A recent graduate from one of our public high schools scored a 29 on the ACT, which placed him in the 95th percentile nationally. With high math and science scores and career interests in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), he was the kind of student Washington state companies complain they can’t find to hire locally.
But after comparing in-state and out-of-state colleges, he chose Rochester Institute of Technology. Factoring in scholarships, it was less expensive for him to attend school in New York and travel home for breaks than to stay in Washington. With RIT’s extensive programs to help students gain work experience in STEM fields, he may end up working elsewhere too. RIT’s placement rate for graduates into employment out of college is approximately 96 percent.
This particular student happens to be my son. But as superintendent of the Edmonds School District, I have heard from other parents about how their children, who were interested in a STEM career, found better schooling access and options out of state.