Is NJ Getting Old for Its Teen Population?

Is NJ Getting Old for Its Teen Population?

By Emma Arango, Danielle Cohen, and Maya Kachroo

As high school seniors begin to make their decisions on where they are going to spend the next four years, the discussions about possible colleges are becoming even more frequent. Seniors have to make a tough choice regarding how far they are willing to go from their home-town. New Jersey teens, more than others, seem to prefer to leave their home state and to explore a new way of living, but some students have taken into account the benefits of staying in-state for college. 

Many students are excited about college and take it as an opportunity to have some change.

“I’d prefer to go out of state just so that I can get out of the New Jersey bubble and diversify myself, and learn new things about other cultures and other states. I mean New Jersey schools are pretty cool, but I want some change,” says Senior Jade He.

Students acknowledge the great life they have lead in New Jersey so far, but want exposure to another way of living. According to, about 30,000 New Jersey students head out of state for college; since a majority of students leave NJ, this causes a “brain drain” of intellectuals to other areas.

“I have lived in New Jersey my whole life, and as much as I love this state, I cannot see myself in a similar suburban-style town for another four years. I think it’s important for students to have new experiences and not limit themselves to what is familiar” says Senior Sydney Rodis.

Though many students want to pursue college outside of state, many students do acknowledge the advantages of staying in New Jersey. 

“My parents would rather me stay home…and dorming is a bit expensive too” notes Senior Fey Qassis. 

Less than half of Wayne Hills’ 2019 class went to school in-state and the majority went out of state. If most students prefer to go out of state why do some choose to stay where they are?

“Staying in-state is just way more affordable. Yes, going to schools out of state could be a great experience, but I think a lot of people are thinking about how crazy student debt will be when we get out of college. Financially, New Jersey makes more sense,” Senior Ashley Peyser.

Although there are pros and cons to each, most students have a general consensus. The point of college is for each student to choose their own path and most students agree that everyone should be doing what they want. 

Senior Kate Bollinger remarks, “If you like a college in-state then go to that college, if you like a college out of state then go out of state.”