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Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

September 12, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Brigham Young tops list of WA’s out-of-state college choices

Recently, we wrote about the large number of Washington state students who go out of state for a college education. Of all the western states, Washington loses the most college-bound students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, a federally-run data clearinghouse.

Where do they all go? Believe it or not, the two most popular out-of-state schools for the 2012-13 school year were Brigham Young University-Idaho and Brigham Young University in Utah. Those two schools account for nearly 9 percent of the 7,409 Washington students who graduated in spring 2012 and went immediately to out-of-state colleges in the fall.

State universities in Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Arizona were also big draws. Popular California schools included the public California Polytechnic State University (or Cal-Poly, as it’s known), and three privates: Santa Clara University, the University of Southern California and Chapman University.

But what’s also striking is that the top 25 schools only account for 40 percent of the students who leave the state. That suggests to us that Washington students choose many, many different schools across the nation when they decide to leave home.

Source: National Student Clearinghouse

Source: National Student Clearinghouse

The numbers for this analysis were provided by Washington state’s Office of Financial Management, and come from the National Student Clearinghouse, a different source from the NCES, which collects its data differently.

The NCES shows nearly 11,000 students leave the state, but the Clearinghouse shows only 7,409 attended out-of-state schools. That could be because the NCES counted any student who left the state in 2012 to go to college for the first time, while the Clearinghouse counted only graduates of the class of 2012 who went out of state.

Did you or your kids go out state for college? Tell us why in the comments.

Comments | Topics: college, out-of-state

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