Georgia Tech again among top colleges in country for student return on investment

PayScale.com released its annual list of top colleges based on students’ return on their tuition investment, and Georgia Tech is again among the top 10 on the list of public and private institutions nationwide.

gatechTech ranks 8th, right after MIT. Most of the colleges where students reap the greatest financial returns on their college investments are engineering schools.

The University of Georgia ranks 330 for those students who pay in-state tuition.  (If you pay out-of-state tuition, the ranks drops to 554, tying with the University of Tennessee.) For students paying in-state tuition, Georgia State University ranks 512.

In explaining its list, PayScale notes:

With the average college student graduating with almost $30K in student loans, prospective college students, parents and policymakers are all trying to better understand the value of college education in the job market. This isn’t to say that students should only pursue majors with the highest earning potential or make decisions about where to attend school based solely off College ROI Report rankings.

However, we currently have 18-year-olds signing on the dotted line for student loans they’re not even certain they can pay back. Access to data showing how other alumni following a similar path have fared in the job market is critical to ensuring students are making financial decisions that make sense.

No matter how you look at it, college is an investment — both of time and money. The benefit to this particular investment is that there are returns far beyond the obvious monetary ones. However, the financial aspects of evaluating college return on investment cannot be ignored. And, some schools are simply doing a better job of setting their alumni up for success in the job market. Whether you’re planning to study computer science or psychology, earning potential in your chosen field, along with the cost of attendance for the schools you’re considering, should be part of the equation when whittling down your list of best return on investment colleges.

The site has a handy search tool so you can go to the list and plug in the college your child is considering.

Here is an official statement from PayScale.com about its ROI report:

The top schools overall for college return on investment (not taking into account financial aid) are Harvey Mudd College, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and Stevens Institute of Technology. When you factor in financial aid, Stanford comes in at #3 and bumps Stevens Institute of Technology into the #4 spot.

Engineering schools continue to dominate the top of the list. The schools ranked 1 through 4, overall, and 7 out of the top 10 schools, are engineering schools.

The average 20-Year Net ROI for engineering schools is $677,500 while For Profit, Liberal Arts, Religious, Art, and Music & Design Schools all have an average 20-Year Net ROI of less than $250,000. Ivy League schools have the second highest average 20-Year Net ROI at $649,900.

The average 20-Year Net ROI for Party Schools, as defined by The Princeton Review, was slightly higher than the average for Sober Schools ($354,400 vs. $336,000).

Alumni who majored in engineering, computer science & math or business fields or ended up working in business/finance or computer and math careers have the best chance of seeing a 20-Year Net ROI above $1 million.

State Schools dominate the list when sorted by 20-year Annualized ROI % which is indicative of their relative low cost when compared to Private Schools. Thirty-seven out of the top 40 schools, overall, for Annualized ROI have four-year on campus costs below $100,000. Brigham Young University (BYU), a private school, is the exception to the rule, ranking second overall on Annualized ROI. The average 20-year Annualized ROI of the included schools is 8.94%.

Ivy League alumni typically have lower-than-average student loan debt upon graduation but a 20 year net ROI above the 75th percentile. Columbia University is the exception with higher-than-average student loan debt of $32,720.

However, the 20-year Net ROI is still very high for Columbia at $591,400. The percentage of students receiving loans at the Ivies is relatively small (only 6 percent for Yale and 9 percent for both Princeton and Harvard). The typical time to graduation for all Ivy League schools is the standard 4 years.

The 20-year Annualized ROI for both Apple (24.8%) and Microsoft (15.2%) beat out the Annualized ROI for all schools included in the report.

More than 88 percent of schools included in the report have a 20-year Annualized ROI higher than US Treasury Bonds (2.5%), but only 24 percent of schools included have an Annualized ROI higher than the S&P 500 (7.8%).

All public Engineering schools included in the report have a 20-year Annualized ROI above the Vanguard Total Stock Index (9.8%) while all private Engineering schools have an Annualized ROI that falls below it.

Texas, California, and Washington have the highest average percentage of alumni who stay and work in the state after graduation at 85%, 84%, and 78%, respectively. Vermont has the lowest average percentage of alumni who stay in the state at 19%.

NOTE: All 20-year Annualized ROI percentages for stocks are adjusted for dividends and splits.

 

Reader Comments 0

17 comments
fuzzybee78
fuzzybee78

With Stanford at a 96% graduation rate and Tech at 82% this is close to proof of what many of us have suspected for a long time. Tech is the hardest school to get into AND graduate from that plays D1 football…but its pays off for the rest of your life! 

GFJacket
GFJacket

Does this mean that Tech students aren't paying their fair share?

Since Tech graduates make so much more over their career compared to what their education cost, should Tech charge more in tuition to make it more fair for graduates of other schools like UGA?


Mitch_Copeland
Mitch_Copeland

You looked at rankings of GSU and UGA in your post but should've poked a little further. The former Southern Polytechnic State U (now merged with Kennesaw) came in at 99th for in-state students and 140th for out-of-state. That's a far better comparison point than the other schools you mentioned, since SPSU was/is an engineering school. By the way, we're adding a lot to Kennesaw, which had rankings of 622 and 745. 

Betsy Ross1776
Betsy Ross1776

And just how many students from Atlanta Public Schools get into and graduate from Georgia Tech? That's the thing. We've got a gold mine right here in Atlanta and I'll bet hardly a soul from Atlanta public schools is qualified to get into Tech, other than to play on the football team.

Bernie31
Bernie31

The Funny thing about this Rating is the Top graduating students with Honors come from outside of Georgia and The United States for YEARS! 

That Fact alone speaks volumes about the Failing U.S. Educational System of American Students. Here we are in Georgia diddling along the edges of the Educational Process with the Charter School Model and it is only marginal better with fewer succeeding students.

When are you People going to WAKE UP?

redweather
redweather

When you get to skim from the top of the applicant pool, as Georgia Tech does, is it any wonder that its graduates find gainful and highly remunerative employment soon after graduation? 

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

@redweather

You don't give Tech excuses with football so you don't get them with academics.

And we don't need excuses in football anymore.

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

"Tech ranks 8th, right after MIT."


Very fitting, since MIT is the Georgia Tech of the North.....


GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

It's a helluva school, and I'm proud of my association with it.  If you're willing to work hard, you'll do fine.   If not, you'll learn to or you won't get out, and that's a pretty valuable lesson.

straker
straker

Unfortunately, the majority of graduating high school students don't have the math aptitude to become engineers or accountants.


Worse, jobs that require this aptitude are steadily increasing ,


This bodes ill for many in the years to come.

Q1225
Q1225

@straker It's funny that you think accounting requires an aptitude for math.

Jim70
Jim70

great recruiting tool.  maybe not for the kid, but if their parents are involved then it they will consider it.

juvenal
juvenal

the only ranking that really matters........ 

jacketbacker
jacketbacker

Go Jackets! Easily the best bang for the buck of in state schools.