The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which life purpose explained the variance in college students’ levels of resilience and persistence amidst COVID-19 pandemic. This study utilized a cross-sectional design and focused upon the three dimensions of life purpose: awareness of purpose, awakening to purpose, altruistic purpose. Structural equation modeling showed that both resilience and persistence were predicted positively by awakening to purpose when a traditional three-correlated factors model was used to specify the measure of life purpose. When a bifactor model was used, the general factor of purpose emerged as a positive predictor of both resilience and persistence. Additionally, awakening to purpose emerged as a positive predictor of resilience above and beyond the general factor of purpose. Practical implications of this study lie in supporting students to actively explore and fulfill their life’s purpose since doing so might strengthen their resilience and intent to persevere.