Kaplan University will be renamed Purdue University Global, once its acquisition by Purdue is finalized.

Purdue announced the name of its new online public university for working adults Thursday after it was approved by the executive committee of the Purdue University board of trustees. 

The name will become effective when the acquisition of Kaplan University by Purdue clears the last step in the approval process – review by the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accreditor for Purdue University and Kaplan University, which is scheduled for Feb. 22.

Kaplan maintains physical campuses at 14 locations in the United States, including Lewiston and Augusta.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education in August voted unanimously to approve the acquisition. The U.S. Department of Education gave its approval in September, with a stipulation that the institution’s name include the word Purdue. The Higher Learning Commission, Department of Education and the Indiana Commission for Higher Learning each requested notification of the official name in advance of the completion of the approval process and transaction closing.

Purdue had been using the working title “Purdue NewU” during the transition.


Purdue University Global was selected after extensive research, which included input from faculty, staff, students and alumni of both institutions, as well as employers and other stakeholders.

“Our campuses are typically named after the physical locations where they hold classes,” Purdue President Mitch Dennis said. “Purdue University Global can be accessed from anywhere in the world, at any time. The name proved appealing and meaningful to our various stakeholders — most importantly prospective students.”

Purdue serves students through its flagship campus in West Lafayette, Ind., its two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and northwest Indiana, as well as close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students on the Indiana University-Purdue University campus in Indianapolis.

In addition, Purdue students can earn degrees at nine technology centers in communities across the state that are part of Purdue Polytechnic Institute. The new entity will become a third level in the Purdue system and will operate almost exclusively online.

“The name is respectful of Purdue’s exceptional reputation, but also distinct from Purdue’s other campuses,” said Betty Vandenbosch, president of Kaplan University, who will become chancellor of Purdue University Global.

The announcement follows several other actions since Purdue announced its decision last year to acquire Kaplan University from Kaplan Inc.

In mid-June, trustees of the new university approved plans to offer a tuition discount of approximately 45 percent for Indiana resident students and free tuition for Purdue employees.

In December, the board approved a code by which all Purdue University Global faculty, administrators, staff and support team members, as well as service partners, vendors, collaborators and other associates, will be required to conduct themselves.

Kaplan University will be renamed Purdue University Global after its acquisition by Purdue receives final approval by the Higher Learning Commission, expected in late February. (Sun Journal file photo).

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