South Bend pushing to retain more college students after survey - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend pushing to retain more college students after survey results

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We all know South Bend has great colleges.

Thousands of students graduate from Universities in the area every year.

Unfortunately many of those student don't make the city their home after graduation.

A community group has set out to find out why.

The Community Campus Advisory Coalition surveyed 35 hundred students at eight colleges and universities in the South Bend area.

There's not a whole lot the city can do about some of the reasons students give for not staying in South Bend after graduation, like the weather, but students do say at least one thing is lacking.

"There's not that many activities that focus on our age in South Bend in general," says Notre Dame Junior, Dasha Giger.

Notre Dame Junior, Chinelo Onyeador says, "We're 21 now, but Freshman year until just a few months ago, there wasn't much to do in terms of nightlife unless you want to stay on campus."

South Bend Common Councilman Gavin Ferlic says survey results were pretty clear about what students want in a place to call home.

The top three things they're looking for are employment opportunities, safety, and dining and entertainment.

Ferlic says they'll just have to work harder to show students, South Bend has all of that!

"If you're plugged into the community. If you know what the dining and entertainment options are, you won't be bored a single night in South Bend," says Ferlic.

Ferlic says on a scale of 1 to 10, students gave "Staying in South Bend" a 2.53. Ouch. Ferlic says right now it's not about the number, it's just about making it higher.

He says if the city wants to expand business, then this has to be a priority.

"They look for workforce, they look for talent. And again, we produce some outstanding graduates, we really have some incredible institutions of higher education. It's just important for us to retain just as many of those graduates as we can," says Ferlic.

Ferlic says the committee will take these results and put together an action plan.

Part of that will definitely be working with the student councils at each school.

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