Greater number of students leaving Illinois for college - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Greater number of students leaving Illinois for college

ILLINOIS (KFVS) -

The state of Illinois is losing many of its college students to out-of-state schools. Even the enrollment numbers have decreased significantly at Southern Illinois University. 

Diamond Trusty, a Chicago-native, is a student at SIU. 

“Illinois is messed up,” she proclaimed.

Trusty believes the states’ financial woes play a part in students leaving IL for college.

“They’re hearing about all these budget cuts and Illinois schools and it’s scaring them.”

Even though Trusty applied for many out of state schools, she decided to stay in her home state.

“I applied to over 32 schools. I applied to schools in Oklahoma, Ohio, Alabama, Atlanta…and out of all the schools…this one…with my GPA and my ACT score, this was the school that gave me the best financial aid package,” she said.

According to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, it is more cost effective for residents to enroll in state, but the budget deadlock has accelerated the trend of students who left the state to attend college.

“But for me it was just really financial aid and family," Trusty said. "I didn’t want that debt, I didn’t want that struggle throughout my life from now and then. I wanted to be able to live my life and still be able to be stable.”

Well, Arthur McGahee another resident of Illinois chose to leave Illinois for the same reasons – money.

“My top two schools were Howard and U of I and Howard gave me a full tuition scholarship because of my ACT scores but U of I gave me close to no money" McGahee said.

He wanted to go to an in state school but he couldn’t because of finances. So, he offers suggestions to keep Illinois high-school students in state. 

“Definitely introduce high schools students to the college application process at an earlier time. We didn’t get acclimated to that until junior year" he said. "Definitely more preparation for ACT/SAT testing and just letting kids know. Like awareness. Letting them know that there is money out there  and there are people who want to pay for them to go to college, especially in state schools."

The Illinois Board of Higher Education said between 2000 and 2014, the number of freshmen who left the state to attend college rose by about 64 percent. The mark was hit before the state's two-year budget impasse, which negatively impacted the finances of the state's colleges and universities.

Only New Jersey, which also has had state budget woes, exceeded Illinois in loss of students to out-of-state schools.

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Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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