Purdue University Global
|Type||Public, Distance education|
|Purdue University system|
Purdue University Global (PG) is an adult-serving public university, operated as part of the Purdue University system. With content delivered mostly online, its programs focus on career-oriented fields of study at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. Purdue Global was created in April 2018, as a result of Purdue University’s acquisition of the former private for-profit Kaplan University.
Academic Relationship Within Purdue System
Purdue converted Purdue Global into its network of campuses, which also include a flagship, tier-1 research university in West Lafayette, Indiana and two regional campuses in the state known as Purdue Northwest and Purdue Fort Wayne. Each campus of the Purdue University system has its own admissions policies and transfers between the campuses are highly limited. With the exception of Purdue Global, all degrees from all Purdue University campuses and Purdue degree programs offered through IUPUI and Purdue Polytechnic Institute share a similar diploma bearing the name of the institution granting the degree and the city in which it is given. Purdue Global graduates receive a diploma that uses the name "Purdue University Global" instead of the system name, and bears the Purdue Global logo in place of the Purdue University seal. According to Purdue Global's official Instagram account, "A degree from Purdue University Global is distinct from other schools within the Purdue University system." And that, "Our diplomas are distinct from Purdue University and other institutions, including a different font, style, and seal. While we are part of the Purdue University system, we are a separate entity and thus have a different diploma." 
Purdue leaders have said the intent of the acquisition was to expand Purdue’s land-grant mission to serve a wider group of students than the university was able to reach at its traditional campuses.
Purdue University Global is a nonprofit Indiana company. Though part of the public university system, special legislation exempts PG from some of the public records disclosure requirements of public universities in Indiana.
Offerings and Enrollment
Purdue Global serves approximately 30,000 students. Purdue Global is mainly an online university and also has 14 locations in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, Maine, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
Purdue Global is academically organized into seven schools.
● School of General Education
● School of Health Sciences
● School of Nursing
● Open College
● College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Purdue is expected to operate Purdue University Global "with essentially the same staff and faculty" from Kaplan University
Purdue University Global offers both traditional programs and competency-based education. This allows Purdue Global to offer college credit to students who can demonstrate they have mastered certain learning outcomes through professional and military training.
The College Scorecard has not yet assessed Purdue University Global. Past scores of Kaplan University, conducted prior to the takeover by Purdue University, placed Kaplan's on-time graduation rate at 23 percent, similar to other Indiana schools that serve non-traditional adult learners such as Ivy Tech and Vincennes University.
Dr. Betty Vandenbosch serves as Chancellor of Purdue Global and reports to the president of Purdue University, as well as the six-member Purdue Global Board of Trustees. That Board is itself appointed by the Purdue Board of Trustees and includes five of Purdue’s current trustees.
Relationship with Kaplan Higher Education, Inc.
Purdue University Global contracts with Kaplan Higher Education, Inc. for support in "marketing and advertising, front-end student advising, admissions support, financial aid and student finance, international student recruitment, test preparation, business office, technology support, human resources, finance and accounting functions." The Purdue trustees retain management control and responsibility over these areas. Purdue representatives estimated the value of KHE’s “back office services” to be about $200 million.
According to terms of the contract, Kaplan receives a fee of 12.5 percent of the university’s revenue, as long as funds are still available after all operating expenses and guaranteed payments to Purdue have been covered. Kaplan guarantees Purdue $10 million every year for the first five years. Kaplan will make up the difference if PG revenues are insufficient. At the time of purchase, Kaplan's owners paid $20 million to Purdue, pursuant to that agreement. The agreement also stipulates that if Purdue alters the university's operations in a negative way that significantly reduces the school's revenues, Kaplan could seek reimbursement for 12.5 percent of the lost revenue. An independent financial analyst would be tasked to adjudicate the issue. Apparently, in order to limit the potential financial burden on Purdue and to avoid giving too much influence to Kaplan, no compensation would be required until after all operating costs and revenue guaranteed to Purdue are paid by Kaplan. Since the acquisition, Purdue leadership has made several changes that have not resulted in this process, including lowering tuition for Indiana residents and offering free tuition to Purdue employees and their families without issue.
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