Return on Investment for Colleges & Universities

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Georgetown University’s  Center on Education and the Workforce recently released  a report using data from the expanded College Scorecard to rank 4,500 colleges and universities by return on investment. A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges finds that bachelor’s degrees from private colleges, on average, have higher returns on investment than degrees from public colleges 40 years after enrollment. Community colleges and many certificate programs have the highest returns in the short term, 10 years after enrollment, though returns from bachelor’s degrees eventually overtake those of most two-year credentials.

Public colleges, where tuition is lower and students accumulate less debt, lead to better returns than private colleges at the 10-year horizon. In the long term, however, degrees from private nonprofit colleges provide the best returns, even though students take out twice as much in loans on average. A graduate of a public college has an average net economic gain of $765,000, compared to $838,000 for a graduate of a private college.

To view colleges and universities of interest to you, please access the interactive table available by clicking here.

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