PayScale.Com Quantifies College “Return On Investment”


President Obama aims to have a national listing available by 2015 which will rank US colleges by “return on investment” (colleges cost relative to graduates’ employment/salaries) as well as on key statistics like % freshmen who return and % of students who graduate in four years, as well as average debt for graduates.  Some of this data is already available on, which uses results from 1.4 million graduates of US colleges, and ranks the colleges by employment and salary results for graduates. Not surprisingly, among the top schools ranked are leading engineering schools and the Ivies. Surprising to some may be that some prestigious liberal arts colleges are ranked well down on the list.  For families for whom return on investment is of critical importance, IES encourages a careful review of along with the very popular US News & World Report ranking— and, in 2015, the new government ranking.

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