Map: The states college kids can’t wait to leave

BY Niraj Chokshi

It’s high school graduation season, which means that young adults across the country will spend the next few months in anticipatory angst over their impending college departure. But some will travel farther than others.

In a new analysis based on user data, education analytics company Niche Ink examines the profile of college-bound students. More than half — 58 percent — of high school graduates go to college within 100 miles of home, they found from their analysis of 350,000 Niche users between 2012 and 2014 who they were able to associate with both a high school and a college. Here are a few of the most interesting takeaways:

But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily undesirable places. As Niche Ink points out in its analysis, that could be due to income levels, the quality of the K-12 education students receive, college cost and quality, and how close graduates are to nearby colleges. The states in the Northeast are far smaller than the states in the South and West, so leaving is a lot easier. Students across the North of the country also tend to score highly on standardized tests, one criteria colleges use in the acceptance process. (Therefore, more high-scoring students may have more college choices and opportunity to leave.)

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