AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - New England has a hard time keeping college graduates.
From Harvard to Smith, Massachusetts is home to one of the most elite group of colleges and universities in the world. So, getting students here is easy; keeping them is another story.
"I went to Smith in 2004, I'm from the area, and my family is here. I did study abroad in Scotland and I loved it so I did get time away, but you always come back to where you know," said college graduate Jessica Usher.
A New England Public Policy Center Study says that's the main reason why college graduates in New England don't stay in the region. Researchers say New England schools attract students from all over the world. And the region's low retention rate is mainly due to graduates choosing to start a life closer to home.
"That is surprising to me actually. I would imaging more people would be interested in sticking around. But I do know that a lot of people come here for college," said Mount Holyoke student Cecilia Darby.
Another reason they leave is because they can't find the job they want. In 2008, 63% of college graduates in New England stayed in the area. The majority of them were education majors.
"It's difficult to find jobs almost anywhere, anywhere you can I guess goes. I don't look down on traveling at all. I admire people who try to seek a new life in different places," said UMass graduate Jessica Bready.
91% of New England natives, who graduated from a New England school, stayed in the area in 2000. The Pacific region of the country fared best, keeping the most college graduates.