Interesting bit of news buried in this New York Times story:

In 1992, New York was about even with Massachusetts and Pennsylvania in attracting freshmen — about 21,000 — from out of state to degree-granting institutions.

[However,] (a)ccording to the most recent federal data, New York ranked first in 2004, with more than 36,000, ahead of Pennsylvania, California, Florida and Massachusetts. Between 1992 and 2004, New York registered the biggest increase in out-of-state freshmen of any state except Florida.

So, in 1992, Massachusetts was at the top, attracting more out-of-state students to attend college here, than any other state.

But, by 2004, we had dropped to fifth place, apparently, trailing New York, Pennsylvania, California, and Florida.

That’s too bad. However, there’s a bit more to the data:

In 1992, after subtracting New Yorkers who attend school elsewhere, the state recorded a net loss of 3,000 students. In 2004 New York recorded a net gain of nearly 4,000 students, although it trailed Florida, which had a net gain of more than 17,000, and a number of other states.

This means that, even though New York had a lot of students come into the state to attend school, a lot of New York residents left the state to attend school, elsewhere.

Did this happen in Massachusetts? I don’t know, but I think so. People are complaining that we are spending a lot less on higher education than other states (I think I heard we’re #46th in the country in per capita spending or something).

The question is, are we not only attracting less out-of-state kids, but also losing in-state kids, to other states?

If so, I think that this is partially to blame for the loss of our 25-34 year-olds. If you’ll remember, everyone has been lamenting the drop in Massachusetts’ and Boston’s population, over the past five years, and if you look at the census data, you’ll see the drop was in this post-collegiate age group.

My point? If we don’t get these kids when they’re in college, we’ll find it harder to attract them, once they graduate.

It’s like crack.

Source: For Freshmen Headed Out of State, New York Is Top Choice – By Sam Roberts, The New York Times

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