Illinois universities team up to stop student out-migration

Education Matters

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Eight Illinois public universities are teaming up to stop out-migration of students to colleges in other states.

Experts say far too many high schoolers, who are college-ready, leave Illinois to attend colleges in other states, a loss not only for the state’s schools, but for the economy.

“We know from our own studies that when a high schooler leaves the state to go to another state, it’s unlikely that they’ll come back and have their profession here, and become taxpayers, raise their families, as well,” said Tim Killeen, President of the University of Illinois System.

College fairs, like the “Salute to Illinois Scholars,” which was held Tuesday at Giovanni’s Convention Center, at 610 N Bell School Road . give students and their parents the opportunity to learn the benefits of attending an in-state school.

Governor’s State University President Elaine Maimon said, “Illinois is a great state. And to be educated here, to make connections here, is going to help the student, at a later time, to not only stay near their families, but also to have that kind of network, where they’ll have great job opportunities.”

University representatives know that keeping higher education affordable and accessible is key.

“If you take the combination of state support, federal support, and university support, there are many opportunities to defray the cost, to maybe even eliminate the cost of attending public higher education,” Killeen said.

No matter what a student is looking for in higher education, school leaders say Illinois has it.

“There is something in Illinois for every student, for every student’s needs,” Maimon said. “There are large campuses, there are medium campuses, there are small campuses. But in every instance, the student is going to find the right match, here.”

This is the second year the “Salute to Illinois Scholars” was held in Rockford.

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