As I interviewed students at colleges in the Washington area over the past few years, I began to wonder: Why is everyone from New Jersey or New York? And why do so many students look like Snooki and the Situation? Asks Jenna Johnson, columnist for the Washington Post. Turns out, those states are the biggest exporters of college students. In 2008, more than half of recent high school graduates in New Jersey went out of state to enroll at a four-year college. (I just wrote an article about what’s driving this flight from Jersey.) New York also lost a high number of students (28,980 compared to Jersey’s 31,510) but three-quarters of its college-bound students stayed in-state. Plus, 28,980 students from other states traveled to New York for college, leaving the state with a net gain. So, what’s happening in other states? I created lists of states with “brain drain” and “brain gain” using data from the National Center for Education Statistics that show the migration of 1.4 million recent high school graduates who enrolled as freshmen at four-year colleges in fall 2008, the latest year available…

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