If past patterns hold, well over half of New Jersey high school graduates who go on to college will do so in another state. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) believes the state should try to find out why.
That’s why NJBIA is supporting legislation that would survey New Jersey high school graduates and determine why so many leave. The bill, S-2993 (Kean, Cunningham), was approved by the Senate Higher Education Committee.
“It’s no secret that New Jersey has the highest net outmigration rate among high school graduates in the nation, but it’s a problem we cannot solve until we know what is causing it,” said NJBIA Vice President Andrew Musick. “This bill is the start to finding that answer.”
“Outmigration of high school graduates impacts businesses’ ability to find the qualified, skilled workers they need,” Musick said. “If students go to college in another state, they are less likely to come back to New Jersey to start their careers.”
The bill would direct the Secretary of Higher Education to conduct a survey of high school seniors, and review things like academic and socio-economic characteristics between those who chose in-state institutions and those who go out of state. The bill would also require an analysis of the extent to which the outmigration is impacted by the state’s small size and the desire of college students to experience independent living at a distance from their families.
In the fall of 2014, 34,782 New Jersey residents left New Jersey to attend college in another state, while only 5,876 students from other states began their college education in New Jersey, for a net loss of 28,906 students.