ROI of institutions are calculated using data on the average net price and salary/earnings from the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard. An institution will not be listed in the table below if either of these are missing. The earnings data from the College Scorecard includes only students who received federal financial aid at the time of enrollment.
Using data from the expanded College Scorecard, this report ranks 4,500 colleges and universities by return on investment.
- A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges finds that bachelor’s degrees from private colleges, on average, have higher ROI than degrees from public colleges 40 years after enrollment. Community colleges and many certificate programs have the highest returns in the short term, 10 years after enrollment, though returns from bachelor’s degrees eventually overtake those of most two-year credentials.
- ROI of Liberal Arts Colleges: Value Adds Up Over Time finds that the median ROI of liberal arts colleges is nearly $200,000 higher than the median for all colleges. Further, the 40-year median ROI of liberal arts institutions ($918,000) is close to those of four-year engineering and technology-related schools ($917,000), and four-year business and management schools ($913,000).