NJ Politics Digest: Why Are So Many College Kids Fleeing The State?

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In the fall of 2016, a whopping 31,561 first-time degree or certificate-seeking high school graduates left New Jersey for four-year colleges elsewhere. Pixabay

It’s that time of year when college students begin making preparations to leave home for the new semester, and in New Jersey, that means a lot of students are also planning on leaving the state.

A report by the Inquirer looks at why New Jersey is now one of the top exporters of college students to schools elsewhere in the country. According to the report, in the fall of 2016, a whopping 31,561 first-time degree or certificate-seeking high school graduates left the state for four-year colleges elsewhere. At the same time, only 4,299 students from other states choose a school in New Jersey, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That difference—27,262 students—is the the largest net loss in the United States, the report said.

The report quotes business leaders concerned that state taxpayers are paying for students’ high school education but then seeing no return, since so many students who go to out-of-state schools don’t return to New Jersey.

The state legislature is calling for a study of the reasons that students aren’t staying. One likely reason, college is expensive in New Jersey. Figures from the College Board showed in 2017 the Garden State ranked fourth in the nation for most expensive four-year public education, the Inquirer notes.

Quote of the Day: “They’re taking something that was bad and temporary and making it bad and permanent.” — Tom Bracken, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, on congressional Republicans’ plans to extend the limit on federal tax deductions for state and local taxes.

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NJ Politics Digest: Why Are So Many College Kids Fleeing The State?