Increase in Illinois students going to college out of state - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Increase in Illinois students going to college out of state

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CARBONDALE -- The number of Illinois students leaving the state for college is continuing to increase, according to a study by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

It shows that in 2014, the latest data available, almost 34,000 students left the state for college, compared with just 17,000 out-of-state students coming in.

The net loss of more than 16,000 students ranks second worst among U.S. states, ahead of only New Jersey, which which had a net loss of more than 29,000.

The impact is being felt locally, where Southern Illinois University has faced a 30% drop in enrollment over the last decade.

SIU spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith says there needs to bee a bigger state-wide focus on keeping students in Illinois.

"Clearly there are opportunities in Illinois for jobs, there are opportunities in Illinois at great educational institutions and we collectively as a state need to be telling that story better," she said.

While Illinois continues to lose more students to out-of-state schools, all of the states bordering Illinois saw a net positive gain in college students, including gains of more than 12,000 in Iowa and nearly 9,000 in Indiana.

Goldsmith says SIU will be adding an Associate Chancellor for Enrollment Management to stop the bleeding enrollment numbers and bring students to the university.

"It's a position that will work across campus, including with offices like admission and financial aid, but also with the academic units to make sure we're coordinating our enrollment management efforts as a team over time," she said.

According to the Illinois Board of Higher Education's report, eliminating the net loss of 16,000 students would result in an additional $215 million in tuition and fees going to colleges and universities in the state.

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