- The New York Times reports that the number of students choosing out-of-state public institutions across the country has "nearly doubled since 1986," a trend the Times attributes to aggressive recruitment tactics by public institutions seeking to offset state budget cuts.
- Institutions in states like California and Texas are among those aggressively pursuing out-of-state students to help balance shrinking budget appropriations, a tactic may legislators disapprove of as it reduces opportunities for low-income and non-traditional students in state.
- Public funding for colleges and universities nationwide wide has decreased by 17% since 2008, while tuition costs have increased by more than 33%.
As many states across the south become poorer and access dramatically decreases for students from low-income families, these schools will continue a massive push to recruit students from bordering states. Conversely, as costs increase in wealthier states for middle class students, they will individually seek more cost-effective alternatives beyond state borders.
The shuffling of students, combined with the national push to make community college a more attractive option to a growing number of high school graduates and adult learners, will continue to make the role of a public college president more difficult. But to counter these trends, leaders should consider the ways in which institutions can reform and shape secondary systems. This effort can not only help to build community value in universities, but can also help to strengthen pipelines of local student engagement and recruitment.