Feb 25, 2012

Which Virginia Public Colleges Enroll the Most Out-of-State Students

This is a trick question. Or at least the answer may not be intuitive.

Ask most local parents which of the Commonwealth’s public institutions enrolled the highest percentage of out-of-state students in the fall of 2011, and the answer will usually be “UVa.”

But according to the
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the University of Virginia was not guilty of enrolling the highest percentage of students from outside the Commonwealth. The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) once again holds that distinction, posting 40.9 percent out-of-state students. The College of William & Mary moved up to second at 33.4 percent, and the University of Virginia came in third at 32.8 percent.

Looking at numbers instead of percentages,
Virginia Tech enrolled the most nonresidents in the fall of 2011 with 6262 students coming from other states. UVa came in second with 5170 out-of-state students, and James Madison University came in third with 4896 students from outside of Virginia.

In total, Virginia public institutions enrolled 164,460 students (up 2 percent from last year), with 18.4 coming from other states, no doubt to take advantage of Virginia’s reputation for excellence in postsecondary education.

In fact, four Virginia public institutions (UVa, College of William & Mary,
University of Mary Washington, and James Madison University) are among the top twenty public colleges and universities with the best four-year graduation rates in the country based on data generated using a search tool provided on the IPEDS website.

While the state legislature engages in a
perennial battle with UVa and William & Mary over enrollment caps for nonresidents, it’s interesting to look at which of Virginia’s public institutions are actually most friendly to out-of state students:

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