Purdue University Northwest is waiving its application fee this month in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Prospective students will not be charged the university's typical $25 undergraduate application fee through April 30 as families and students brace for the economic impact of social distancing and business shutdowns in light of COVID-19.
Karen Stachyra, executive director for undergraduate admissions for PNW, said the university waived its fee to provide some relief to students juggling costs this month.
"$25 is not a huge fee," Stachyra said. "But, it's still an impact in students' lives."
The university's undergraduate admissions team initially planned to waive fees through April 15, but extended its offer through the end of the month as concern of COVID-19's impact grew.
PNW students are finishing the semester with remote learning this spring in efforts to practice social distancing and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
PNW admissions recruiters are still available to answer prospective students' questions on the phone or in Zoom video, Stachyra said.
One counselor even met a student who didn't have access to video conferencing services in a grocery store parking lot to answer questions from their vehicles parked a safe distance away, Stachyra said.
"We are here and those services are available," Stachyra said. "If you need something, we're here to schedule an appointment. We're just learning to manage things a little bit differently."
The university is also adopting test optional admissions for fall 2020 and fall 2021 applicants, Stachyra said, in recognition that some students may have difficulty participating in exams like the SAT and ACT, which have postponed or canceled spring test dates due to the novel coronavirus.
Indiana University Northwest has also adopted similar test optional policies.
Prospective students at IU Northwest can contact the Office of Admissions before May 1 to discuss a possible fee waiver, IUN Director of Admissions Dorothy Frink said.
Calumet College of St. Joseph, Ivy Tech Community College and Valparaiso University each offer free applications with additional information available on their admissions websites.
Stachyra said her team will continue to connect and discuss with students their options while navigating the admissions process, including any changes or concerns about college planning given the uncertainty brought by COVID-19.
"We understand the challenge of this time," Stachyra said. "We are still here. We are open. We still have people that are here to answer your questions. We will get through this."
For more information on PNW's admissions requirements, visit the university's admissions website at pnw.edu/admissions-financial-aid/undergraduate/how-to-apply.
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