State of Illinois Losing College Students

As the state of Illinois deteriorates politically, more shock waves of its society continues to shake out.

One area is where students pick to go to college. Illinois residents who are about to become freshman in college are leaving for out of state education and the numbers are surprising. Here’s more from

Illinois has the second-highest rate nationally of college freshmen choosing to leave the state to pursue higher education — a mark it hit even before the state’s two-year budget impasse — and preliminary figures this fall suggest the numbers continue to look grim.

Between 2000 and 2014, when the out-migration hit an all-time high, the number of freshmen leaving Illinois to attend college shot up by about 64 percent, according to a study earlier this year by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Only New Jersey, which also has had state budget woes, exceeded Illinois in loss of students to out-of-state schools.

The trend was even more pronounced among students attending four-year colleges and universities. Of those freshmen, nearly half chose to attend out of state schools in 2015.

In 2014, nearly 33,700 Illinois students decided to leave the state — compared to only 20,507 who did in 2000. Meanwhile, the number of in-state freshmen at Illinois public colleges kept dropping, from 97,001 in 2000 to a then- all-time low of 82,455 by 2014.




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