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N.D. Has Large Proportion of Out-of-state, First-year College Students

A tracking system finds that 63 percent of North Dakota college graduates were either employed in North Dakota or re-enrolled within the state one year after graduation.

Of the 6,705 first-year students enrolled at North Dakota colleges and universities in fall 2008, 50.6 percent (3,392 students) were North Dakota residents. This means that 49.4 percent of first-year college students in North Dakota (3,313 students) came from out of state. That gave North Dakota the third largest proportion of out-of-state, first-year students among all states.

This month’s “Economic Brief,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, focuses on the residence and migration of first-year college students (high school graduates enrolled in college within one year of high school graduation) provided by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The number of high school graduates in North Dakota has declined during the past few decades from 10,850 in 1970 to 7,005 in 2009. In addition, since 1998, a larger proportion of North Dakota graduates who attend college within one year of graduation are leaving the state for college.

In fall 1998, 16 percent of North Dakota resident first-year students left the state to attend college. By 2008, this proportion grew to 28 percent. Of the 4,732 North Dakota resident first-year students in the fall of 2008, 71.7 percent (3,392 students) were enrolled in North Dakota colleges or universities. Nationally, 81 percent of first-year students attended college in their home state. The remaining 28.3 percent of North Dakota resident first-year students (1,340 students) left North Dakota to attend college in 2008.

When taking into account the 3,313 students entering North Dakota to attend college, the result is a net in-migration of 1,973 first-year students. This net in-migration indicates that North Dakota brought in 42 percent more first-year students to its colleges and universities than it could have if every North Dakota resident first-year student stayed in North Dakota for school. Only two other states in the nation exceeded that number in 2008.

“A tracking system by the North Dakota University System finds that 63 percent of North Dakota college graduates were either employed in North Dakota or re-enrolled within the state one year after graduation,” says Richard Rathge, State Data Center director. “Our continued success in drawing students to North Dakota demonstrates the value of our higher education system and the economic impact it has on the state.”


NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621, richard.rathge@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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