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A report looks at how Illinois students decide to attend an out of state college

 College graduates stand outside with family and friends at commencement
Charles DeLoye/Unsplash

A recent report looks at the reasons why Illinois students choose to go out of state for college.

The Illinois Workforce and Education Research Collaborative surveyed 1,200 high school seniors who planned on going to a four-year college.

Overall, there were four main factors students considered: cost, location, academic reputation and social environment.

Collaborative director Meg Bates says they asked students leaving the state what would get them to stay in Illinois.

"We saw that the top three things that they noted that would've encouraged them to stay were lower tuition, better quality of colleges and more financial aid. So, those are the levers for change of this out-migration issue."

"What we found is that stayers are significantly more likely to consider cost as well as family and friends' opinions about college than leavers are," said researcher Mariana Barragan Torres. On the other hand, leavers are significantly more likely to consider the academic reputation or perceptions of academic reputation."

Torres says leavers also put more emphasis on a school’s social environment and athletics.

Nearly 48 percent of Illinois students planning to go to a four-year college choose to attend an out of state school and the majority go to schools in neighboring states.

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