With the high school class of 2014 set to graduate and head off to college, we dug deeper into our data to determine trends on how far students are traveling to college, what factors affect their distance traveled, and the top colleges with enough pull to attract students from the farthest away.
See the full methodology here.
Most Students Stay Close to Home
Niche data shows that 58 percent of students go to a college within 100 miles of their hometown, and 72 percent of students stay in-state. Only 11 percent of students venture more than 500 miles.
Higher Achieving Students Venture Farther
Students that score at least a 2100 on the SAT travel more than 500 miles on average and are more likely to leave their home state rather than stay.
Top 25 Colleges with Students Farthest from Home
Although most students stay close to home, many elite colleges have incredible pull nationwide. We analyzed more than 1,200 schools, and Reed College stands atop the list. The Top 25 includes several unique liberal arts colleges, prestigious art schools, top military academies, and some of the most elite academic institutions.
Many Factors Impact a State’s Net Brain Drain/Gain
New England and Mid-Atlantic states export the highest percentages of college-bound seniors. However, many factors impact whether students stay in-state, including income levels, K-12 school quality, college cost/quality, and proximity of nearby colleges. See the full state breakdown here.