Study shows Illinois has been losing students to out of state colleges

By Ryne Turke on July 26 at 7:17am

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Illinois has been losing some of its best students to colleges in other states and once they leave, they aren’t likely to return.

That’s according to a study from the Illinois Education Research Council at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The data came from looking at two groups of college graduates from between 2006 and 2010: those who went to out-of-state schools and those who remained in Illinois.

The council’s Eric Litchtenberger says the study shows that more should be done to persuade students pursuing desirable degrees to stay in the state.

“Some of the things that the states could do is provide incentives to our colleges and universities to work with high schools to attract more of our high school graduates,” says Litchtenberger.

“They could also provide in state tuition to out of state students to try and attract high school graduates from outside the state.”

The study also found that students studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics were even less likely to return to Illinois after they left.

Lichtenberger says this isn’t a new problem, because the numbers have gotten worse in recent years.

“The negative net migration for the state of Illinois was at about 11,000 students,” says Litchenberger.

“They just released the numbers for 2012 and that numbers has increased to roughly 16,400 students. That’s considering the students that out migrate from Illinois relative to the students from outside of Illinois who come into the state for college.”

To help counter that problem, Lichtenberger says that the best solution for Illinois would be to target students from neighboring states.