What's Your College Degree Worth?
Like many difficult questions, the answer to that one is: It depends. Yes, it depends on where you went to school, but it also depends on what you studied, how long it took you to graduate, and whether you got financial aid, among many other factors. To answer that question, PayScale dug into its trove of 1.4 million pay reports from individuals using its online pay-comparison tools and calculated the return on investment, or ROI, for nearly 700 U.S. schools. The table below is divided into four sections. The first is 30-year net ROI, both for students who did, and did not, receive financial aid grants. This figure takes into consideration several factors, including how long it takes most students to graduate and the likelihood of not graduating at each institution. The next section presents the same information, but for graduates only. The third and fourth sections are identical to the first and second, except the data is for a 15-year time frame. To the right of every ROI dollar amount is the school's rank on that metric. State schools are presented twice, with ROI figures calculated using in-state and out-of-state tuition. For more information on the methodology, see the footnote below.