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IU and Purdue team up to increase underrepresented student enrollment

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It’s not every day you see two of the state’s largest public universities collaborating on a project. While Indiana University (IU) and Purdue University are known to hold a mean grudge on the basketball court and football field, the two institutions have now come together for the common good of students. They are currently holding joint college events around the city of Indianapolis to increase underrepresented populations on their campuses. With a quickly approaching deadline for IU’s application and Purdue’s programs set at Feb.1, college representatives are encouraging students to apply and seek help if needed.

“We both want to increase the number of minority students on our campuses but also do our part to help students prepare and go to college. We thought we’d be able to use the excitement around our schools’ athletics to come together as it relates to preparing students for college, and especially their college of choice,” said Tara Evans, associate director of Purdue University’s Office of Admissions.

She collaborates with Khala Granville, associate director of community relations and outreach at IU, who works closely with Evans to host college planning events for high school students in local schools, community centers and churches. Granville said the duo works well together and are committed to helping students and parents on their journey to college.

“One thing I don’t think happens in Indianapolis is students don’t hear stories about IU Bloomington or other larger universities and when they do not hear stories, they are not hearing the opportunity or the idea that they can go to these institutions,” said Granville.

The two universities have previously worked with Pike High School, a few Catholic schools on the Eastside of the city and are planning to launch a program with Indianapolis Public Schools.

According to IU’s University Institutional Research and Reporting, since 2012 the Bloomington campus has increased its total of minority students from 17 percent in 2012 to 19 percent in 2014. Purdue’s Data Digest also states the university’s underrepresented minority total increased from 7.9 percent in 2012 to 8.2 percent in 2014.

The admissions application priority deadline for IU is Feb. 1. Students may still apply after the deadline, (however they will only be admitted depending upon available space). Many of Purdue’s academic programs also have a deadline of Feb. 1.

Each university has several programs dedicated to underrepresented students. The Hudson and Holland Scholars Program is the largest scholarship and support program at IU. Students eligible for the 21st Century Scholars Program can also utilize this award at the university. New this upcoming 2015-2016 school year is the partnership between the IU Office of Admissions and the Kelley School of Business. Freshman students who have been accepted into the business college can apply for the William R. Fry Scholars Program.

Purdue’s Emerging Young Leaders Program is a merit based scholarship for underrepresented students and has significant monetary value.

“My biggest goal is to learn how to work together with others to get information out,” mentioned Granville. “When you come across a student, sometimes you’re talking about admissions but they are talking about admissions and about an issue within their family. Whether I need to be a parent at that moment and say ‘hey you need to get it together and do X,Y and Z’ or I need to be a chaplain and listen to the student talk about the situations that have affected their grades, I will be that because at the end of the day I want to make sure students have all of their resources to be successful.”

Evans said she looks at a student’s academic interest and if Purdue does not offer the program, she connects them with counselors at other universities. She mentioned it is personally rewarding to her as an African-American woman to guide students through the college admissions process.

For more on admissions assistance and requirements, visit admissions.purdue.edu/apply or iub.edu/admissions.

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