at least somewhat knowledgeable in contracts and educational law (that’s the hard part, as most lawyers, even good ones, are only qualified to represent clients in narrow fields of speciality) and have a letter drafted ASAP. This service will cost you but it may help.


It’s fine for the college to offer options. However, I think there should be a warning on the website that a deposit for the summer start program is separate and that another deposit for the fall is still required if the student wants to be enrolled for the fall.


Since D didn’t start in the summer, I don’t know/remember the wording on the website. I do remember the “accept your decision” button where you deposit, being front and center everywhere. It would be very hard to miss.

OP - As an aside, I got the program names reversed. Early start is what’s offered to everyone and summer start is the special program by invite only. Again, only the available option for your student would have appeared in her portal.

In any case, I hope OP’s daughter gets it all straightened out and that her Purdue experience is a positive one going forward. No matter what, this is a lot of stress to be starting a journey that should be exciting.

I’ll circle back if tagged but I’m out of this discussion now as I’m just repeating myself at this point.

1 Like

One thing I’m confused about is if the student clicked summer and was accepted already… well if she starts in the summer they’ll obviously also still need room for her in the fall, so what’s the big deal on their end?