Student Migration and Academic Achievement

U.S. Maps

As noted previously, student mobility increases with ACT Composite score and it differs by the ACT and SAT participation rates in the state. The maps on this page illustrate the variability across states in the share of their ACT-tested college students who enrolled out of state.

Percent of ACT-Tested College Students Enrolled Out of State (ACT Composite Score 1–23), 2011

U.S. map with states colored to show percent of ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between 1 and 23 enrolled out of state.

Map reads: In California, less than 15% of ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between 1 and 23 enrolled out of state.

Note: Washington, DC, not shown, is categorized as “50%+.”

StatePercent Enrolled Out of State
AlabamaLess than 15%
Alaska30%–49%
Arizona15%–19%
ArkansasLess than 15%
CaliforniaLess than 15%
Colorado15%–19%
Connecticut50%+
Delaware50%+
District of Columbia50%+
FloridaLess than 15%
Georgia15%–19%
Hawaii30%–49%
Idaho20%–29%
Illinois15%–19%
Indiana15%–19%
IowaLess than 15%
KansasLess than 15%
KentuckyLess than 15%
LouisianaLess than 15%
Maine50%+
Maryland30%–49%
Massachusetts30%–49%
MichiganLess than 15%
Minnesota20%–29%
MississippiLess than 15%
MissouriLess than 15%
Montana20%–29%
NebraskaLess than 15%
Nevada30%–49%
New Hampshire50%+
New Jersey50%+
New MexicoLess than 15%
New York20%–29%
North Carolina15%–19%
North Dakota20%–29%
OhioLess than 15%
OklahomaLess than 15%
Oregon20%–29%
Pennsylvania20%–29%
Rhode Island50%+
South CarolinaLess than 15%
South Dakota20%–29%
TennesseeLess than 15%
TexasLess than 15%
UtahLess than 15%
Vermont50%+
Virginia20%–29%
Washington20%–29%
West VirginiaLess than 15%
WisconsinLess than 15%
Wyoming20%–29%

The first map focuses on the migration patterns of enrolled students who had an ACT Composite score of 23 or lower. Students within this score range were less likely than average to attend college out of state.

  • Twenty-one states, most of which are located in the southern and Midwestern parts of the country, had fewer than 15% of students in this score range enroll out of state; DC and 7 states located mostly in the northeastern part of the country had 50% or more of these students attending college out of state.


Percent of ACT-Tested College Students Enrolled Out of State (ACT Composite Score 24–36), 2011

U.S. map with states colored to show percent of ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between 24 and 36 enrolled out of state.

Map reads: In Maine, 50% or more ACT-tested college students with an ACT Composite score between 24 and 36 enrolled out of state.

Note: Washington, DC, not shown, is categorized as “50%+.”

StatePercent Enrolled Out of State
Alabama15%–19%
Alaska50%+
Arizona20%–29%
ArkansasLess than 15%
California20%–29%
Colorado30%–49%
Connecticut50%+
Delaware50%+
District of Columbia50%+
Florida15%–19%
Georgia20%–29%
Hawaii50%+
Idaho30%–49%
Illinois30%–49%
Indiana20%–29%
Iowa20%–29%
Kansas20%–29%
Kentucky15%–19%
Louisiana15%–19%
Maine50%+
Maryland50%+
Massachusetts50%+
Michigan15%–19%
Minnesota30%–49%
Mississippi15%–19%
Missouri20%–29%
Montana20%–29%
Nebraska20%–29%
Nevada50%+
New Hampshire50%+
New Jersey50%+
New Mexico30%–49%
New York30%–49%
North Carolina30%–49%
North Dakota20%–29%
Ohio20%–29%
Oklahoma15%–19%
Oregon30%–49%
Pennsylvania30%–49%
Rhode Island50%+
South Carolina15%–19%
South Dakota30%–49%
Tennessee20%–29%
Texas20%–29%
UtahLess than 15%
Vermont50%+
Virginia30%–49%
Washington30%–49%
West Virginia15%–19%
Wisconsin20%–29%
Wyoming30%–49%

The second map focuses on the migration patterns of enrolled students who had an ACT Composite score of 24 or higher. Students within this score range were more likely than average to enroll out of state.

  • Only 2 states, Arkansas and Utah, had fewer than 15 percent of students in this score range attending college out of state; DC and 12 states located mostly in the northeastern part of the country had 50% or more of these students enrolling out of state.