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Where do Wisconsin students go out of state to college?

by WISCAPE Staff | Sep 6, 2016

After reading a recent New York Times feature, “How Cuts to Public Universities Have Driven Students Out of State,” Nicholas Hillman, a WISCAPE faculty affiliate, decided to take a closer look at where Wisconsin students migrate to when they go out of state for college.

Using ​2014 IPEDS data, Hillman created an interactive map showing the flow of Wisconsin students to both public and private (non- and for-profit) colleges and universities outside of Wisconsin, showing both where they go and how many enroll at each college. 

Click the image below to view the interactive version.


The map shows that the ​largest number of Wisconsin students that attend out-of-state colleges and universities ​go to schools in Minnesota. In 2014, 3,084 students from Wisconsin chose to attend school in Minnesota. 2,113 students attended a public institution (including 750 at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities), 852 students attended a private non-profit institution, and 119 students attended a private for-profit institution.

Of course, students ​choose to come to Wisconsin from other states ​too, and in fact, the state ​receives more students than it sends out, according to the New York Times. ​​And as many Wisconsin students leave for Minnesota schools, Minnesota is likewise the largest importer of college students to Wisconsin -- in 2014, 2,962 Minnesota freshmen enrolled at Wisconsin's public universities.

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