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Spring Start expands opportunities for Purdue University agriculture students

The newly launched Purdue University’s College of Agriculture Spring Start (CASS) program will enable an additional group of first-year students to begin their studies at the university in the spring semester.  These students will be eligible for scholarships and financial aid and on-campus housing. Spring Start will also actively support these students in their academic planning as well as provide special programming for them ahead of their arrival on campus.

Purdue is Indiana’s only public four-year institution of higher education offering degrees in agriculture. “This program will help us expand the college’s student numbers as well as make critical contributions to the state’s economy by meeting the strong demand for graduates in academic majors that prepare them for careers in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and the environment,” says Bernie Engel, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture.

“Indiana is home to many leading employers in the agricultural sectors,” Engel notes. “Industry is hungry for graduates who can contribute to our agribusiness and ag science industries here.”

University and college officials expect the majority of CASS students will be from Indiana.

“We’re very interested in giving our Indiana residents greater opportunity to earn a degree from Purdue University,” says Christine Wilson, senior associate dean and director of academic programs in the College of Agriculture. “They will be receiving a degree from the number three college of agriculture in North America.”

The first cohort of Spring Start students will receive their admission offer in February 2024, and we will welcome them to campus in January 2025.

CASS students will meet with their academic advisor in summer 2024 to discuss their off-campus plan for the fall 2024 semester. “We envision that they could take a couple of courses from a two-year or online institution and potentially work full or part-time,” Wilson says.

The CASS program will be distinctive in its level of programmatic support. A program manager will host in-person and virtual activities in the fall semester for students to meet each other and begin to build relationships, connect with faculty and staff, and experience campus life. CASS students will also be invited to participate in Boiler Cold Rush, a university wide orientation for students starting their Purdue career in the spring.

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