College Grads Love New York, But Not for Long

College Grads Love New York, But Not for Long

Last updated on November 2nd, 2022

The State University of New York (SUNY) system does an exceptional job attracting students and helping them get started in their careers. What’s concerning is how the story is changing after these graduates’ careers begin to take off.

The Washington Post reports Washington D.C., Colorado and New York have the most impressive brain gains in the nation. Not only do they retain most students graduating from their state university systems, but they also attract the most college graduates from out-of-state. What’s more, New York is ranked 4th in the nation for retaining students who have graduated from its public colleges and universities.

That’s impressive and shows New York’s investment in higher education is reaping a strong return, which is good for students, residents, businesses, and the state. Of course, New York has some key advantages working in its favor:

  • The SUNY system has great schools, with very strong reputations across numerous fields.
  • The state offers some strong incentives to attend a SUNY school, including Excelsior Scholarships which pay 100% of the cost of two- and four-year programs in exchange for an agreement that the student will work in New York after graduation.
  • Giving credence to the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” New York college graduates acknowledge it’s helpful to have a local network – either at their school or where they grew up – to tap into when jumpstarting their careers.
  • Plus, there’s no denying, the state offers a wide range of job opportunities in a variety of fields.

However, the situation is starting to change as young professionals’ careers take off. CNBC reports, “A survey conducted by SmartAsset tracked the movement of so-called ‘rich young professionals,’ which it described as anyone under 35 earning an adjusted gross income of at least $100,000. It seems young professionals are most eager to leave New York. With a net outflow of 15,788, this state had the highest number of individuals leaving by a significant margin.”

Where are they going? According to SmartAsset, Texas, Florida, Washington, Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, Arizona and Connecticut top the list. (Interestingly enough, Texas and Florida have no state income tax.) reports, “Hiring for early-career professionals in New York flatlined in the spring and has been declining ever since, falling roughly 30% in recent months even as the broader labor market remained robust, according to Kory Kantenga, a senior economist at LinkedIn.”

The combined effects of an above average cost of living; inflation’s impact on rent, food, utilities, transportation and more; and an increase in crime seems to be mitigating the positive progress New York has made attracting and retaining college students. Whether this is a short-term issue, or a long-term trend remains to be seen. We’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, if you need any assistance with your accounting, tax, or audit needs, keeps us in mind. We’re RBT CPAs, a leading accounting firm in the Hudson Valley and beyond. We believe we succeed when we help you succeed. Interested in learning more? Give us a call.