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College Return on Investment

May 08, 2013

PayScale’s 2013 College ROI Report, released last week, ranked NYU-Poly third in return-on-investment. The report developed its rankings by linking the cost-of-attendance at more than 1,000 colleges to median alumni salaries, and NYU-Poly regularly makes PayScale’s top 10 list for the mid-career salary potential of baccalaureate alumni.

In the ROI report, NYU-Poly ranks behind only Harvey Mudd College and the California Institute of Technology. PayScale calculates that NYU-Poly graduates earn more than $1.6 million over 30 years, yielding an average 7.6 percent return on their educational investment of $214,000. PayScale also reports NYU-Poly’s mid-career graduates average $117,000 per year, and that starting salaries average $56,800. The earning potential is important for NYU-Poly graduates, where about half of students are Pell grant-eligible (the neediest families), and 38 percent of incoming students report that they are the first in their families to attend college.

In mid-April, Forbes named two other schools of NYU – the College of Nursing and the Stern School of Business – to its list of 25 College Diplomas with the Highest Pay.

As college has become more expensive, it has become more common to challenge the wisdom of paying for a degree. But evidence of the economic benefit of graduating college remains compelling, as this New York Times piece demonstrates—higher pay correlates strongly with educational attainment, and college is a better investment than the alternatives. Unemployment rates are also far lower for those who have finished college, and NYU boasts an impressive track record for job placement and graduate program attendance.

College is a big investment, particularly at a tuition-dependent school such as NYU. But it is a sound one.

--John Beckman

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