More Illinois high school graduates are going out of state for college

MOLINE--Sophomore Kayleen Mercer does not regret her decision to go to Black Hawk College last year.

I really love how cost effective how flexible the people are here.

But she says she can understand why other Illinois high school graduates would want to go to college out of state.

According to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, more Illinois high school graduates are enrolling in universities out of state.

At Western Illinois University Freshmen enrollment dropped more than 300 students just last year. Administrators say the state’s financial troubles are to blame.

“Our neighboring states they were able to capitalize off of it and it was damaging to many, if not all of the public universities,” says Ron Williams, Vice President of student services at WIU.

Enrollment at Black Hawk College has also dropped.

“Enrollment over the last few years has gone down on average about 5 or 6 percent per semester,” says Ken Nickels from Black Hawk College.

WIU has since lowered tuition to lure students back home to Illinois. They are also relying on campus recruitment to boost enrollment.

Illinois Board of Higher Education says that most Illinois students moving out of state are going to Iowa, Wisconsin, or Indiana.