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Are Out-of-State Colleges Targeting California Students?

California students have been seeing focused efforts from out-of-state schools trying to entice them to their institutions. Education Insider takes a look at why this might be happening and why students might want to seriously consider leaving their home state.

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By Jessica Lyons

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Recruiting California Students

In a recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, it was reported that some schools are stepping up their efforts to specifically recruit California students to their schools. In fact, according to the article, both Arizona State University and the University of Oregon had more freshmen students from California in 2011 that some of California State University's own campuses.

There are a couple reasons that these schools might be targeting California students. First of all, a recruiter quoted in The Chronicle notes the difficulty students now have of getting into all the classes they want. It's frustrating for students not to get seats in the courses they need so the idea of going to a school where that's not a problem is very appealing.

On top of that, as reported by USA Today in July of 2011, California State University will be increasing its tuition by 12%. California residents thinking about staying in-state for school to save money might now be interested in going elsewhere since it might not be as much of a price difference.

While higher education institutions want to attract students from all over the country, it could be that these schools see weaknesses in California right now that are motivating them to make more focused efforts. By countering possible problems students have with California schools other recruiters can more easily make a case for students attending their own schools.

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Reasons for Attending School Out-of-State

Whether you're from California or any other state, there are some definite reasons to consider attending an out-of-state school. Being able to gain more independence and experience something completely different are two very enticing reasons. College is a time for personal growth and it can be important to go outside of your comfort zone, or home town, for that to happen.

Another motivation for leaving can be an increased chance of reaching your personal goals. For instance, if you live in California but want to eventually work in politics in Washington, D.C., it's good to go to school in that area so you can get very relevant experience and make important professional connections.

The state you attend school in could be based on the degree program you're interested in. Especially if you want to enroll in a more uncommon program, you might have no choice but to travel elsewhere to actually have access to it.

Why Schools Want Out-of-State Students

The Chronicle detailed a few reasons why schools want to recruit students from many different states. Since students from other states pay higher tuition than in-state residents, schools benefit from the increased revenue that comes with enrolling more out-of-state students. With so many schools facing budget problems, the more revenue they can bring in the better. Additionally, it can help improve a school's reputation and reach. A student in Oregon who goes to school in Texas will help spread the word to people back home, and one of those people could end up applying to the school as well.

This practice is also seen as a way to improve on-campus diversity. Many students look for diversity at their potential schools because they want to be exposed to something different. If they get the impression that the student population is mostly the same, they might not bother applying to it.

The budget woes of California universities could be one reason why students are turning to other schools.

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