Purdue University’s ‘Fast Start’ Program Helps Students Earn up to 1 Year of Free College Credits

(WEST LAFAYETTE) – Purdue University announced its Fast Start program, aimed at getting more students to go to college. It’s completely free and university officials say it could save you and your family thousands of dollars.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels says the Fast Start Program is open to all Indiana residents, and it’s expected to really help rural and inner-city students.

It’s a partnership with the ModernStates, a nonprofit dedicated to making college free and accessible to everyone. Students who finish 10 free online courses and pass the College Level Examination Program test — which ModernStates pays for — will get 30 credits, the equivalent of an entire freshman year for free at Purdue University.

Tuition plus room and board cost Indiana residents just over $20,000 a year.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels

“We hope that this will lead to a significant increase in young people who will otherwise not even make the attempt to know there is a way to Purdue, for them,” Daniels explained. “Pass at least five of those CLEP exams, and you’ll earn guaranteed admission to Purdue — and it’ll save you $11,000.”

Indiana’s Commissioner for Higher Education said Tuesday’s announcement is a game-changer.

Teresa Lubbers, Indiana’s Commissioner for Higher Education

“The idea that a student can start college with a semester of credit or a year of credit and save the money for that, for housing or books, is a really a game-changer for people. We need to look for ways to drive down the cost of higher education,” said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana’s Commissioner for Higher Education.

“Yes you can do it!” Daniels emphasized. “Yes, you belong!”

So students who successfully finish a ModernStates online course will get a voucher to pay for the College Board CLEP exams. Those exams usually cost $89 each. They’ll also reimburse you for test center fees, Daniels added.

If you would like more information about the program, call 765-494-1776 or, for hearing impaired, call 800-743-3333. You can also visit Fast Start for more information.