Almost half of New Jersey’s high school seniors head out of state for college, accelerating the loss of New Jersey’s best and brightest.

The New Jersey Business and Industry’s report claims that many of these young people never come back, which affects not only the future workforce but the future of New Jersey’s colleges and universities. Forty-three percent of New Jersey’s first time college students head out of state for their education. Out of all the people who leave New Jersey, 60% are between the ages of 18-24.

One of the reasons the report states for the out migration is the relatively high cost of attending college in New Jersey. The typical student graduates from a New Jersey college with over $32,000 in student loan debt.

The NJBIA goes on to recommend that government focus its efforts on affordability, skill building, and career exploration and education. The state has already allocated more money for county colleges for students to get a bachelor’s degree with three years at a county college and one year at a four year school and by developing more vocational programs at county colleges.

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