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Public Universities and Out-of-State Students

Road through wheat fieldPart of the college experience is leaving home, meeting new people, discovering new places, and hopefully learning a little just from the experiencing something different. However, there are two major factors that determine how likely this is to happen. One, how far away students are willing to travel to college and two, if a student attends a state institution.

Since I’ve discussed college distance before, I’m going to focus on the second factor, attending a public institution. The fact of the matter is that approximately 70% of full-time students at four-year institutions are attending a public school. This isn’t necessarily a public school in their own state, but very likely so.

There are only three states, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, where fewer than half of the full-time students attend public universities. In 28 states, 75% or more the students are enrolled at public institutions. This means that for the majority of college students, the diversity will need to come to them.

Given that most state institutions’ primary purpose is to education their own residents, this is probably not going to be a priority for most schools. The average percentage of in-state students at public schools is 83%. But if you look around, you’ll see that some colleges offer more opportunities to meet different people than others.

There some state institutions quite willing to take non-residents who are able to pay their own way. Some may welcome out-of-state students as part exchange agreements with other states. Others might be willing to provide some support to lure academically talented students to their institutions. There are also those that need out-of-state students to maintain enrollment levels.

And ultimately, there’s no reason why the student should just rely on the schools to provide diverse experiences, there are plenty of ways individual students can expand their education opportunities on their own.

The following map shows the public institutions where 70% or fewer of the full-time freshman are state residents. It also shows private colleges where 90% or more of full-time freshman are state-residents. The table lists the average percentage of full-time freshman that are in-state students and foreign students at public and private schools by state. Only schools with 500 or more full-time undergraduates are included.

Percentage of In-State-Students at Public Universities

StateIn-state
Private
Schools
In-state
Public
Schools
Foreign
Private
Schools
Foreign
Public
Schools
Alabama46.673.21.93.6
Alaska91.01.3
Arizona10.565.54.03.0
Arkansas55.380.04.81.9
California70.893.45.83.4
Colorado41.473.33.01.3
Connecticut35.583.34.70.8
Delaware61.540.50.01.5
District of Columbia9.784.03.00.0
Florida55.090.86.51.6
Georgia59.192.73.82.0
Hawaii53.384.07.80.8
Idaho47.073.85.04.0
Illinois69.992.53.12.4
Indiana56.985.33.72.8
Iowa47.866.34.35.0
Kansas54.271.91.81.6
Kentucky69.370.02.11.9
Louisiana62.987.81.01.4
Maine34.083.33.81.3
Maryland47.873.33.21.9
Massachusetts39.586.17.62.0
Michigan81.486.14.63.0
Minnesota63.279.43.21.2
Mississippi51.568.63.01.3
Missouri57.880.14.91.9
Montana53.077.32.31.0
Nebraska56.276.81.32.7
Nevada11.090.07.00.3
New Hampshire23.465.43.30.4
New Jersey68.394.89.01.4
New Mexico75.60.6
New York62.587.35.32.6
North Carolina55.683.62.70.8
North Dakota47.556.01.54.1
Ohio66.091.42.30.9
Oklahoma44.676.96.82.9
Oregon38.668.32.94.4
Pennsylvania54.982.52.82.7
Rhode Island14.463.56.90.0
South Carolina64.473.02.01.3
South Dakota50.367.42.51.0
Tennessee56.489.32.21.7
Texas79.994.43.31.8
Utah28.380.71.03.6
Vermont10.855.85.20.8
Virginia50.778.32.32.0
Washington55.390.91.51.9
West Virginia40.374.34.00.9
Wisonsin62.976.52.02.0
Wyoming50.03.0
Grand Total57.483.14.02.0

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