The New Jersey brain drain continues at a staggering rate.

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A shocking number of high school graduates from the Garden State pack up and head elsewhere to attend college.

New Jersey's high tuition plays a role, but other states are actually making a concerted effort to poach our best and brightest.

"Thirty-five thousand students every year leave the state of New Jersey to pursue higher education elsewhere," says Montclair State University president Dr. Susan Cole. "Only about 5,500 come into the state so that's a net out-migration of 29,500. That is an astonishingly large number as a net out-migration and there is not another state in the nation that looks like that."

Cole says that utilizing public-private partnerships is helping, as well as allowing colleges and universities to bond for capital construction.

Out-Migration Issue Based on Cost

She also explains that institutions of higher education are expanding programs that have the highest student demand. Cole feels the state has to do everything it can because other states are poaching our students.

"The out-migration issue is also in part based on cost," says Cole. "A lot of the surrounding states make it their business to recruit New Jersey students and to adjust their costs for New Jersey students and since our public tuitions are so high they adjust their out-of-state tuitions to make it more attractive for New Jersey students to leave the state."

What can New Jersey colleges and universities do about the high tuition rates? Unfortunately, not much can be done, according to Cole.

"Bottom line, higher education is expensive and we'll never get away from that no matter how much we reform and innovate," says Cole. "It is an expensive proposition. It's worth the money I would argue, but it is expensive."