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Utah isn’t experiencing a college graduate brain drain, according to a recent study undertaken by the nonprofit research group Utah Foundation.
That’s good news!
It’s good to know young people who receive their higher education in Utah overwhelmingly choose to live here after graduation. In 2004, the figure among resident graduates was 76 percent! Even a large percentage of non-resident graduates, some 46 percent, chose to remain in Utah that year.
Clearly, new college graduates, especially those who are homegrown, aren’t leaving the state in droves for greener pastures, as some lawmakers have contended. Tax dollars directed toward the state’s colleges and universities aren’t being squandered on young people who’ll eventually take their skills elsewhere. No, for the most part, they’re here to stay.
So there should be no more talk, however ludicrous, of taxing Utah graduates who leave the state to live and work.
It should be noted the Utah Foundation study focused on a single year, 2004, so KSL believes future surveys are needed to validate the findings.
For now, though, it’s gratifying to think Utah taxpayers are getting a reasonably “good bang for their buck.” Tax dollars spent educating students in higher education do, indeed, pay dividends as graduates remain in Utah, secure employment and proceed to contribute to the tax base.