Purdue Polytechnic Institute?

My son’s top choice college is Purdue for computer engineering. However, his unweighted math and science grades average a 3.0, and he’ll take Calculus AB this year and pre-AP physics. His only SAT was a 1300 (660 V; 640 M). He excels in language arts and social studies with all APs and much higher grades. Lots of leadership in ECs, like Eagle Scout and four years as camp counselor, and all state in a niche sport that he’d do club at Purdue.

Anticipating a lukewarm reception from FYE at Purdue, what’s the perception and track for the Purdue Polytechnic Institute? Would he be a longshot for admission to PPI as well? OOS applicant.

We’re visiting on Friday/Saturday. Any must do things while in West Lafayette?

Purdue Polytechnic focuses on engineering technology as opposed to engineering.

If he wants to do engineering, he may want to choose a school where that is accessible, both for initial admission and less difficult or no secondary admission.

Here is a page from RIT explaining the difference between engineering and engineering technology (both of which RIT offers):



Thanks for the RIT suggestion. We’ll look into it. Yes, I’m a bit concerned about the 3.2 GPA requirement at Purdue to get into engineering when the average grades are below 3.0 with lots of talented students. However, I trust Purdue to not admit him unless they think he can succeed.

Other universities have even higher requirements. He’s also considering SMU for engineering because his sister goes there and it’s a bit easier to gain admission vs. Cox School of Business. It’s just a matter of sticking with the program. I didn’t stick with chemical engineering after three years of undergrad so I went to the much easier finance major. :wink:

If your budget will pay for private or out-of-state public schools, then there should be many where a 3.0 HS GPA student will get admitted for an engineering major, and where there are not secondary admission requirements after enrolling.

However, engineering majors are generally seen as difficult majors both in intellectual difficulty and workload, so the chance of completion as an engineering major of a student with a 3.0 HS GPA in math and science may not be as good as that of a student with a higher HS GPA in math and science.

He may want to try this online quiz to check his readiness for calculus and what he may want to review: rurci3

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Have him look at College Facts • College of Engineering • Iowa State University

Great school culture and very good engineering school. Not easy but engineering is not easy.


Thanks, NC State also looks solid and is a good value. ISU engineering is only 17% female but people rave about their experience at ISU on CC.

I can’t tell the % at NC State but they say that ‘the typical fall 2018 first-year student admitted to the College has an unweighted grade point average ranging from 3.75 – 4.0. Eighty percent of all new engineering freshmen are in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. The middle 50 percent of incoming 2018 freshmen have SAT scores in the 1340-1450 range and 30-33 on the ACT.’ Well, my son would be bottom quartile based on stats.

NC state might be tough with the GPA. Look at Michigan State University. Great program BTW…

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@taverngirl… Can you help here? This is more your Forte… Thx…

My S had a 3.0 overall gpa (good rigor though) and a 32 ACT and got into almost all the schools he applied to, most with really good merit. We were only looking in the northeast. Here are some of the schools that he applied/was accepted to:

University of Hartford
University of Maine (honors)
Quinnpiac University

He visited/considered NJIT, Rowan, University of New Haven, Catholic U, and Drexel. Happy to answer more questions or provide more information on his journey.


Note that NCSU has competitive secondary admission to major. Computer engineering and computer science appear to be moderately competitive for secondary admission there (3.0 college GPA has about a 1 in 2 chance of admission).

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Thanks! What was it about Quinnipiac that stood out?

Thanks ucbalumnus for the entry info. We have to really look at the secondary admission stats.

Quinnipiac is very good at preparing students in preprofessional majors. Their engineering program is fairly new but has 100% placement. They cap classes at 24 (huge for my son, who has ADHD and Executive Function issues). We were very impressed with the department head and professors we spoke with. I also reached out to many parents on Facebook, and they all spoke very highly of the school and program. I was surprised how many parents were engineers themselves. That impressed me. S had a tough year with Covid and the fact that he was non medicated. He is on meds now, and the school has been wonderful to work with to get him through. They have a lot of support for the engineering students. Also, the campus is gorgeous, and they have a great hockey team :heart_eyes:

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Quinnipiac sounds really cool and a great fit.

At Purdue (tmw and Sat), we’ll be self touring around campus because all tours are full through August. Engineering, Polytechnic and Business. Should be fun to see buildings. :slight_smile:

Apparently should hit:

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I agree with you that being accepted to Purdue FYE would be a reach. The Polytechnic school would be much more accessible. Part of his decision is how important is being an engineer vs. being a technician. If being an engineer is important to him then he should definitely consider schools where his grades and test scores put him in a competitive position. A school to consider is the University of Toledo. It has a very good engineering school and has both Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as a technology degree. He would be much more likely to be accepted directly into their engineering program and then if he decided to go the technology route instead could transfer there. They have a mandatory co-op program that would allow him to gain work experience. My gut tells me at Purdue he might only have the option of the Polytechnic institute. Is U of Toledo as prestigious as Purdue? No. But, my D was a very strong HS student and had to choose an instate safety for Chemical Engineering. Frankly she could have chosen Ohio State but liked the presentation at U of Toledo better. She was given scholarships enough to allow her to go to U of T, Case Western and Purdue. Purdue was her first choice so that wasn’t a difficult decision but until she heard from Purdue about financial aide she was set on going to U of T over Case Western on the strength of their co-op program.


She was a fabulous candidate and sounds like a classmate of mine at U of Houston chemical engineering. He was a NMF from Ohio and went to Cinci Law for free (turned down Harvard) and has been a partner at a top NY law firm for quite a few years. Another classmate from Wisconsin ended up at Princeton PhD in CHEE. Some went straight into industry.

Yes, FYE is a reach and it’s still his top choice after visiting. Otherwise, he may go to SMU which may be another reach but sister is there and less competitive entry than business. Harder curriculum though. :grinning:

Hi – Good luck with your visit! I would like to share something that I wish we had known before our son committed to Purdue University. It may impact your son’s choice.

Purdue over-accepted students this year by 2500. The freshman class is about 10,000 students. They are trying to find housing for everyone (which is good), but freshman are having to live off-campus/use a bus, etc (which IMHO, Is not good); some are being in rooms with 8 students (barracks style); some are in on-campus doubles with 2 bunkbeds. Apparently, this is not a one time thing. In previous years, they have over-accepted by 1200 and 800 students (2018). Students (not parents) were informed via email just after the July 4th weekend that Purdue would not be able to keep its on-campus housing commitment for students who signed the housing contract by 5/5/21. This extra number of students will also obviously impact class sizes; however they will not answer how these extra 2500 students impact each college, citing that they don’t finalize class numbers until October or so.

This hopefully will not be a big deal for your family, but again, I just wish it was something we had known. Best of Luck with the college process!

Purdue Mama


If the overenrollment included engineering students then that may result in the following:

  • First year engineering students may find it more difficult or competitive to get into their desired majors.
  • Students trying to change into the engineering division may find it more difficult or competitive to do so.
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Purdue has hired 150 tenured track professors, added capacity, and classroom space.

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Purdue seems to have become a victim of its own success!

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Wonder how long it will be before public flagships move to binding ED I and II to better manage yield instead of EA?