College students prefer to stay close to home, data finds
- The Chronicle of Higher Education's interactive view of freshmen enrollment trends throughout the U.S. reveal a propensity among most students to stay in state, or to remain in regional proximity to their home state.
- More than 33% of students attend college 50 miles or closer to home, and 20 colleges saw substantial increases of in-state enrollment exceeding 50%, since 1998. Most students who do go out of state are inclined to attend private institutions in neighboring states.
- States with large metropolitan areas and high concentrations of institutions drew the most out-of-state students. New York was the national leader with more than 34,000 non-residential students, followed by Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and California.
As the pressure mounts for more institutions to recruit and retain out-of-state students, colleges are faced with the balancing act of welcoming and accommodating students who wish to stay close to home, even if coming from a neighboring state. Some institutions in the Northeast have found success with tuition matching programs that attract students from neighboring states.
Given the challenges of certain states and regions with poverty, secondary education rigor and affordability, many leaders across the country will have to adjust their enrollment management strategies to meet these student needs.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Where does your freshman class come from?