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How much longer will students be willing to go away to college?

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,315 Senior Member
"As the last of the college acceptances roll in for high school seniors this month, it’s likely more of those offers than ever before will be coming from campuses far from home. Over the last two decades, the number of students traveling a significant distance to college has increased as places that once felt far away now feel as if they are one town over thanks to modern communications and discount airlines." ...

"... “There is a recruitment war,” said Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president for enrollment management and marketing at DePaul University in Chicago. “Colleges are spending a lot more money to go a lot farther away to get students.” ...

"... But even as more colleges expand their search area for prospects, there are several signs that the number of students willing to get on a plane or drive several hours to go to college is not keeping pace, according to a study I recently authored on the future of college admissions." ...


Replies to: How much longer will students be willing to go away to college?

  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School Registered User Posts: 2,760 Senior Member
    Nothing new here.
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 2,806 Senior Member
    Most colleges, including the so-called national universities (Harvard, Duke, et al), accept a majority of their students from the region in which they are located.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    @Massmomm: Not the majority (among the Ivy/equivalents, I think only Cornell and Rice draw half or more from their home region) unless you define "region" to be so broad as "East of the Mississippi", but almost all the elite privates do draw disproportionately from their home region.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,579 Senior Member
    edited March 26
    Nobody needs a forum to go to the local CC or regional public/private near home..But they won't know what they are missing until later in life.
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 Registered User Posts: 3,289 Senior Member
    It's anecdotal, but our DS thought long and hard about going OOS and ultimately decided he would rather stay in Florida. There were multiple factors that went into the decision, but he just did not seem to have the 'hankering' to go OOS the way I did when I was his age. My niece/nephews seem to stick closer to home too.
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 Registered User Posts: 3,289 Senior Member
    ^^very true. My son still went 5 hours from where we lived for the last 16 years . . . and stayed in state.
  • MassDaD68MassDaD68 Registered User Posts: 1,321 Senior Member
    Based on the packages I see being offered by the schools to my son, cost is really not an object at all for many many Americans. Aid is just not there in any quantity that I fell makes much of a difference. There are more people willing to pay than seats to fill and it will continue to cause the price of college to rise up faster than inflation. I think social media does have an impact on a students willingness to go away. With facetime and skype, kids feel like they are in the next room. Cost is not really a problem so kids can now apply to many schools farther out. This study might just be talking about a brief blip.
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU Registered User Posts: 936 Member
    ^^^ Same with state schools in Texas.
  • MahindraMahindra Registered User Posts: 344 Member
    @MassDaD68 I have to disagree with you on cost. Many families in America can NOT afford to send their kids to college. As a result, many students are forced to pull out student loans. However, after they finish college, many of these students can't find well-paying jobs and are struggling to pay off their student debt. This has led to the student debt crisis in America.
    As how this relates to the discussion on hand, I feel that cost is a major unaddressed reason why more students are attending college locally. With the rise of the common app, many students are applying to OOS colleges. With the surge in applications, financial aid has become more limited. Coupled with lower state funding and the effects of the 2008 recession still lingering on the economy, schools are forced to ration what-ever financial aid money they have left. As a result, schools are giving less financial aid to OOS students. This has lead to many students applying to local and in-state colleges which offer better financial aid packages.
  • psycholingpsycholing Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    Just want to mention that the more elite schools in my area require students to live on campus at least 1-2 years regardless of residency of parents. I believe that housing is a money-maker for colleges, which is the primary motivation for this requirement. (Granted, some colleges have very special housing arrangements that are considered part of the "experience").
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,656 Senior Member
    edited March 26
    There was a comprehensive study in 2009 about the distances students travel for college.

    Some findings:

    - Based on a sample size of 916,466 students, the median distance traveled to college was 94 miles
    - 72.1 percent of students attended a school in their home state, 11.9 percent went to a school in a bordering state
    - As one’s SAT score increases so does the average (median) distance they travel to college
    - In the lowest SAT score band (400-490), median travel distance is 42 miles
    - In the highest SAT score band (1500-1600), median travel distance is 234 miles

    So even the most highly qualified students usually pick schools located within 250 miles of their home.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 2,656 Senior Member
    Related question: what schools have the longest "reach", i.e. have the students that travelled furthest from home ?

    There was a recent study on this involving 350,000 students. It only included students from the Lower 48 states (i.e. no AK, HI, PR, or international students). Answers:

    #1 Reed: average student travel distance of 1,357 miles to get to college
    #2 West Point: 1,209 miles
    #3 Stanford: 1,095 miles

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