Thursday, January 13, 2011

States Deal with the Out-of-State Conundrum

I understand the economic and emotional issues related to the number of out-of-state students accepted by state schools.

A Virginia legislator has an idea. He wants to limit the number of non-Virginia students accepted to the state's schools to no more than 25 percent. The upside: more Virginia students (straight A, high test score kids who today are rejected) will attend. The downside: the state loses money because non-state students pay roughly three times as much as their Virginia classmates. Today, some of the schools in the system take as many as 40 percent out-of-staters.

Unfortunately, diversity would fall victim if Virgina and other states followed this course. And one of the great joys of college is meeting people from all over the country, and gaining insights from their different perspectives.

I was curious about our state's main university, Rutgers. Only 13 percent of its students aren't from New Jersey. I wonder if that is by choice, or because some states' schools just attract more out-of-state students than others.

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