Student Migration and Academic Achievement

Out-of-State Enrollment

Seventy-one percent of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 enrolled in college. Of these students, 21% attended college out of state.

Percent of ACT-Tested College Students Enrolled Out of State by ACT Composite Score, 2011

Line graph showing percent of students who enrolled out of state, by ACT Composite score range

Graph reads: 51% of ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between 33 and 36 enrolled out of state.

ACT Composite Score RangePercent Enrolled Out of State
1–1512%
16–1913%
20–2318%
24–2726%
28–3236%
33–3651%

National = 21%

An enrolled student’s likelihood of attending college out of state increased with his or her ACT Composite score.

  • Students with a score of 24 or higher were more likely than average to attend college out of state, whereas students with a score of 23 or lower were less likely than average to enroll out of state.
  • Just over one-half of all students with a score between 33 and 36 enrolled out of state, compared with only 12% of students with a score of 15 or lower.


Percent of ACT-Tested College Students Enrolled Out of State by State Category, 2011

Bar chart showing percent of students enrolled out of state by state category

Graph reads: 18% of ACT-tested college students from “ACT+” states enrolled out of state.

State CategoryPercent Enrolled Out of State
ACT+18%
ACT16%
ACT/SAT15%
SAT26%
SAT+51%
National21%

An enrolled student’s likelihood of attending college out of state varied by the ACT and SAT participation rates in the state.

  • Compared to the migration patterns of students from “ACT” and “ACT+” states, ACT-tested students from “SAT” and “SAT+” states had a higher likelihood of attending college out of state.
  • In “SAT+” states, a little more than one-half of all ACT-tested students enrolled out of state. This is more than twice the out-of-state enrollment rate for students from “ACT+” states.