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  • Writer's pictureBeth & Tim Manners

Georgetown Study: The College ROI

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

The Washington Post: "Is college worth it? Researchers at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce tried to answer that question, using newly released federal data to try to calculate return on investment for thousands of colleges across the country ... Some of the results will come as no surprise: Among the top 10 colleges with the best long-term net economic gain are Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University. Forty years after enrollment, bachelor's degrees from private colleges have the highest returns on investment. But the top three on the top 10 list - eclipsing MIT and Stanford - are schools specializing in pharmacy and health sciences. The only two public schools to make that top 10 list are maritime academies."

"Higher education is a complicated proposition, tricky to measure. The superintendent of one of the leading schools on the list, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, said he doesn't think candidates to the academy are applying because of return on investment, given the intense, challenging nature of the service academy's program, which includes hundreds of days at sea and a commitment to years of service ... Surveys suggest many students are motivated to go to college to learn more about subjects that interest them - and to become a better person, said professor Anthony P. Carnevale, director of Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce."

"The study concluded that even after paying off higher amounts of debt, the average graduate of a private four-year college has a net economic gain of $838,000 over 40 years - compared with $765,000 for a public college graduate. Or a student could choose a theology school near the bottom of the long-term return-on-investment list - because salary is not important."

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