Students leave golden state to fulfill dreams

Sandra Sunio, Staff Writer

The Golden State — known for its sandy beaches, bipolar weather, Hollywood and In ‘N Out. Most importantly, California is known for its world-class universities such as Stanford, Berkeley, Caltech and UCLA.

Knowing the vast number of opportunities California has to offer, it is often bittersweet for seniors bound for out-of-state colleges to realize that they will be living in another state for at least the next four years of their lives.

The class of 2017 has about a dozen students that will be moving to a different state this fall to further their education. Seniors are bound for states that include Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Denver, Washington, Illinois, New York and Georgia.

Students say they are leaving the Golden State for better opportunities for sports, different academic programs and bigger scholarships.

“I chose to go out of state for college because of my college’s nursing program,” University of Portland bound senior Farrahlynn Bonocan said. “It is ranked #4 in the West.”

Given that nursing is an impacted major in all of California, many students stray away from California’s public universities and lean toward private universities for a better chance of getting in and out in four years. However, even in California’s private universities, nursing majors are still not guaranteed to finish in four years.

Bonocan applied to only out-of-state universities including Maryville University in Missouri, Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island, and University of Portland in Oregon.

“I definitely had to narrow down all of the nursing programs in California compared to those out of state and how impacted it was and the student population size,” Bonocan said.

Senior Shelby Bartlett signed her National Letter of Intent on April 12 to continue her passion for golf at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado.

“I chose to go out of state for two main reasons: my golf scholarship and the aerospace industry in Colorado,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett’s future school has a high success rate for funneling their students into aviation internships and jobs, and she thinks she will enjoy her college life and have a more personal relationship with her professors at MSU in Colorado than if she had opted to stay in California.

Due to its multiple prestigious universities, many out-of-state applicants are attracted to the Golden State, which leads to overcrowding. The average UC population is about 30,000, and the average CSU population is 20,000.

“I don’t want to be just another number in the engineering department [if I were to go to school in California],” Bartlett said. “I want to be a face and a name to a professor. Since California is super populated, I want a more personalized college.”

Senior Dalin Nelson, bound for Columbia College Chicago in Illinois, also made his decision due to his major.

“I am majoring in film production, and I’m going out of state simply because Columbia College Chicago is one of the best film schools in the nation,” Nelson said. “Also, I’ve been all over California, and while I think it’s amazing, I’m excited to experience new things and meet new people.”

While it is very exciting and beneficial for these students to venture out of California and explore different places, according to journalist Phillip Reese’s article “More California Students Heading Out of State for College,” the large number of students leaving the state for college might be threatening California, especially if they do not come back.

Public Policy Institute of California researcher Hans Johnson estimates that California will have one million fewer graduates in the next decade than its industries will require.

Nelson, Bartlett and Bonocan all said they are not set on coming back to California after graduation; instead, they say they will be going wherever life takes them.

“All I can say is that it depends on what God has in store for me,” Bonocan said. “Plans change, and I’m looking forward to whatever opportunities will be set out for me, whether it be in Oregon or California.”