An interesting ranking based on payback ratio – and what it means to you
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SmartMoney recently published a ranking of colleges that used a new way to measure the best schools: Comparing the amount that graduates earned down the road against published tuition costs for their undergraduate educations.
The ranking methodology: Using an online salary database, SmartMoney took the salaries that graduates were earning 3 and 15 years after graduation, then divided those salaries by the cost of a degree obtained in 2005 and 1993, respectively.
According to Dr. Elsa Murano, President of Texas A&M University, “We are obviously pleased—but certainly not surprised — to have Texas A&M acknowledged as a national leader in the financial return on investment in a college education. We take special pride in providing our students a high-quality education at the most affordable cost within our means, in keeping with our high standards as one of the nation’s top research universities. We don’t necessarily strive to be the least expensive; our goal is to provide the best overall value for a university that offers a world-class educational experience.”
The overall ranking (with payback ratio):
1. Texas A&M University (315%)
2. University of Texas, Austin (306%)
3. Georgia Tech (263%)
4. University of Georgia (239%)
5. University of Washington (225%)
The winners in the Liberal Arts category:
1. Washington and Lee (165%)
2. University of Richmond (130%)
3. Lafayette College (115%)
4. College of the Holy Cross (114%)
5. Bucknell (114%)
The top five Ivies:
1. Princeton (132%)
2. Dartmouth (131%)
3. Yale (127%)
4. Harvard (124%)
5. University of Pennsylvania (124%)
app2us.com analysis: This ranking is very significant because it puts the worth of the degree in perspective. In simple language, it means that if you get a degree from Texas A&M University or The University of Texas at Austin, your return on investment is the best. Even if you forget the fee and costs, these are anyway one of the best Engineering Universities and well ranked for other fields like Management. It is interesting to note that these are both public Universities of Texas. At 3 and 4 are public Universities of Georgia. According to this ranking, public Universities have beaten private and Ivy League by some margin. As you can see, Ivy league schools do not have an attractive return on investment.Although the rankings are specific for undergraduate education but the trends for graduate degrees is likely to be on a similar pattern. If you are an international applicant (and not tied to a particular state for in-state benefits), we recommend you to consider these rankings before making your final list of universities to apply to.