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1 College Junior

Parking: The parking at process at Purdue is the absolute worst. The only reason you should not want to come to Purdue is because of parking. You can't park for more than 2 hours in one spot any time between 7am and 5pm. It's miserable to walk to class when it's cold, but parking is even more miserable. Just walk to class. You most likely won't find a close spot.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Parking: Wish there was more parking for my guests when they come.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Parking: You can park anywhere after 5 PM and if you're willing to search or walk a bit, you can find free parking around on side streets.

2 College Freshman

Parking: I wouldn't park on campus. Cary parking is terrible because there are tow warnings like every two days because of its proximity to Ross Ade and Mackey. BTFU

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Parking: Free parking fills up fast and parking permits are costly.


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Parking on any college campus is a nightmare, but at least it’s an organized nightmare at Purdue. Parking garages and spaces open up after 5 p.m., making it safe and easy for students living off campus to participate in evening activities. Sure, the “C” parking spots feel like they’re a mile away, but shuttles are provided from the lots to campus, so you don’t even have to walk if you don’t feel like it. Really, it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. That being said, Purdue has increased the number of “C” permits issued, but decreased the number of “C” parking spots. Plus, if you choose to illegally park in, say, a loading zone or an “A” spot, you run the risk of being caught by what students affectionately refer to as the “parking Nazis.”

The one bright spot in this ominous gloom is that Purdue’s campus is laid out in such a way that driving around campus is unnecessary. Shuttles transport students for free from the major apartment complexes, and the excellent CityBus system provides free and easy transport from the Greater Lafayette area. Freshmen, leave your cars at home this first year—you can walk practically anywhere, and it’s much easier than incurring the wrath of the parking gods, who will bestow hefty parking fines on you.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
There are many lots, plus several parking garages.
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
Common Parking Tickets
  • Expired meter: $20
  • Loading zone: $20
  • No parking zone: $20
  • Parking in an “A” zpot: $25
  • Reserved parking: $25
  • University parking only: $25
Best Places to Find a Spot
  • Residence hall parking lots
  • C garages
  • The stadium parking lot
  • Anywhere on West Lafayette streets
  • Anywhere after 5 p.m.
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
  • Metered parking outside residence halls
  • Along the street during class hours
Getting a Parking Permit
Any registered student whose local place of residence is at least 1.5 miles from campus may purchase a C permit for $40 per year. This is the parking pass that most students have. Students employed by Purdue at least 30 hours per week are eligible to purchase an "A" permit for $96 per year, or a "B" permit for $40 per year. These passes get the best parking spots, but you only get them if you work for the University, and they are quite limited. You also have the option of purchasing "C" garage permits instead of "C" lot permits. These allow you to park in a specific parking garage. However, these are only available through an application process. Students living in residence halls have the option for purchasing a residence hall pass, which is a stellar option if you have a car but still live in the dorms.
Parking Services
Parking Facilities Office
1877 Visitor Information Center
504 Northwestern Ave.
(765) 494-9494
Did You Know?
  • Be sure to pay your parking tickets right away. If you have three unpaid tickets, and you get a fourth, a bright yellow boot gets put on your car, and you have to pay enormous amounts of money to get it taken off!
  • If you're that pressed for time and need a parking spot, pronto, try parking in a loading zone (the best spots are the ones around Elliot Hall of Music). It's sort of like playing Russian roulette-you may get a ticket, you may not. Many of my friends did this, and it was about a 50-50 chance that they would get a ticket.

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 270 responses

  • 10% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 33% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 14% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 31% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 5% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 7% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 269 responses

Very poor
  • Distance from class
  • Distance from dorms
  • Ease of finding a spot
  • Parking enforcement
  • Permit cost
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