The Professional Practice Fee

Once the student accepts a position with a company and has registered for the Professional Practice course, the student will receive a bill from the Bursar's office for the Industrial Practice fee (Co-Op fee) each semester the student is at work. Current fees are listed on the Bursar's office website under the current year. The Co-Op fee is listed as Other Fees: Industrial Practice fee. Late fees of $200 will be charged to the student if the Industrial Practice fee is not paid by the deadline. This fee is a university requirement for any student doing a Co-Op or Internship.  This keeps the student enrolled at Purdue while they are off campus during their work session.  This also keeps the student’s status on their parents' insurance when they are not on campus.

Scholarships and Loans

Due to specific requirements of some loans or scholarships, you may have to apply the money towards your next semester of classes instead of using it toward the Co-Op fee. Contact the Financial Aid or Scholarship office to determine your specific situation.


If you return to campus for a visit during your semester of work, you will not have access to the Co-Rec without paying the daily admission fee. The Co-Op fee does not cover admission into the Co-Rec or use of the student health center. You are considered a full-time student, but not a full fee paying student.

The Co-Op Fee

What do you get for the money you pay?

  • Keeps you registered as a full-time student so guaranteed student loans don't become due while off campus at your work session.
  • Keeps you registered as a full-time student so you don't need to drop out and re-apply for admission to Purdue.
  • Covers a portion of the operating costs to run the program. Many behind-the-scenes personnel are conducting activities dedicated to placing students into Co-Op positions with employers who are also dedicated to providing students with work experience related to their academic discipline.
  • View a detailed explanation of what the income from the Co-Op fee supports

Additional Information Concerning the Co-Op Fee:

The Co-Op fee is required in order to participate in the program regardless of how you managed to find the Co-Op position if you are going to be a Co-Op.  There has been questions regarding this, so this is clarification.

If you read the material in the Student Handbook on the Professional Practice website, there is a detailed explanation on what activities the income from the Co-Op fees support. The one thing that is not stressed is that the Cooperative Education Program is an education program conducted by the faculty in cooperation with select companies who have agreed to provide meaningful work experience that reinforces the classroom instructions. The program alternates between class work and industrial practice with ever increasing job responsibility. By the end of the program, the student is expected to be performing entry-level assignments.

The fees were established by the University and not the Professional Practice Office. They cover a multitude of costs of the program. Students taking advantage of the Co-Op work opportunities pay the fee to defray these costs. This is agreed upon by the students before they enter the Co-Op program. It does not matter how the student is contacted by the employer. The employer exists because of the program that was established by the engineering faculty and the approved companies. The fee is a small fraction of the total compensation paid to the student by the Co-Op company. In fact, some companies reimburse the students for the Co-Op fees.

Co-Op companies are required to pay a reasonable salary to the students.  Because work experience is becoming more important to the total education of students, companies are offering summer non-paid internships. Co-Op students must receive a salary, or the company is not approved.  The required Co-Op fee is offset by many advantages for being able to work for an approved company in the Professional Practice Program.