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Application Essays

Below are essay prompts for the 2024-2025 Common Application. First-time college students (future freshmen) will use the Common Application to  apply to Purdue .  

When applying to Purdue you should use the Common Application.

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Purdue's own  Online Writing Lab  offers advice on  writing essays for college applications .

The Common Application Freshman Essay Prompts 

Required minimum-maximum word count: 250-650

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. 

Purdue Questions 

Respond in 250 words or fewer.

  • How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom?
  • Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected.

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Purdue Supplemental Essays 2023-24 – Prompts and Advice

July 26, 2023

purdue opportunities essay

Purdue is a school where the non-scary acceptance rate figures are not truly indicative of just how competitive the admissions process actually is. This public land grant research university in Indiana is actually a draw for students from around the world—out-of-staters apply at three times the volume of Hoosier State residents. Highly renowned academic programs in areas such as computer science, engineering, and business are part of the reason that the average enrolled applicant attending Purdue today possesses an SAT of 1300+ and a 3.7 unweighted GPA. This brings us to the topic of the Purdue supplemental essays.

(Want to learn more about How to Get Into Purdue? Visit our blog entitled: How to Get Into Purdue University: Admissions Data and Strategies for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

In a competitive admissions environment, Purdue’s essay prompts are viewed by the committee as being “important” to the evaluation process. Therefore, it is vital that all Boilermaker applicants dedicate a significant amount of time to these three essays. Below are Purdue University’s supplemental prompts for the 2023-24 admissions cycle along with our advice for composing winning essays.

Purdue University Essay Prompt #1 (Required)

1) How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (100 words)

Purdue’s essay may not directly ask the applicant, “Why Us?”, but make no mistake—this is very much a classic “Why Us?” essay. This one is going to require some research and you’ll need to be judicious with your language as the 100-word count can be a bit restrictive.

Examples of items that quality “Why Purdue?” essays touch upon include:

  • Firstly, opportunities available through the Office of Undergraduate Research.
  • Purdue has more than 30 study abroad programs .
  • The 600 student organizations on campus.
  • The Pathmaker Internship Program.
  • Numerous combined degree opportunities for ambitious students.

Of course, these are just five out of countless features that could be part of a successful essay. You may also wish to address items like specific courses you are excited about, particular professors, or internship/co-op placements that you would aim to take advantage of.

Purdue Supplemental Essays (Continued)

Essay Prompt #2 (Required)

2) Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (100 words)

Share an authentic story here of why you are interested in your selected discipline. What books have you read on the subject? What documentaries have you watched? Which podcasts have you listened to? What subtopics most intrigue you? Did a teacher excite you about a topic or was it a parent or outside mentor? Do you know where you want to take this knowledge post-bachelor’s degree? Do you aim to one day go on to pursue a graduate/professional degree or is there an occupation you are shooting for right out of undergrad? Include as much detail as possible.

You can structure the narrative of this essay as a soup-to-nuts chronicling of your entire journey toward your discipline of interest (even in limited space) or you could share one or two vignettes that illustrate your burgeoning passion for engineering, history, French, computer science, business, psychology, etc.

Essay Prompt #3 

3): Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)

This may say “optional” but this essay should be considered mandatory for all serious applicants. Unlike many “optional” essays that may or may not apply to you (e.g. COVID impact, gap in education, gender identity, etc.), just about every applicant has at least one extracurricular or work experience worth elaborating on.

With this prompt, Purdue is not necessarily asking you to write about the activity where you earned the most prestigious awards or held the highest position of leadership. The university is going to see all of your activities in that section of the Common App. As such, you want to ask yourself which of your entries is crying out for more explanation and detail. Which one is closest to your heart and most representative of your unique passions? Pick the option that will allow you to deliver additional detail that may be memorable to the admissions reader. For example, you may be a volunteer EMT and have compelling, drama-filled experiences to share.

Alternatively, you may have worked in a local restaurant and learned more about the lives of your undocumented coworkers. Start this process by asking yourself, “What is the most interesting and consequential moment that I have experienced in one of my extracurricular activities?” If you can identify one clear-cut moment, that is likely the activity worth sharing with the Purdue admissions staff.

Essay Prompt #4 (Required if listing a second major)

4) Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the second choice major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

See answer #2 re: your first-choice major. You are essentially repeating this process for a different field. However, you probably don’t want to have two completely unrelated majors/career goals. For example, if your first choice was business and your second choice was economics, it’s easy to explain the relationship. If the fields are more disparate (e.g. Dance & Chemical Engineering, be sure to provide a thorough explanation.

How important are the Purdue supplemental essays?

The essays (both the Common App essay and three supplemental essays) are “important” to the Purdue admissions committee, given the same weight as recommendations, extracurricular activities, character/personal qualities, and first-generation status. This places the essays behind only GPA, standardized test scores, and the rigor of your secondary school record which are designated as “very important” by Purdue.

Purdue Supplemental Essays – Want Personalized Essay Assistance?

Lastly, if you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Purdue supplemental essays, we encourage you to get a quote today.

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College Essays


Known for its highly ranked engineering program and huge array of academic programs, Purdue University is an excellent public university to consider for college. To apply here, though, you will need more than just good grades— you will need to write unforgettable essays as part of the Purdue supplement .

In this guide, we go over the current Purdue essay prompts and offer helpful tips on how to write each Purdue supplemental essay you're required to submit. 

Feature Image: Wes Jackson /Flickr

What Is the Purdue Supplemental Essay?

Freshman applicants to Purdue are required to submit two short answers; there's also one optional longer Purdue supplemental essay. You must additionally write an essay in response to one of the Common Application or Coalition Application prompts , depending on which application system you apply through.

In total, then, you'll be writing three to four Purdue essays of varying lengths.

For each Purdue supplemental essay, you'll get a specific prompt to answer . (By contrast, the Common App/Coalition App personal essay offers you multiple prompts to choose from.) Every Purdue supplemental essay prompt has its own word limit and angle.

Here are the prompts for the 2022-2023 application cycle:

  • [OPTIONAL] Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words max)

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

The first Purdue supplemental essay above must be no longer than 250 words , whereas the two short answers may only be up to 100 words. Note that there is no minimum word count for any of the essays.

Now, how can you ensure you're writing your best Purdue supplemental essay possible?

Every Purdue University Essay Prompt, Analyzed

In this section, we'll look at each Purdue University essay prompt in more detail and give you tips for writing a highly effective response.


Purdue Supplemental Essay

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.

As a reminder, this longer Purdue supplemental essay can be up to 250 words and is optional (though we highly recommend answering it) . The prompt here's pretty straightforward: just give a bit more detail about one of your extracurricular activities listed on your application.

The activity you choose could be pretty much anything , from a sport or instrument you play to an animal shelter you volunteer at on weekends.

The admissions committee at Purdue asks you to elaborate on one of your activities because they want to see other facets of your personality and learn more about what drove you to do a specific activity.

The key is to pick an activity or experience that has helped define you in some way. The best activity to choose is one that showcases an important and unique quality of yourself, such as your leadership skills, your can-do attitude, your adaptability, etc. You should also be heavily passionate about the activity you choose.

Here are examples of activities you could write about for your Purdue University admission essay:

  • Clubs or organizations you're a member of
  • Volunteer service
  • Arts and music
  • Work or internships
  • Family responsibilities
  • Any activity or experience that is meaningful to you

When trying to decide on an activity, it might help to ask yourself these questions :

  • Do you have a story to tell about this activity?
  • How has this activity positively impacted or influenced you?
  • If you're still doing this activity, why is that? What about it makes you want to keep doing it?
  • Have you already written about this activity in another Purdue essay? If so, consider choosing a different topic for this essay.

Don't feel obligated to pick your most "impressive" activity either. For example, maybe you've been figure skating competitively since middle school and have won many big national awards, but you'd rather write about your more recent experience with trying out for and making your school's basketball team after realizing you wanted to get involved in a new sport.

Be sure to explain what the activity is, when/how you started it, and what kind of meaning it holds for you. You won't have a lot of room here (just 250 words!), so make sure to keep the focus on its significance.

Purdue Short Answer 1

This first Purdue short-answer question is essentially a mini "why this college" essay that's asking you to answer the basic question, "Why Purdue?"

A cogent essay will answer these two questions:

  • What does Purdue offer academically that makes it a good fit for you? 
  • What does Purdue offer in terms of extracurriculars, student clubs and sports, professional connections, contests, etc. that makes it a good fit for you?

Note that you don't need to go into much detail about your major here, as that's what the second short answer is for (see below). But you will still need to identify two key points about Purdue (one academic, one non-academic) that drew you to apply to this university specifically .

To start, do some research on the university by browsing the official Purdue website . Look for any defining features that stand out to you, such as a professor with whom you wish to work, a course you can't wait to take, a club you'd like to join, a study abroad program you want to do, etc. Think about how these qualities, both academic and non-academic, could help support your own aspirations, whatever they may be.

For example, maybe you visited a Purdue art gallery and felt inspired to apply after realizing, as an artist yourself, just how much Purdue values creativity and freedom of expression.

Finally, be extremely specific here . You want it clear that your essay is about Purdue only . So use actual names and places while avoiding generalizations that can apply to other colleges!

Purdue Short Answer 2

This second short-answer question is all about your intellectual curiosity. Admissions officers want to know not only why you have selected your major, but also how studying this major at Purdue will help you achieve your goals .

Like the Purdue supplemental essay above, you don't have a lot of room here (just 100 words!), so you'll need to be concise but effective.

While it's great to mention how you got interested in your field, you should also try to steer your response toward your academic and professional goals. What do you plan to do with your major once you graduate? How will Purdue help you do this?

For example, perhaps you've been fascinated by bugs since you were little and now plan to major in insect biology.

In your essay, you could talk about what propelled your interest (perhaps a bully tried to shove an ant in your face once, but instead of being scared, you were enamored with the insect's tiny body), mention what you've done to further that interest (e.g., taken some classes and built your own ant farm), and then discuss how the insect biology program at Purdue gives you the opportunity to do real fieldwork and participate in the College of Agriculture's Career Fair so you can find jobs in pest management.


How to Write a Great Purdue Supplemental Essay: 4 Tips

To wrap up, here are four tips to help you write a great supplemental Purdue University admission essay.

#1: Write Succinctly and Purposefully

All three Purdue supplemental essays you need to write are pretty short, with one 250-word essay and two 100-word essays. You'll have to really use your space wisely if you want to produce solid and memorable essays in the end. This means that you should practice being more concise.

If you have a tendency to go on and on or add way too many details or flowery language to your writing, take some time to practice writing more directly and more crisply . You likely won't have enough room to throw in any extended metaphors, so don't even try—just write honestly about your passions and goals.

Additionally, be sure to cut out any words, phrases, or sentences that don't directly answer the prompt or reveal more about you as a person.

You might feel that your writing is boring, but as long as you're telling your story openly and with real emotion, you're sure to write an unforgettable Purdue essay.

#2: Be Extremely Specific

One thing lots of students struggle with in their college essays is being specific enough . Especially when it comes to such short essays, you want to ensure you're telling admissions officers the most important and essential information you can give them about yourself.

Remember, they already know the basics about your achievements—they can see your test scores, grades, and extracurriculars. But what they don't have is a clear understanding of what makes you you . It's your job to paint this picture for them.

For example, don't just write that you want to major in Jewish studies because you're Jewish. What specifically drew you to this major over all the others out there?

Maybe you had a special experience that cemented your connection to Jewish history and culture, or maybe somebody you deeply admire inspired you to research your ancestry, making you want to use this knowledge to support and empower other young Jews like yourself.

Whatever you choose to write about for your Purdue essays, just be sure that you give admissions officers the "what" and "why."

#3: Always Bring It Back to Purdue

As we saw with the Purdue supplement essay example we analyzed, it's critical that you bring your essays (mainly the two short answers) back to Purdue and why this school is ultimately a good fit for you, your talents, and your ambitions .

Avoid bland, meaningless compliments, such as "Purdue is very prestigious," and instead focus on the unique and specific aspects that you believe make this school worth applying to.

Here are some qualities of Purdue you could mention in your essay(s):

  • A professor whom you wish to work with
  • A specific class you're excited to take
  • A piece of equipment, facility, lab, etc. you really want to use
  • Opportunities for career building, such as its 30+ annual career fairs
  • Schoolwide competitions or events you want to take part in
  • A student club or organization you plan to join
  • Its emphasis on inclusion and diversity
  • Its vocal support of the arts

Regardless of what aspect of Purdue you choose to focus on in your response to the Purdue University essay prompt, just be sure to tie this characteristic back to yourself somehow and explain how it will help you achieve your goals.

#4: Polish It Up

Our final tip is to spend ample time editing and proofreading each Purdue essay you write.

Once you've written a rough draft, put the essay away for a few days. Then, take it out again and look it over with a fresh set of eyes. Note any irrelevant, incorrect, or unclear places and edit as needed. Do this process a few times until you have a fairly clean draft.

Next, hand your essay off to someone you trust, such as a parent or teacher, and ask them to read it over and edit for content, structure, and grammar. Use their feedback to tweak your essay until you're satisfied with how it sounds.

Right before you submit your application to Purdue, proofread your essay one final time . Follow these tips and you're guaranteed to have one great Purdue supplemental essay!


What's Next?

Want to learn more about what it takes to get into Purdue? Then check out our Purdue admission requirements page to see what GPA and SAT/ACT scores you'll need to aim for.

Applying to other colleges in and around the Midwest? Then it might help to look at our college essay guides for Notre Dame , UIUC , and the University of Michigan .

If you're getting ready to write your long Common App essay , you'll definitely want to read our in-depth guide to all Common App prompts and how to answer them effectively .

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.

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Purdue Supplemental Essay 2022-2023

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Purdue Supplemental Essay: Quick Facts

  • Purdue University acceptance rate: 67%— U.S. News ranks Purdue as a more selective school.
  • Purdue application: Purdue only accepts the Common Application , not the Coalition Application.
  • 2 (100-word) required essays
  • 2 (500-word) Purdue Honors College essays (required if applying to the Honors College)
  • Purdue Essay Tip: We recommend answering both Purdue University supplemental essays comprehensively and thoughtfully, highlighting in each of your Purdue essays why Purdue is the perfect school for you.

What are Purdue University’s essays?

In addition to the Common App essay , students must also complete the Purdue supplemental essay prompts. 

Required Purdue supplemental essay prompts:

  • How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (100 words)
  • Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (100 words)

Required Purdue supplemental essay prompts for Honors College applicants are:

  • One Purdue supplemental essay about your vision for your honors experience at Purdue (500 words)
  • An additional Purdue supplemental essay about the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study (500 words)

These Purdue application essays represent the final step in the Purdue application process. Strong responses to the Purdue supplemental essays can help your Purdue application stand out among the almost 60,000 applications the university receives each year.

So, if you want to get into Purdue, it’s important to spend time on your responses to the Purdue essay prompts. A solid set of Purdue application essays can make a major difference in the Purdue admissions process.

In this guide, we’ll break down each of the Purdue essay prompts and provide expert tips on how to make sure your Purdue application essays shine. Keep reading to learn how to approach your Purdue University supplemental essays!

Purdue application essay requirements

purdue supplemental essay

Many selective colleges require supplemental essays beyond the standard Common App essay, also known as the Personal Statement . The Purdue application requirements are no exception to this. 

There are two Purdue essay prompts required of all applicants. Additionally, Honors College applicants must complete two additional Purdue University supplemental essays. Pay close attention to which Purdue supplemental essays you should complete, as it varies by program. 

So, if you are applying to Purdue University, you must complete at least two 100-word Purdue essay prompts. Each Purdue supplemental essay is designed to give you a chance to show Purdue admissions officers who you are, beyond the rest of your application. You should treat each Purdue supplemental essay as an opportunity to showcase a part of yourself that isn’t highlighted elsewhere within the Purdue application requirements.

Honors College essay requirements

Like many schools, Purdue has additional requirements for the Purdue Honors College. If you apply to the Purdue John Martinson Honors College, you must complete two more 500-word Purdue Honors College essays. These additional prompts help Purdue Admissions ensure that Purdue Honors College applicants go above and beyond the typical Purdue application requirements. 

You should be sure to set aside more than enough time to craft strong Purdue Honors College essays and Purdue supplemental essays.

Purdue Supplemental Essay- Prompt 1 ( Required )

How will opportunities at purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom (100 words maximum).

The first Purdue essay asks applicants to reflect on their academic and personal interests. Then, it asks them to explain how Purdue will help them pursue those interests. In other words, the first of the Purdue essay prompts asks why you want to attend Purdue over any other school. 

You’ve probably encountered similar “why this college?” essay prompts on other applications. So, as you might expect, this Purdue application essay must be specific to Purdue. You won’t be able to copy and paste another school’s essay to answer this Purdue supplemental essay. 

Brainstorming your topic

Before starting to write this Purdue supplemental essay, think about your interest in Purdue. Write down a list of reasons why Purdue made your college list. Does Purdue offer a particular program that interests you? Or does Purdue’s campus culture fit your vision for your college experience? The best responses to the Purdue essay prompts will include specific details.

purdue opportunities essay

Building your narrative

Once you have created your list of interests, identify several that you would like to write about in your Purdue supplemental essays. This Purdue supplemental essay doesn’t give you much space; picking one or two interests, therefore, will help you stay within the word count and give your essay some structure. 

When deciding which interests to focus on, remember your other Purdue essay. You can discuss your intended major in the second of the required Purdue essay prompts. With this in mind, make sure you don’t delve into topics better suited for other Purdue essay prompts. Instead, use this Purdue supplemental essay to talk about interests that you have not discussed in other areas of your application. After all, you want each Purdue supplemental essay to showcase a different part of your identity.

Making it specific

Next, research Purdue to see how your interests overlap with opportunities Purdue offers. The Purdue essay prompts are a chance to show off the research you’ve done; for example, talking to Purdue admissions representatives or visiting campus. If any of these interactions relate to one of your chosen themes, mention them in this Purdue supplemental essay. This shows your knowledge of Purdue’s strengths as a university. 

For example, a prospective student could use this Purdue application essay to discuss the state-of-the-art kinesiology labs she visited and how they would help her pursue her interest in physical therapy. Make sure you discuss what you experienced along with how it relates to your interests. Once again, the best Purdue University supplemental essays will use specific details to show why you belong at Purdue.

Writing your essay

Now that you’ve done the brainstorming and research for this Purdue supplemental essay, you can start writing. Because you only have 100 words for this Purdue supplemental essay, you need to make each one count. Avoid unrelated topics, vague wording, and forms of “to be.” Instead, use clear language and strong action verbs in each Purdue essay. Compare these two sentences below:

“There is no school that is a better fit to support my interests than Purdue University.” (16 words)

“Purdue possesses the resources to support my interests.” (8 words)

The second sentence conveys the same message as the first, but it uses much stronger language and fewer words. Specific details and short, powerful sentences will help your Purdue essay stand out. 

Purdue Supplemental Essay Reflection Questions:

  • Does your Purdue essay refer to 2-3 strong interests from your list?
  • Do you present information not found in other areas of your application?
  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay contain specific information about Purdue based on your research?
  • Do you clearly explain to Purdue admissions how Purdue will help you pursue your interests?

Purdue Supplemental Essay — Prompt 2 ( Required )

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (100 words maximum).

The second of the Purdue supplemental essays is the typical “why major essay.” The “why major essay” is a common supplemental essay question that many schools require. Purdue is no different—they want to understand why you aim to pursue the field you’ve indicated on your application. 

The reality of the “why major essay” question is that schools want to know you’ve done your research on their programs. As a result of this, your “why major essay” for each school must relate to that school’s unique offerings. While you can include some general details, you should make sure this essay remains school-specific. 

Not all students know what they plan to major in. Choosing your college major is a big decision, and it requires plenty of forethought. This Purdue supplemental essay can be especially daunting if you’re unsure of your major, so let’s explore how to get around that. 

Brainstorming your major

purdue supplemental essay

Before starting to write this “why major essay,” think about the school subjects you enjoy. You may already identify as a lover of math or know you have the most fun in English class. However, Purdue University offers more than 200 different undergraduate majors across their 11 different colleges, so check the full list for options. This research will also help you show demonstrated interest in this Purdue supplemental essay.

When selecting a major for this Purdue application essay, think about the career you might want to pursue. You might consider the topics you have liked learning about, both inside and outside the classroom. If you’re having trouble selecting one major for this Purdue supplemental essay, choose the major you have the most compelling reasons to pursue.

Selecting a field of study for this Purdue supplemental essay might feel daunting. However, don’t be stressed about choosing a major. Instead, as you write your Purdue supplemental essay, focus on showing your intellectual curiosity and engagement with your studies. You can always change your major once you arrive on campus.

Using details

In order to write the best essay possible, include experiences that have made the biggest impact on your academic career. Have you had a teacher who drove you to explore more about their subject? Have you had work or volunteer experience that inspired you to pursue a particular major? Do you have a burning passion to support a specific cause? 

Your Purdue application essay should tell a story. So, highlight stories where you’ve engaged deeply with your chosen subject, whether directly or indirectly. In doing so, you’ll help readers understand why your chosen major excites you. This can help your Purdue supplemental essay showcase your intellectual curiosity.

Whatever major you choose, don’t just discuss the basic reasons why you enjoy it in this Purdue essay. Instead, go deeper. Think of this Purdue essay as a short narrative where you share moments in your life that have influenced you. A student who wants to major in electrical engineering might talk about getting a circuitry kit for Christmas and watching his dad repair wires around the house. She might then share how she helped the school robotics club win a competition. Find those formative moments in your life and use them as the foundation of your Purdue supplemental essay. Again, the best Purdue supplemental essay will be the most specific!

  • Does your Purdue essay focus on the major that most interests you?
  • Do you use specific details about how you came to love that major?
  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay help your reader learn something new about you?

Purdue Honors College Essay Requirements

The Purdue Honors College is a separate program within Purdue University specifically designed for high-achieving students. Recently, the Purdue Honors College became formally known as the John Martinson Honors College. According to their website , “Martinson supports new programmatic initiatives which promote undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity, leadership and professional development, global and community engagement, and innovative pedagogies.” 

You should research the Purdue Honors College thoroughly before deciding if you want to apply. Once you make the decision that the Purdue Honors College is right for you, it’s time to crack down on the Purdue Honors College essays.

The Purdue Honors College supplemental essay requirements are:

  • 1 (500-word) Purdue supplemental essay about your vision for your honors experience at Purdue
  • 1 (500-word) Purdue essay prompt about the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study

Now, let’s break down each of the Purdue supplemental essays for the Purdue Honors College and talk about strategies to tackle each one. 

For more help on writing supplemental essays, click here . For help standing out in the college admissions process, read this article .

Purdue Honors College Essays- Question 1 

Explain your vision, ideas, or goals for how you hope to shape your honors experience while at purdue. please put this in the context of the four pillars which are the foundation of the john martinson honors college. (500 word maximum).

In order to answer the first of the Honors College Purdue essay prompts effectively, you need to reflect on your reasons for applying to the Honors College. Then, you need to connect those reasons to the four pillars that express the Honors College’s values. The best Purdue application essays will directly connect an applicant’s academic goals with the four pillars of the Purdue Honors College.

Understanding Purdue

Before starting this Purdue supplemental essay, you need to have a firm understanding of the four pillars mentioned in the prompt. These pillars are: community and global engagement, undergraduate research, leadership development, and interdisciplinary academics. Reviewing the Honors College mission statement will give you more information about the four pillars. You do not need to reference all four of these pillars in your Purdue essay; instead, focus on whichever ones best fit with your future plans.

Researching the Honors College beyond the four pillars can also help strengthen your Purdue supplemental essay. Start by browsing this year’s Honors College course list . Review some of the research projects done by past Honors students. As you brainstorm for your Purdue admissions essays, look for programs and projects that connect to your interests. You might see a course or research project that lines up with one of your passions. You can use that as evidence in your Purdue essay that the Honors College will provide an ideal learning environment to nurture your interests.

Making it about you

This Purdue essay prompt asks you to imagine how you would spend your time as a Purdue Honors student. That future will likely be rooted in your past experiences. Strong Purdue application essays, therefore, should use the four pillars of Purdue Honors to connect your past experiences to your future at Purdue. 

When you talk about your future, try to be as specific as possible. For instance, saying that you want to travel to India to study their culture is not as powerful as saying that you want to travel to India to research how native fashions have changed due to modern technology in this Purdue essay.

purdue supplemental essay

You can begin brainstorming for this Purdue supplemental essay by doing a fr e e-write based on this prompt: “If I could have any academic experience I want in college, what would it be?” Think about the questions you might explore or problems you would like to solve if you had the freedom to choose. Don’t limit yourself—the best way to start writing is to free yourself from any perfectionism. 

Use this Purdue admissions essay to share the subject that you could stay up all night researching or the idea you cannot get out of your head. Let your ambition come across in your writing, using the four pillars of the Honors College as the foundation for achieving your goals. Finally, help your reader envision how you would contribute to the Honors College in this Purdue supplemental essay.

  • Does your Purdue essay clearly describe your goals for attending the Honors College?
  • Do you include references to at least one of the four pillars of the Honors College?
  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay indicate specific projects you might undertake or resources you might use as an Honors student?

Purdue Honors College Essays — Question 2

Please describe the interdisciplinary nature of your chosen field of study and how it complements or supports other fields. (examples: you might describe how your work in a liberal arts career may impact or inform the work of an engineer.) (500 word maximum).

The second of the Purdue application essays asks how your chosen subject connects to other fields. At first, this Purdue essay can seem daunting. After all, most high school classes are separated by subject without much room for interdisciplinary work. However, with a little creative thinking, you can develop relationships between just about any set of subjects and use those relationships to write a strong Purdue essay.

Finding an intersection

To get you started, here are a few examples of interdisciplinary study that would make good material for Purdue application essays:

  • Creating a business plan for a health care clinic combines medicine with economics
  • Volunteering at a music therapy provider combines Psychology and Music into an interdisciplinary field grounded in helping those with mental illnesses
  • A project about the evolution of manufacturing technology combines history with engineering

These example topics for a Purdue supplemental essay represent a tiny fraction of the ways you could answer this prompt. Each of these potential Purdue application essays could also tie in with some of your activities from high school. 

You might also use your Purdue essay to consider what you have learned working with people who have different interests than yours and how you could bring that knowledge to your studies. Strong Purdue admissions essays can come from anywhere, so don’t limit yourself. 

Getting creative

If you struggle to form connections between academic fields based on your personal experience, you can use your imagination to come up with hypothetical situations that might foster collaboration across fields. These imaginary situations can still make for a great Purdue supplemental essay. 

For instance, as a lover of computer science, you might imagine its applications in the world of digital art to create vivid settings for a video game. The best Purdue supplemental essays will be unique and creative. Additionally, strong Purdue application essays will tell a story. The more you can use narratives to illustrate the wide range of uses for your discipline, the more successful your Purdue admissions essay will be.

Essays Reflection Questions for Purdue Honors College :

  • Does your Purdue supplemental essay demonstrate your enthusiasm for your chosen field?
  • Do you include a variety of possible connections between your chosen fields and other fields?
  • Does your Purdue admissions essay use stories and examples to illustrate the connections between fields?

Want more helpful tips on how to approach your Purdue supplemental essays and other aspects of Purdue University’s application process? Check out this video below from Purdue’s senior assistant director of admissions! 

What does Purdue University look for in essays?

Your Purdue supplemental essays help the admissions team get to know you beyond your demographics, transcript, and activities list. Each Purdue essay also provides valuable insight into what kind of student you would be.

These specific Purdue essay prompts help the Purdue admissions committee understand how you will use your education at Purdue. Purdue looks for students who can articulate their interests and describe how Purdue’s resources will help them pursue these interests. Your Purdue application essays, then, should show the Purdue admissions team how Purdue would help you meet your goals.

Demonstrated Interest

The committee wants to see you show demonstrated interest (DI) in Purdue. DI is a gauge that universities use to determine how interested a student is in attending their school. To take advantage of this, use your Purdue application essays to explain exactly what about Purdue interests you. You don’t need to physically visit the campus to write strong Purdue supplemental essays. However, if you don’t visit , it helps to find other ways of showing your interest. These include contacting admissions officers, reviewing the school’s website, or attending a virtual information session/webinar.

The Purdue admissions team also wants to know if you can write clearly and concisely—an important skill for succeeding in college. So, ensure your writing is strong, clear, and free of any errors. Your Purdue application essays also show your attention to detail and passion for learning. Students who use the Purdue essay prompts to showcase their passions will definitely impress the admissions team.

How do I get into Purdue University?

Getting accepted into Purdue starts with filling out the Common Application and meeting the Purdue application requirements. On the Common Application, you will report your GPA, list your high school activities, and write a 250-650 word Common App essay. 

For the fall and spring of 2023, Purdue is test flexible . This means if you have the opportunity to take the SAT or ACT, Purdue admissions would prefer you do. This is different from test optional because test optional schools truly have no preference for test scores. Purdue, however, makes it clear that they would like to review test scores as part of your application if possible. Strong scores will only enhance your application . 

Purdue application requirements

Your GPA , course schedule, test scores, Common App essay, letters of recommendation , supplemental essays, and extracurricular activities comprise the Purdue application requirements and will all factor into the committee’s decision.

Last year, approximately 60,000 students applied to Purdue University. The median GPA range of accepted applicants was 3.5-3.9, the median SAT was 119-1410, and the median ACT was 26-33. As you can see, Purdue admits students with high scores, which contributes to the U.S. News Purdue University ranking.

Purdue Application

In 2022, U.S. News assigned its Purdue University ranking among national universities at #51 overall. US News also named Purdue as one of the Top 10 most innovative universities in the last four years. Among public universities , the Purdue University ranking is #18 in the country. Purdue University’s top academic programs include Aerospace Engineering (where the Purdue University ranking is #5) and Biological/Agricultural Engineering (where the Purdue University ranking is #2). This makes Purdue a great fit for students specifically interested in those fields.

Finally, the Purdue University ranking attracts many applicants who view Purdue’s rankings as a sign of prestige. This means that Purdue supplemental essays will be used to determine which students are interested in attending for reasons beyond the Purdue University ranking. Remember, your Purdue supplemental essays are your chance to show the admissions team your genuine interest in the school. 

Looking to put your best foot forward when filling out the Common Application and writing the Common App essay? Check out this guide for helpful tips.

Top 5 Purdue Supplemental Essay Tips

How to write an outstanding purdue supplemental essay:, #1 – start early.

Be sure to leave yourself time to edit and revise each of your Purdue University supplemental essays. You don’t want to be drafting and editing a Purdue supplemental essay down to the wire.

#2 – Look at the big picture

When writing your Purdue supplemental essays, consider your application as a whole. Make sure that each Purdue supplemental essay explores something new about you. 

#3 – Be authentic

Don’t lie or exaggerate on your Purdue University supplemental essays. Each Purdue application essay is a chance for you to showcase who you are.

#4 – Show your unique self

These Purdue supplemental essays are an opportunity for you to stand out to Purdue admissions. Don’t generalize in your responses to the Purdue essay prompts. Instead, get specific about your experiences. Use the opportunity to not only demonstrate who you are, but also to show off your writing style.

#5 – Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Edit your essays . You don’t want to craft a stellar Purdue supplemental essay, only to have it marred by poor grammar or a spelling mistake. Have another person look over each Purdue supplemental essay before you submit it. 

Purdue Supplemental Essay — Final Thoughts

Although each Purdue supplemental essay is short, they are also incredibly important. Don’t think that a short essay will take you less time to write—often, short essays are the hardest to write. Given the Purdue University ranking, you should use every chance you get to stand out. This includes crafting strong Purdue supplemental essays.

Be yourself

The Purdue essay prompts help the admissions committee get to know the person behind the grades and test scores. Make sure that your Purdue supplemental essays are full of anecdotes and stories that show why you will succeed as a Purdue student! Let your readers know in each Purdue supplemental essay that you have done your research and thought about why you want to attend Purdue.

Ask for help!

And finally, seek help from trusted sources with editing your Purdue supplemental essays; sometimes a second opinion can help you improve your Purdue essays in unexpected ways.

Purdue supplemental essay

This Purdue supplemental essays guide was written by Laura Frustaci.   Looking for more admissions support? Click  here  to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how  CollegeAdvisor.com  can support you in the college application process.

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Purdue University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 15

You Have: 

Purdue University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 2 short answers of 250 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s):   Why , Short Answer

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 250 words or fewer.)

This is basically a super short Why essay and the best way to answer it is to do your research. If you set aside an hour to crawl through the school website and jot down the things that appeal to you, you’ll end up with a pretty comprehensive list of things that are relevant to your interests. Write down literally everything: courses, professors, clubs, traditions, you name it! You’ll put this information to good use in this essay and the next one. When you’ve finished your research spree, group your notes thematically, and pick a small cluster to cover in this brief essay. For example, let’s say you love creative writing (we get you). You might describe how taking a combination of English and history classes will help you write the Great American Novel, while joining an improv group in the meantime will sharpen your wit and creative thinking. College is a time to explore, so show admissions just how you plan to do that. Space is limited, so don’t worry about getting too detailed about your major and professional goals. You’ll have an opportunity to do that in the next short essay you write.

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 250 words or fewer.)

We told you! Can we predict the future? Did we read all the questions before writing this guide? Who is to say? At any rate, now is the time to get nerdy. This prompt is all about your intellectual curiosity, but also your ambition for the future. There are so many reasons to pursue a degree in economics: because you’ve always wanted to apply your interest in math to the real world; or because you’re gunning for a career in finance; or even because you want to make policy one day. No one is more or less valid than the other, so first and foremost, be honest about your reasons. Then refer to your notes to fill in the details with colorful examples. In a short essay like this, you’ve got to shoot from the hip, so be specific and succinct. What makes Purdue the ideal place to pursue your dream? How will their offerings and opportunities inch you towards your goal?

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purdue opportunities essay

How to Write the Purdue University Essays 2016-2017

Check out the purdue university application essays for 2017-2018.

Founded in 1869 in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University has established itself as one of the top institutions worldwide for engineering and agriculture.

Offering over 200 majors and many more opportunities outside the classroom, including internships with Fortune 500 companies and research positions under renowned faculty, coupled with just under 30,000 undergraduate students, Purdue allows for a diverse range of pursuits. Furthermore, as a member of the Big Ten Conference, the Purdue Boilermakers are sure to hit the front pages for their performance in college bowl games and March Madness.

In addition to its rigorous engineering curriculum, which includes highly regarded agricultural and industrial engineering departments, Purdue is known for a top-notch aviation program that features graduates like Neil Armstrong. However, it is also known for creating the Online Writing Lab (OWL), which you’ve most likely consulted at least once when writing papers.

Outside the classroom, Purdue has made a sizable commitment to its research programs, with hundreds of millions of dollars in sponsored research funding from federal organizations. Purdue’s footprint in improving society’s understanding of agriculture, business, and engineering is sizable. Students may also boost their pre-professional preparation through a variety of co-op and internship offerings.

Purdue University Application Essay Prompts

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

There are two major components to this prompt. First and foremost, you have to demonstrate your knowledge of Purdue and its unique offerings. You can then establish a connection between your knowledge of Purdue and your own interests. When considering what you’ll write about regarding Purdue’s offerings, you want to include specific details that will demonstrate that you’ve done your homework on the school.

Some examples of what differentiates Purdue from other universities include:

  • Aeronautical engineering program and work in flight (whether terrestrial or extraterrestrial) is one of the best in the world
  • Unique First-Year Engineering program that’s designed to test students’ critical thinking both inside and outside the classroom
  • Strong research activity with unique opportunities like its Discovery Park, nanotechnology program, and Research Park
  • Honors College, where you’re able to live with similarly driven and like-minded students, or Learning Communities, where you also gain a more focused academic and extracurricular experience that’s tailored to meet your interests
  • Even if you’re not interested in joining a specific community, the large campus and diverse student body offer plenty of niches where you can find your best fit
  • Division I Athletics with plenty of spectating opportunities, though a caveat would be that this shouldn’t be a key driver in your response unless you are an athlete yourself
  • Dominant Greek Life presence offers networks of kindred spirits for you to bond with, if you’re interested

Brainstorm ways in which your unique pursuits could enable you take full advantage of these offerings. Integrate as many elements of your extracurricular and academic profile as are reasonably possible into your essay, in order to cement both your compatibility with and commitment to the university.

For example, a prospective engineer might be attracted to Purdue’s strong engineering programs , particularly in aeronautics. Purdue also offers many research opportunities, allowing this student to realize his or her dream of constructing a drone. Finally, the student might consider joining a social organization to recruit similarly passionate and reliable teammates for this project.

While you want to present a strong case for how you’ll take advantage of the opportunities available to Purdue students, be wary of packing too many elements into your essay. Your primary goal should be to establish a clear connection between your interests and accomplishments and the opportunities that await you at Purdue; don’t jeopardize the clarity of your essay by mentioning every possible activity you could pursue, especially given the tight word count.

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

This prompt is primarily seeking to understand the story behind your major choice by asking you to cite your high school coursework, extracurricular activities, and other relevant experiences that shaped this decision. However, it is necessary that in your response you demonstrate not only a thorough understanding of the major you wish to pursue, but also what it would truly entail to pursue this major in college. This can make the prompt challenging.

For students seeking traditional majors that most high schools provide ample exposure to, their coursework is a fairly reliable source to draw from. Examples of these majors include the core subjects like mathematics, science, English, or history. Your choice to major in any of these subjects can be framed by your initial experiences in these classes.

For example, you may have relished the analytical thinking and theoretical perspective required of you in completing a geometry proof. Science may have been appealing for the lab work, which replicated groundbreaking experiments conducted centuries ago by visionaries of their time. English and history may have been exercises in close reading with limitless possibilities in terms of the arguments to be made.

However, although you may have a stronger background in these subjects, a real concern is whether your experiences accurately reflect what you can expect from the major in college. AP English Language and AP Euro classes won’t exactly present the same challenges as a seminar class, in which you might scrutinize the dense opening chapter to Marx’s Capital for a week or the same 3 lines in Dante’s Inferno in hopes of gaining some new understanding that scholars have missed.

In this case, you have to be careful to research the expectations of your college major, specifically how it exists at Purdue, and identify the overlaps between your high school coursework and the major. For example, as an econ major in college, you thankfully won’t be drawing supply and demand curves over and over, but you can expect to learn key economic models, which share a similar goal of understanding phenomena in the global markets.

To supplement discussion of your academic qualifications, you may also consider mentioning your extracurricular activities or your internships, which may be a more accurate representation of your chosen college major — this is true for internships in particular. Talking about the rigors of a math competition that involved completely unfamiliar concepts but required similar modes of thinking or tinkering in a research lab would all be valid examples.

Some students, however, may be interested in majors with which there isn’t any real overlap with their current coursework. For example, an International Relations major in college isn’t grounded in any one high school subject. However, the thinking required for the major can definitely be found in other subjects. You merely have to conduct more granular research into the subject and its program at Purdue to better understand why it attracts you, what relevant experience you have, and how you expect to pursue it at the university.

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Blog > Essay Advice , Private University , Supplementals > How to Write the Purdue Supplemental Essays

How to Write the Purdue Supplemental Essays

Admissions officer reviewed by Ben Bousquet, M.Ed Former Vanderbilt University

Written by Kylie Kistner, MA Former Willamette University Admissions

Key Takeaway

Purdue University requires two concise supplemental essays highlighting your interests, choice of major, and how Purdue's opportunities align with these. Avoid repetition, articulate a clear narrative, and show your potential contribution to the school.

Purdue University only has two supplemental essays . Each should be fewer than 100 words in length, so you won’t have a whole lot of space. Make every word count!

Let’s take a look at the prompts.

How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

In this why us prompt, Purdue asks you to write about how Purdue’s offerings will help you pursue your interests inside and outside the classroom. Now’s your chance to show off your knowledge of Purdue and, more importantly, make a case for why you’re a good fit. It’s also a chance for you to be clear about what your interests are and how you intend on pursuing them.

Also note that the prompt instructs you to talk about in and out of the classroom. While you’re applying to be a student at Purdue, Purdue admissions officers are also assessing whether you’re a good fit for their campus outside of academics. Feel free to talk about relevant extracurriculars, clubs, and internship opportunities in addition to academic opportunities (like coursework, faculty, or research projects). Your in- and out-of-the-classroom focus can be on the opportunities or on your interests.

Finally, as with any why us prompt, you want to emphasize the connections between what you want and what the school has to offer—and vice versa! Don’t forget that part of school fit is also demonstrating that you have a lot to offer the school, too.

Briefly discuss your reasons for pursuing the major you have selected. (Respond in 100 words or fewer.)

And to wrap up your Purdue supplement, you have a why major essay. Remember that your Purdue admissions officer will be reading the two essays alongside each other. There may be some areas of overlap between the opportunities that will support your interests and the reasons you want to pursue your intended major.

Listen: don’t repeat yourself. Between the two essays, you only have 200 words max to say everything you need to say to your Purdue admissions officer. Repeating yourself won’t do you any favors. Before you start writing either essay, brainstorm a list of what information you want to go in each. Figure out how to disperse the information relatively evenly and in a way that makes the most sense.

Your first essay, for example, might focus more on larger-scale opportunities at Purdue, while this second essay may hone in on why you’re interested in the subject and what department resources have appealed to you.

This answer is also a great place to highlight any relevant academic or extracurricular accomplishments you want to detail for your admissions officers.

Key Takeaways

You may find that your answers to these questions have some overlap. Try to avoid repeating yourself and find a way to make each answer communicate something new about yourself to an admissions officer.

And when in doubt, consider how your essays contribute to your cohesive application narrative .

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, examples of successful purdue supplemental essays.

Hello! I'm working on my Purdue supplemental essays and I could use some inspiration or guidance from successful ones. Can anyone share their essay or some tips on what made it stand out? Thanks!

Hello! It's always helpful to see what others have done, but remember that your essay should be unique to you and your experiences. With that in mind, here are some general tips for crafting a strong Purdue supplemental essay:

1. Answer the Prompt: Make sure you understand the prompt and focus your essay on answering it clearly. Purdue prompts usually focus on why you're interested in your chosen major, your future goals, and how Purdue can help you achieve them.

2. Be Specific: Show that you have done your research about Purdue and its programs. Mention courses, faculty members, clubs, or research opportunities that align with your interests. This demonstrates that you are serious about attending Purdue and that you have taken the time to learn about the university.

3. Show Passion and Drive: Successful essays often showcase the author's passion for their chosen field or subject. Try to share experiences or anecdotes that illustrate your dedication and excitement. This could be a project you've undertaken, an event you've attended, or a skill you've developed.

4. Focus on Growth: Highlight how you've grown or changed as a result of your experiences. Talk about what you learned, how you overcame challenges, or how your interests evolved. This shows your resilience and adaptability, qualities that colleges appreciate in their students.

5. Be Clear and Concise: A strong essay is well-organized and easy to follow. Use clear language and avoid using overly complex phrases or jargon. Your essay should tell a coherent story and make it easy for admissions officers to understand your point of view.

6. Edit and Revise: Take the time to proofread your essay and correct any errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling. It's also a good idea to have someone else read your essay to help identify any areas where the structure or clarity could be improved.

For examples, look at this blog post: https://blog.collegevine.com/purdue-essay-examples

While specific examples from other students' essays can be helpful, it's essential not to just copy these ideas or rely on someone else's essay to guide your own. Use these tips as a starting point and focus on crafting an essay that uniquely reflects your experiences, voice, and goals. Good luck!

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.

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Advice from Undergraduate Admissions Officers

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This resource contains advice on writing the college admissions essay from undergraduate admissions officers from colleges and universities all over the United States.

Contributors: Douglas Christiansen, Vanderbuilt University; Stacy Kostell, University of Illinois; Courtney McAnuff, Rutgers University; James Nondorf, University of Chicago; Kasey Urquidez, The University of Arizona; Jarrid James Whitney, California Institute of Techn Last Edited: 2012-10-09 12:20:33

From Dr. Douglas Christiansen, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions at Vanderbilt University:

The essay is the one opportunity each student has to give a college or university insight into his or her innermost thoughts, aspirations, dreams, and personal realities. It is to the student’s advantage to use this opportunity to let admissions officers see beyond the test scores and grades. Students can explain why there may have been a lapse in grades or other important life events that have changed their high-school careers. More important than the experience is what the student reveals about how the experience has changed his/her life, how (s)he has grown and made different choices as a result of the experience, and how (s)he has improved his or her corner of the world as a result. Through the essay, regardless of the topic, it is possible to enlighten the reader regarding choices that have led to personal growth, involvement, and success or failure as a result. Through the essay, the admissions officers should be able to see more clearly the intangible characteristics of the applicant: honesty, integrity, commitment, ethical choices, perseverance, empathy, and leadership. When the number of applications is in the thousands, and the admit rate is only 10 – 15% of those applications, explaining why one student is different than all the rest is key – the essay is the opportunity to do just that!

From Stacey Kostell, Assistant Provost and Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Illinois:

When writing your application essays, it is vital that you answer the question asked and address any specific criteria noted. I’ve read thousands of essays and have realized that there are the five factors shared by all successful applicants.

Be prepared. Slow down and fully consider the questions and your answers. You should then create an outline, write a first draft, and edit multiple times.

Be personal. Provide specific examples of your experiences and goals. Generalizations do not help the admissions committee get a sense of who you are and why you’ll make the most of your time at the university.

Be direct. Choose your words wisely in order to clearly state your message. Many universities have a word limit on responses, whichmeans there is no room for fluff.

Be focused. There is no need to repeat your transcript. Instead, share how your qualifications will be a benefit to you at the university.

Be professional. Submit the best possible essays, free of spelling and grammatical errors. You should proofread and edit them yourself; however, request critiques from counselors, teachers, and your parents. It’s always helpful to have feedback from readers.

From Courtney McAnuff, Vice President of Enrollment at Rutgers University:

This is the one time it really is all about you; colleges want to know what makes you unique. The essay is a critical component for our holistic review. Express yourself honestly. Review the essay question, and jot down your immediate responses. Don’t Google the question to see what others have written for their essays. If you can’t resist, at least write your outline first, and stay true to yourself in the final version. The requested essay topics reflect each college’s interests in shaping their incoming class. Writing on the requested essay topic should interest you. Be sure you answer the specific topic; don’t just tweak a generic essay. If the topic doesn’t engage you, think about why that college is one of your choices. Do submit the essay exactly how the school requested it. The care you take in following directions can be seen by the school as an indicator of what type of student you are now. Try to do everything at least two weeks before the deadline to cover every computer crash/power outage/school closing possibility.

From James Nondorf, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Chicago:

For many colleges and universities, the essays are a crucial element of the application process. They provide you with a chance to let admissions officers get to know you beyond just your transcripts and test scores. The most important part of any college admissions essay, then, is to write something you believe truly represents your unique voice—something that, beyond demonstrating your competencies as a writer, also displays your ability to be a creative and critical thinker and to make unique contributions to an academic community. First and foremost, it’s important to respond directly to the prompt given (admissions officers can tell when you’re fudging and trying to write your way into a different essay topic), but beyond that, creativity is key. Don’t settle for the first idea that comes to mind or the first draft you put to paper. Keep revising until you feel you have an essay that reflects your original perspective. And, really, you should try to have fun with your essays—exercise your sense of humor, write about something you’re passionate about, and write in a way you find inspiring. The more you enjoy writing your essay, the more we’ll enjoy reading it.

From Kasey Urquidez, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at The University of Arizona:

Your statement gives you the opportunity to show the college or university to which you are applying a chance to learn more about you. While your academic preparation is very important, your statement will help you shine.

Taking time to write your best statement before submitting is important. Here are a few tips as you write your statement:

  • Be yourself.
  • Focus on one topic and making an impression. What will be remembered?
  • Use appropriate, yet colorful, vivid language to express yourself.
  • Be descriptive.
  • Share new information. Reiterating what you already included in your application is not very helpful.
  • Provide a strong opening and closing. You will want your reader to want to know more from your opening and remember you from your closing.
  • Know your audience. Admissions representatives from diverse backgrounds of all ages will read your statement.
  • Read the instructions carefully and pay attention to word limits.
  • Write a rough draft.
  • Do not rely on spell check.
  • Read your statement aloud to help you “hear” what it will sound like to others.
  • Select a few people you trust to proof read your work.
  • Submit once you're completely satisfied!

From Jarrid James Whitney, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at California Institute of Technology:

When applying to colleges, I often remind students that their responses to the essay prompts are, in essence, like a personal interview with the admissions committee. That is, they should open up about what’s important to them and cover topics that are meaningful, and specifically address important items that may not come up in the rest of the application or even stress other parts of the application.

The essays are really a reflection of who an applicant is, and thus the student’s voice is critical. Often times students get others to help them craft their responses, which is fine, but I also remind students not to lose the essence of who they are. The story still has to be their own.

It is also very important that the student make sure they tie the essay back to themselves. Students tend to get caught up in a great story about another person, place, or thing, and forget they need to bring it back to why that person, place or thing is important to them. Also, remember that the short answer responses are just as significant to an admissions committee as the long personal statements.

Finally, students need to take time in preparing their responses. Most essays will probably go through many drafts, which is expected, since writing is truly an art. Ultimately, colleges are looking for the right fit so hopefully those essays can help to confirm if the college, and the student, are a match.

purdue opportunities essay

Purdue vs. UConn: Predictions, picks, odds for 2024 national championship game

Will UConn go back-to-back, or is this finally the year for Purdue ?

The Huskies and the Boilermakers will face off Monday night in the men's college basketball national championship game. UConn is looking to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since Florida did it in 2006 and 2007. Purdue is competing for its first national title since the tournament's inception in 1939.

This will be the Huskies' sixth appearance in the men's national title game, all of which have come since 1999. UConn has never lost in the national championship.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

Purdue is playing for a national championship for the first time since 1969, the last time they appeared in the title game. They lost that one appearance to UCLA as the Bruins continued their college basketball dominance. The Boilermakers could become the second team in six years to lose to a No. 16 seed one year and win the national championship the next after Virginia in 2018 and 2019.

Here's what to know about the 2024 national championship game.

National championship: Alabama proved it's possible to hang with UConn. Could Purdue actually finish the Huskies?

Purdue vs. UConn predictions

Bleacher Report : UConn 84, Purdue 78

Andrew Peters writes, "The Boilermakers will obviously have a giant in the paint in Edey, but UConn has one on its side in Donovan Clingan. The senior center, who stands 7'2", is an elite rim protector, averaging 2.5 blocks per game this season. Edey has been dominant in the paint all tournament, but he hasn't seen a defender like Clingan yet."

The Sporting News : UConn 78, Purdue 71

Bill Bender writes, "For Purdue, it is about not letting UConn get on the game-changing runs that doomed Illinois and Alabama in the last two rounds. How will Edey alter the UConn offense? It might take the Huskies a little longer to settle in, but they will make the right adjustments at halftime."

The Athletic : Projected score model has UConn winning

Dan Santaromita writes, "Austin Mock’s projection model also has UConn as a 6.5-point favorite with an average projected score of 75.3-68.8. The Huskies won the national title in 70.7 percent of the simulations."

Donovan Clingan: Huskies' star center powering Connecticut as college basketball's 'most impactful player'

Purdue vs. UConn: Odds, spread and lines for March Madness

UConn are favorites to defeat Purdue in Monday's national championship game, according to the  BetMGM college basketball odds . Looking to wager? Check out the  best mobile sports betting apps  offering  sports betting promos in 2024 .

Odds as of Sunday.

  • Spread: UConn (-6.5)
  • Moneyline: UConn (-275); Purdue (+225)
  • Over/under: 146.5

How to watch Purdue vs. UConn: TV, streaming and schedule

Date: Monday, April 8

Time : 9:20 p.m. ET

Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

Cable TV: TBS/TNT/truTV

Streaming: Paramount+ ; Hulu + Live TV ; NCAA March Madness Live app; fuboTV

How to watch: Catch the men's national championship with a subscription to fuboTV

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Purdue vs. UConn: Predictions, picks, odds for 2024 national championship game

UConn center Donovan Clingan defends the shot by Alabama's Grant Nelson.

Purdue basketball transfer portal roster changes: Who's staying, going

purdue opportunities essay

The Purdue Boilermakers finished the 2023-24 season 34-5 and national runner-up under 19th-year coach Matt Painter. Record-setting center Zach Edey has said he will not return next season and guard Lance Jones has exhausted his eligibility.

Purdue has a large incoming recruiting class : Jack Benter (6-5, 2,549 career points at Brownstown Central), Raleigh Burgess (6-10), Kanon Catchings (6-9, from Brownsburg), C.J. Cox (6-2), Gicarri Harris (6-4, son of Purdue great Glenn Robinson), and Daniel Jacobsen (7-3).

Purdue has been the rare program that has retained most of its talent in recent seasons. Can the Boilermakers do it again?

Here is the status of Purdue players.

Purdue basketball players entering the transfer portal

∎ Ethan Morton

The 6-7 senior became a defensive specialist, averaging 10 minutes per game, spelling perimeter players and rarely looking to shoot. (Per multiple reports)

∎ Mason Gillis

The 6-6 senior was the Boilermakers' key scorer off the bench, often finishing games with his ability to hit key 3-pointers. He averaged 6.5 points and 3.9 rebounds, hitting 46.8% from long range.

Changes begin: What will the Purdue basketball roster look like for the 2024-25 season?

Purdue basketball players who have not announced their intention

∎ Caleb Furst

The 6-10 junior saw his time in the post shrink as the season progressed. He averaged 2.2 points and 2.4 rebounds.

∎ Fletcher Loyer

The 6-4 sophomore is a streaky 3-point shooter, hitting 44.4% from long range and averaging 10.3 points.

∎ Braden Smith

The 6-0 sophomore is one of the nation's best point guards, averaging 12.0 points, 7.5 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals, while shooting 43.1% from 3-point range.

∎ Trey Kaufmann-Renn

The 6-9 sophomore started at power forward all season, helping Zach Edey near the basket. He averaged 6.4 points and 4.0 rebounds.

∎ Brian Waddell

The 6-8 sophomore saw action in 14 games.

∎ Camden Heide

The 6-7 redshirt freshman became a crucial bench player as the season progressed, averaging 3.3 points with 45% 3-point shooting. He scored 18 points, his first such effort since the season opener, against Rutgers.

∎ Will Berg

There wasn't much room on the court for the 7-2 redshirt freshman. He averaged 2.9 points in 14 appearances.

∎ Myles Colvin

The 6-5 freshman saw occasional action until late in the season, and he was a fearless shooter. He averaged 3.3 points and made 41.4% of his 3-pointers.

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Welcome to Raleigh, the New Epicenter of College Basketball

Students at Duke and U.N.C., both basketball powerhouses, have long labeled North Carolina State their “little brother.” But little brother — and sister — are off to the Final Four.

Wes Moore, dressed in black and red, slaps hands with a person in the crowd that’s standing near a large bus.

By Eduardo Medina

Photographs by Veasey Conway

Reporting from Raleigh, N.C.

For decades, Sammy’s Tap & Grill, a sports bar for fans of North Carolina State University, had a glaring problem: The school’s basketball teams did not win all that much. David Harris, one of the owners, would concoct creative specials in hopes of drawing customers on game days, but it didn’t matter. Few ever came.

“All of that has changed now,” Mr. Harris, 59, said the other day, his smile, like those of his patrons, seemingly permanent. “Can you believe it?”

The N.C. State women’s and men’s basketball teams are both in the Final Four. It is a sentence few in Raleigh believed they ever would utter. And to listen to them say it aloud this week was to hear the exhausted, sometimes tearful glee of an overjoyed fan base still in shock.

Their neighbors, after all, are basketball royalty. Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, each about 25 miles away, have won multiple national championships, and the North Carolina women’s team won it all in 1994. The two programs have one of the fiercest rivalries in college basketball.

Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest men’s player of all time, played for U.N.C. Duke can lay claim to Mike Krzyzewski, who won more games than any men’s coach in N.C.A.A. history .

Then there is N.C. State.

Students at Duke, which is in Durham, and U.N.C. have long labeled N.C. State their “little brother” — an uncompetitive, weaker sibling in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Sometimes, the trash talk feels like it extends beyond sports. Duke is a premier private university, and U.N.C. is the state’s public flagship, its oldest educational jewel and itself a top school. N.C. State is known for its robust agricultural and engineering curriculums, but it does not have the national allure of the other two.

Yet in the men’s tournament, the No. 1-seeded U.N.C., lost to Alabama in the Sweet 16. And Duke, a No. 4 seed, fell last weekend to none other than N.C. State.

“Now they can’t talk,” Tyler Sherman, a freshman at N.C. State, said of both teams as he decided between a gray and a red Final Four T-shirt at the university’s store on Tuesday.

Still, it has been an arduous journey for the Wolfpack. In the 1950s, the N.C. State men’s team was considered the best in the A.C.C., and for the next three decades, the rivalry between N.C. State and U.N.C. was the biggest in North Carolina, said Tim Peeler, who wrote a book on the team that won N.C. State’s last national title, in 1983.

A big setback occurred in 1989, when the N.C.A.A. placed the school’s basketball team on probation for two years and barred it from the 1990 tournament for violations that included the misuse of complimentary tickets and sneakers provided to the players.

Around that time, ESPN was taking off, and the U.N.C.-Duke rivalry was growing in intensity in the state partly because of their high-profile coaches, Mr. Peeler said.

The women’s team at N.C. State has been strong in recent years, but it had not made it this far since 1998. As for the men’s team, fans will admit they have had more than a few subpar seasons. They were, at best, mediocre during this year’s regular season, finishing 17-14. On campus, there were whispers that the head coach, Kevin Keatts, would be fired.

To even qualify for the N.C.A.A. Tournament, the men’s team had to win the A.C.C. Tournament, a feat that involved five straight wins for a team that had lost its last four regular-season games. It has kept winning ever since, beating Duke on Sunday and leaving fans thunderstruck.

“Crazy,” said Norman Downer, an N.C. State alumnus who graduated in 2014.

“Surreal,” said Trey Austin, 21, a sophomore, one of the hundreds of students proudly sporting a red A.C.C. championship shirt on campus this week.

“I’ve waited all my life,” said Bradley Turner, 26, of Raleigh, who spent more than $400 in recent days on Wolfpack merchandise.

This was a jubilance they had never experienced. It felt electric and fleeting, they said, like catching fireflies in a jar. The Wolfpack had arrived at their moment, wearing shirts and holding signs that underscored the surprise of their ascent: “I believe.” “Why not us?”

On Tuesday, hundreds gathered on campus to send off the women’s team. Tubas and trumpets roared. Some in the crowd had dyed locks of their hair red. As the players walked to their bus, fans chanted the names of their heroes.

“I love you Saniya!” one woman screamed, referring to guard Saniya Rivers.

They had heard from friends who went to Duke or U.N.C. about the long lines at games, the camping out for tickets, the prime time TV broadcasts. They had heard from alumni about the ’70s and ’80s, how N.C. State had been the team to beat then, and how it had started the tradition of cutting down the net as a souvenir of victory.

On the “basketball history” wall at Amedeo’s Italian Restaurant, where the celebrated former N.C. State men’s coach Jim Valvano used to dine regularly, every image and artifact dates at least to the 1980s. Championship sweaters from ’83 now go for around $75 at vintage markets.

Dereck Whittenburg, a guard for the team that won the 1983 title, said in an interview that he had seen it all in college basketball. But this current run, he said, felt “truly incredible.”

(One sports statistician put the men’s team’s chances of winning nine straight elimination games to make the Final Four at 10,314 to 1.)

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Mr. Whittenburg, 63, said.

Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, who graduated from U.N.C. and vividly remembers Mr. Whittenburg’s plays from decades ago, said in an interview that he was pulling for both Wolfpack teams. The women’s team, a No. 3 seed, will face South Carolina on Friday; the men will face Purdue on Saturday.

“It’s really hard to find anyone in North Carolina right now, regardless of who your team is, who is not for North Carolina State,” Mr. Cooper said.

Even Duke fans on campus this week, still smarting from their defeat on Sunday, admitted that they were rooting for the underdogs.

“It’s kind of cool that they’re having their comeback,” Tom Gigrich, a junior at Duke, said of N.C. State. “Obviously the loss sucks. But at least U.N.C. didn’t beat us. And honestly, I hope the best for them.”

A No. 11 seed in the men’s tournament, N.C. State is now the country’s Cinderella team, led by DJ Burns Jr., a 6-foot-9 center who has won Raleigh’s heart with his balletic moves and cheerful demeanor.

On Tuesday evening in Raleigh, roughly 1,000 people lined up outside an Applebee’s for a meet-and-greet with Burns and guard DJ Horne, N.C. State’s leading scorer.

Outside the restaurant, boys and girls scrawled “Wolfpack!” in red chalk on the sidewalk and stared into the restaurant’s windows, trying to catch a glimpse. People carried basketballs to be signed. Lily Mulhall, a freshman at N.C. State, said she brought a hubcap to get autographed because — well, it was a long story, but she considered it lucky.

Only a small number of fans managed to get inside and meet the players. Few appeared to care.

What mattered was that they were here, smiling at the ridiculousness of the crowd size as the sun set.

Word spread that the players would be exiting soon through the restaurant’s back door. Some fans had already gathered around it. One had climbed a tree for a better look. They raised their phones, preparing to snap and record so that they could one day remember.

A boy asked his father if they could stay a little longer and get a peek of the players. The father said it was fine.

Raleigh had already waited 40 years for scenes like this. What was 10 more minutes?

Eduardo Medina is a Times reporter covering the South. An Alabama native, he is now based in Durham, N.C. More about Eduardo Medina

Inside the World of Sports

Dive deeper into the people, issues and trends shaping professional, collegiate and amateur athletics..

Minor League Baseball’s Real Estate: The fight over a new stadium for the Eugene Emeralds  highlights a wider challenge for cheaper alternatives to big-league live sports.

New York’s Favorite Soccer Team: Some people splurge on vacations, fancy shoes and motorcycles. A group of dozens of friends, neighbors and co-workers decided to try something better (or maybe worse): They bought a middling soccer team in Denmark .

Here Comes Padel: The sport is played with a racket on a court with a net, but watch out for those bouncing shots from the back wall. Reporters take a look at the padel scene in New York City .

Have the Brands Gone Too Far?: Runners at the Boston Marathon are disappointed that the new finisher medals feature a large bank logo  across the bottom.

How Soccer Embraced Ramadan: In competitions like the Premier League, Muslim pros who once faced pressure to avoid daily fasts  during the monthlong holiday now benefit from custom diets and in-game breaks.


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    The Common Application Freshman Essay Prompts. Required minimum-maximum word count: 250-650. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter ...

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    The ultimate goal of college essays is to tell admissions officers something about you—your values, your personality, what gets you excited, why you are the way you are. The more in touch with yourself, the better. It is not enough to simply mention your involvement in something. Depth is better than breadth.

  3. 3 Purdue University Essay Examples

    3 Purdue University Essay Examples. Home of the Boilermakers, Purdue University was established in 1869 and is steeped in history and tradition. From the first 39 students to attend in 1874, to over 33,000 in attendance today, Purdue is matched in tradition only by innovation. Known for its world-class faculty, curricula, and facilities, Purdue ...

  4. How to Write the Purdue University Supplemental Essays: Guide

    Step #1: Imagine a mini-movie of the moments that led you to your interest and create a simple, bullet-point outline. Step #2: Put your moments (aka the "scenes" of your mini-movie) in chronological order, as it'll help you see how your interests developed. It also makes it easier to write transitions.

  5. Purdue University's 2023-24 Essay Prompts

    Honors College Short Response 1. Required. 500 Words. Explain your vision, ideas, or goals for how you hope to shape your honors experience while at Purdue. Please put this in the context of the four pillars which are the foundation of the John Martinson Honors College. Read our essay guide to get started.

  6. Purdue Supplemental Essays 2023-24

    Below are Purdue University's supplemental prompts for the 2023-24 admissions cycle along with our advice for composing winning essays. Purdue University Essay Prompt #1 (Required) 1) How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (100 words) Purdue's essay may not directly ask the applicant ...

  7. PDF Admissions Application Essay: Writing your Way to College

    You can create a list, draw a map/diagram, or free write whatever comes to mind without worrying about grammar. Next, create an OUTLINE. Think about the structure of the paper including the overall theme, introduction, the body paragraphs, and how you're going to purposefully use your conclusion to do more than summarize. Finally, create your ...

  8. How to Write the Purdue University Supplemental Essays 2020-2021

    Read the 2021-2022 Purdue essay guide. Purdue University, home of the Boilermakers, the "world's largest drum," and an expert-approved writing lab, remains today as one of the most innovative schools in the country. Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue has come a long way since its founding in 1869.

  9. Purdue Supplemental Essay: 4 Top Tips for Writing Yours

    Here are examples of activities you could write about for your Purdue University admission essay: Hobbies. Sports. Clubs or organizations you're a member of. Volunteer service. Arts and music. Work or internships. Family responsibilities. Any activity or experience that is meaningful to you.

  10. Purdue Supplemental Essay

    The best Purdue application essays will directly connect an applicant's academic goals with the four pillars of the Purdue Honors College. Understanding Purdue. Before starting this Purdue supplemental essay, you need to have a firm understanding of the four pillars mentioned in the prompt. These pillars are: community and global engagement ...

  11. Purdue University essay prompts

    (100 words max) Focus: In this short essay, you should focus on your unique interests and how Purdue's specific offerings align with them. Strategy: - Research Purdue thoroughly, including its programs, courses, extracurriculars, and resources. - Choose 2-3 specific opportunities that directly relate to your interests (academic and non-academic).

  12. Purdue Admission Requirements 2023

    The Purdue application deadline for regular decision is January 15. ... Purdue's supplemental essay prompts are below and the supplemental essay guide that they were sourced from can be found here. Prompt #1: How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 100 words or fewer.) ...

  13. Purdue University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    Purdue University 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanations. The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words, 2 short answers of 100 words. Supplemental Essay Type (s): Activity, Why, Short Answer. Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.

  14. Purdue University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    The Requirements: 2 short answers of 250 words. Supplemental Essay Type (s): Why, Short Answer. How will opportunities at Purdue support your interests, both in and out of the classroom? (Respond in 250 words or fewer.) This is basically a super short Why essay and the best way to answer it is to do your research.

  15. How to Write the Purdue University Essays 2016-2017

    Purdue's footprint in improving society's understanding of agriculture, business, and engineering is sizable. Students may also boost their pre-professional preparation through a variety of co-op and internship offerings. In this blog post, we've created a guide to answering Purdue University's prompts for the 2016-2017 application cycle.

  16. How to Write the Purdue Supplemental Essays

    Listen: don't repeat yourself. Between the two essays, you only have 200 words max to say everything you need to say to your Purdue admissions officer. Repeating yourself won't do you any favors. Before you start writing either essay, brainstorm a list of what information you want to go in each. Figure out how to disperse the information ...

  17. Examples of successful Purdue supplemental essays?

    Mention courses, faculty members, clubs, or research opportunities that align with your interests. This demonstrates that you are serious about attending Purdue and that you have taken the time to learn about the university. 3. Show Passion and Drive: Successful essays often showcase the author's passion for their chosen field or subject.

  18. Search Opportunities

    The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) is a pathway to graduate education at Purdue University. This program is designed to provide equal access and opportunities to underrepresented and diverse students by preparing students for Graduate School by offering an eight-week intensive research experience, and graduate school resources ...

  19. Advice from Undergraduate Admissions Officers

    Through the essay, the admissions officers should be able to see more clearly the intangible characteristics of the applicant: honesty, integrity, commitment, ethical choices, perseverance, empathy, and leadership. When the number of applications is in the thousands, and the admit rate is only 10 - 15% of those applications, explaining why ...

  20. Purdue vs. UConn: Predictions, picks, odds for 2024 national

    Purdue is competing for its first national title since the tournament's inception in 1939. This will be the Huskies' sixth appearance in the men's national title game, all of which have come since ...

  21. UConn defense overwhelms Purdue guards in national championship game

    By the time Purdue took its third 3-point attempt, an airball by Gillis, UConn had stretched its 36-30 halftime lead to 11. Colvin missed another four minutes later. The UConn lead was 13.

  22. Purdue basketball transfer portal tracker: Who's staying, going

    The Purdue Boilermakers finished the 2023-24 season 34-5 and national runner-up under 19th-year coach Matt Painter. Record-setting center Zach Edey has said he will not return next season and ...

  23. Peter Hirst to Co-Lead International Research Academy Trip

    The group will be exploring collaborative international research opportunities. Next Article. Article Categories: Departmental News & Events; Article Tags: Peter Hirst; Share This Article. It is the policy of the Purdue University that all persons have equal opportunity and access to its educational programs, services, activities, and ...

  24. N.C. State Heads to Final Four, Bringing Raleigh to the Center of

    Students at Duke and U.N.C., both basketball powerhouses, have long labeled North Carolina State their "little brother." But little brother — and sister — are off to the Final Four.