Press Release
Senator Tom Kean, Jr. Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21)
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Contact: Robbie Kenney / (609) 847-3600
August 27, 2020
Senate Approves Kean Measure to Study ‘Brain Drain’ of NJ High School Grads Attending Out-of-State Colleges

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More College-Bound Students Leave New Jersey than Any Other State

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean sponsors legislation, approved today by the Senate, to study why so many New Jersey high school graduates choose to attend college out of state.

More high school graduates leave New Jersey to attend college than any other state, and Senator Kean’s bill would create a study to help retain talent we are losing. (Pixabay)

“Too many of our bright and talented high school graduates are deciding to pursue college degrees in other states,” said Kean (R-21). “The ‘brain drain’ hurts our state. Most of them never return to their home state to help bolster our workforce, contribute to communities, and help support their families. This study will help us better understand what we can do to reverse the trend.”

The bill, S-1228, would direct the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education and the state’s Commissioner of Education, to conduct a study to determine the extent and causes of the out-migration of high school graduates to colleges and universities in other states.

An analysis by the Washington Post of data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows New Jersey’s export of 31,510 graduates in 2008 was the most in the nation.

That’s nearly double the loss of the next highest state, Texas, of 17,716 students.

“College-bound students leave New Jersey for a variety of reasons, but there has never been a systematic analysis to adequately examine the issue,” said Kean. “After investing so much to educate our next generation, it makes sense to do what we can to encourage our talented graduates to remain home and establish roots in the Garden State. If we don’t fully understand the causes, we can never effectively address it.”

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