Legislation signed into state law today will be a key component in helping stop the student “brain drain” facing our state colleges and universities. The new law’s author, State Representative Dan Brady (R-Normal), said the new law will help Illinois institutions of higher learning better focus on local students’ interests and career goals so they can complete their education here at home.
“Our state has long been the second largest exporter of high school students in the country, and when Illinois high school students leave us for college, they seldom return,” said Representative Brady, who serves as Republican Spokesman on the House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee. “This new law will help bring together educational institutions and interest groups to determine how Illinois can better share information on students’ needs and goals so we can keep our brightest here.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, from 1991-2014 enrollment at Illinois public universities and community colleges declined by 50,000 students. Since the 1960’s, Illinois has been a net negative exporter of college students in the country.
Representative Brady’s new law (House Bill 4781) creates the College and Career Interest Task Force which will work on a process by which Illinois public high school students’ college or career interest data can be collected and shared amongst public colleges and universities in Illinois. The Task Force is an initiative of the Higher Education Working Group.
“Previously, our colleges and universities had to purchase these types of lists from vendors in an attempt to recruit students. That’s money that can now be redirected to tailoring classes and programs to meet students’ future goals,” Representative Brady said. “Working together with our universities, we can change the system and encourage more Illinois students to consider continuing their education here in Illinois.”