Almost half of the high school graduates in Illinois during 2016 continued their education abroad, showed an Illinois Education Board report.

The pace at which high school graduates in Illinois are leaving the state is worrying the entire education community there.

46 percent of high school graduates during 2016 left Illinois to seek a college education outside the state. In 2002 the percentage of these students were at just 29 percent, these data reveal.

The rate at which students are leaving is felt also in the number of new enrollments by in-state high school graduates at Illinois universities.

In 2009, 204,781 enrollments by Illinois high school graduates were done, while in 2016 the number fell at 188,405, meaning a decrease by almost 8 percent.

While the factors of such changes are hard to be understood, concerned higher institutions in Illinois are committed to becoming more attractive to their high school graduates.

The state institutions are also considering to take actions to lower the flux of their students going abroad. One of their main ideas discussed is to re-organize their Monetary Award Program, which would award students scholarships based on their financial needs and their grades.