Higher Education Analytics: A Study of the Flow of College Applicants between US States

Higher Education Analytics: A Study of the Flow of College Applicants between US States

Adrian Joseph (Computer Science Department, Saint Peter's University, Jersey City, NJ, USA), Patrick Rutz (Computer Science Department, Saint Peter's University, Jersey City, NJ, USA), Sean Stachowiak (Computer Science Department, Saint Peter's University, Jersey City, NJ, USA) and Sylvain Jaume (Computer Science Department, Saint Peter's University, Jersey City, NJ, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJISSC.2017010104
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Abstract

The dispersion of talent within the United States is not uniform. There is sufficient statistical evidence to suggest that there is an interstate brain drain phenomenon occurring within the country. The authors set out to examine this by first determining whether states could be classified into four broad categories of talent: ‘repel', ‘loyal', ‘magnet' and ‘boring'. To do this they observed the relative pull or push of talent and looked at the results relative to which states tended to retain or lose their native talent, as well as which states tended to attract a large or small number of the migratory student population seeking education outside of their own respective home states. Once they completed this categorization, the authors attempted to see whether within these groupings, a set of randomly selected independent attributes or themes could be statistically significant to support these categorizations.
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Introduction

Over the years the topic of education in the United States of America has been heavily debated, particularly from an overall return on investment perspective. Access to higher education and the impact of student loans on the economy have moved to the forefront of the public discussion (Perna & Titus, 2004). Half a century ago, a student could finance his or her studies out of saved money or a temporary job, nowadays students need to use bank loans to be able to access college and university education (Doss, Jones, Sumrall, Henley, McElreath, Lackey & Gokaraju, 2015). Higher education has become a luxury item only accessible to smaller proportion of the population (Sirer, Maroulis, Guimera, Wilensky & Amaral, 2015). Authors have reported that a cost escalation in elite higher education has changed the education landscape in the last decade (Johnson & Leachman, 2013). This phenomenon was aggravated by repeated and systemic public cuts in education investment (Hipp & Boessen, 2016). Although this problem has been mainly observed in the United States, a number of international authors have reported the adverse effects of this phenomenon in other countries such as Colombia (García-Suaza, Guataquí, Guerra & Maldonado, 2014) and Australia (Daly, Lewis, Corliss & Heaslip 2015).

The discussion however, has generally involved the effects on the broader United States as a whole (Tuckman, 1970; Perna & Titus, 2004; Suhonen, 2013; Ernstson & Fransson, 2015). The question as to whether within the United States there have been actions, either actively or not, by states to lure or for that matter deter students, has been far less covered (Faggian & Franklin, 2014; Amcoff & Niedomysl, 2015). We believe that this is an area worthy of consideration because it has direct ties to the return on investment debate (Paulsen, 1998; Hout, 2012; Petronijevic, 2013; Canche, 2014; Cain 2014; Jaquette, Curs & Posselt, 2015; Toutkoushian & Paulsen, 2016), especially given the vast difference in tuition costs for in-state versus out-of-state students (Hsing & Mixon, 1996; Maroulis, 2016; Jaquette, Curs, 2015), as well as the potential impact such state level actions could have on companies seeking to invest and look for active pipelines of talent (Korpi & Clark, 2015; Blackwell, Fischer, McFarlane & Dollery, 2015; Jabbar, 2016).

A college student is not a new concept in the United States of America; however, the volume of young adults attending college grows every year (National Center for Education Statistics) and the location they choose for college has great effects on not only economics but the distribution of human capital. The reason or factors that help the students identify their institution of choice have been looked at by researchers and have been statistically significant in decision making for college.

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